Preparedness Newsletter

This Digest is provided by FEMA's Individual & Community Preparedness Division to highlight community preparedness and resilience resources, an important part of FEMA's mission to help people before, during, and after disasters. We're building a culture of preparedness together.

Your February 2020 Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter

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In this issue:

Ready Tips

CERT & Communities

Children & Disasters

Financial Preparedness

Important Dates


Ready Tips

Ready Tips: Earthquakes Can Happen Any Time – Prepare Now

This year marks the ninth anniversary of the 2011 East Coast earthquake. While earthquakes may be more common in some areas, they can happen anywhere and are unpredictable.

Reduce the chance of injury or loss of life during an earthquake by taking steps ahead of time to protect yourself and others. For example, consider taking FEMA's free training, You Are the Help Until Help Arrives . This training shares five simple steps that you can take in the event of an emergency, such as an earthquake, that may save a life.

You can also stay safe with these tips from the Ready Campaign :

  • Secure all the items in your home that could fall and cause injuries (such as bookshelves, mirrors, and light fixtures).
  • If you are in a vehicle, pull over and stop. Set your parking brake.
  • If you are in bed, turn face down and cover your head and neck with a pillow.
  • If you are outdoors, stay outdoors away from buildings.
  • Do not get in a doorway.
  • Do not run outside.
  • Practice how to drop, cover, and hold on under a desk or table. Watch When the Earth Shakes for more information on what to do if an earthquake happens while you are inside, outside, or driving.
  • Plan how you will communicate with family members by making a family emergency communication plan .

Visit to learn more, and put your preparedness into action


CERT & Communities

Updates to CERT Supplemental Materials

Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) play a vital role assisting local authorities during response and recovery activities. Because of the required cross-training, CERTs can fill gaps or act as additional resources by learning about topics such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Additional training is also available to CERT members, ranging from Tools for Leadership Success to Animal Response ( Module 1 , Module 2 ). These trainings have given CERT members other opportunities to help their communities.

In fact, CERT Animal Response Teams have played important roles in recent wildfires. Read more…

Webinar—Protecting our Communities: Signs of Terrorism, What to Look For, and How to Help Law Enforcement

Join FEMA Thursday, March 12, 2020 from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. ET to learn about the signs of terrorism and related suspicious activity that law enforcement agencies look for to keep Americans safe. The state of New Jersey has undertaken homeland security initiatives that bring law enforcement, first responders, and other private and public partners together to inform communities across the state on threats and hazards. This event features David Kanig from the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.

Learn more and register by clicking here .

Are CERT Trainers required to be Paramedics, EMTs or Nurses?

No, this is a recommendation only. Program Sponsoring Organizations are responsible for ensuring that all instructors are adequately trained and have appropriate experience to deliver CERT training. Qualified trainers may come from many possible backgrounds and have different relevant skillsets. Read more…

Earthquake Preparedness by the Numbers

Earthquakes are more widespread around the country than most people think! Did you know that people living in some parts of the Midwest and the South can be just as vulnerable as those living in California and Alaska? According to the data from FEMA's 2019 National Household Survey (NHS), those living in the Midwest and South tend to be less prepared than those who live in areas more often associated with earthquake risk.

The 2019 NHS also showed that just two out of ten people know that Drop, Cover, and Hold On are the proper actions to take during an earthquake.

You can learn more by reading the 2019 NHS summary and by visiting OpenFEMA . Then, on February 25th from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET, join FEMA for a webinar to dive deeper into the NHS

findings about earthquakes. Register for this webinar here .

ICYMI: Webinars—2019 National Household Survey Findings

In case you missed them, the two-part webinar series on the findings from the 2019 National Household Survey (NHS) were recorded and posted online:

For Part I, click here .

For Part II, click here .


Children & Disasters

FEMA's YPC Application Opens

Young people today are faced with many challenges that previous generations did not encounter. However, many of them are rising to the occasion, leading their peers and their communities. Each year, FEMA's Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) brings 20 of these young leaders together to learn how to plan and implement preparedness projects in their communities. The application period to serve on the YPC is open until March 8. If you know any young leaders who are interested in helping their communities prepare for disasters, encourage them to apply and read below to learn more about the YPC. Read more…


Financial Preparedness

America Saves Week 2020

Did you know that according to the 2019 FEMA National Household Survey , almost a third of Americans did not set aside money for unexpected emergencies? What better way to start the new year than with a savings mindset? America Saves , a campaign managed by t he nonprofit Consumer Federation of America, motivates, encourages, and supports low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth.

Since 2007, America Saves Week has been an annual celebration as well as a call to action for Americans to commit to saving successfully. This year, America Saves Week is from February 24 – 29, 2020. Read more…

Webinar—Free Tax Preparation with the IRS

Join FEMA on Wednesday, February 12 at noon ET to learn about programs that provide underserved communities with free tax filing assistance. As FEMA works to advance its goal to help more Americans be financially prepared, programs like the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) can make a difference. This event will feature Amelia Dalton from the Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communications unit of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

To register, click here .

Webinar—Emergencies and Disasters: Save for the Unexpected

Join FEMA for a webinar: Emergencies and Disasters: Save for the Unexpected on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 from 1:00 p.m.-1:45 p.m. ET. This 45-minute webinar will provide financial tips, tools, and resources for individuals, communities, and organizations. Speakers include representatives from America Saves , the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Operation HOPE , and FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Division .

To register for the webinar, please click here .


Important Dates


Disclaimer: The reader recognizes that the federal government provides links and informational data on various disaster preparedness resources and events and does not endorse any non-federal events, entities, organizations, services, or products. Please let us know about other events and services for individual and community preparedness that could be included in future newsletters by contacting - - TWITTER: @Readygov


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