National Preparedness Month 2019 – Week 3

September is National Preparedness Month.

The theme for week three is Teach Youth to Prepare for Disasters.

Emergencies and disasters can happen at any time, often without warning. Disaster planning, response, and recovery efforts must take into account the unique needs of children, who make up roughly a quarter of the U.S. population.

Starting or getting involved with a youth preparedness program is a great way to enhance a community’s resilience and help develop future generations of prepared adults. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers numerous resources that can help.

FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council

FEMA created the Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) in 2012 to bring together young leaders who are interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities, by completing disaster preparedness projects nationally and locally. The YPC supports FEMA’s commitment to involve America’s youth in preparedness-related activities. It also provides an avenue to engage young people by taking into account their perspectives, feedback, and opinions. YPC members meet with FEMA staff throughout their term to provide input on strategies, initiatives, and projects. YPC members also attend the annual YPC Summit in Washington, DC, meet periodically with FEMA representatives, and work to complete a number of emergency preparedness projects. The YPC members are selected based on their dedication to public service, their efforts in making a difference in their communities, and their potential to expand their impact as national supporters of youth preparedness.

Prepare with Pedro: Disaster Preparedness Activity Book

Prepare with Pedro: Disaster Preparedness Activity Book is a joint product of FEMA and the American Red Cross. Prepare with Pedro is designed to encourage youth and their families to be better prepared for disasters by offering safety advice alongside crosswords, coloring pages, matching games, and more.

Obtain copies of the activity book, now in both English and Spanish!

  1. Download and print by visiting: Prepare with Pedro: Disaster Preparedness Activity Book
  2. Order printed copies for free through the publication warehouse online or by phone at 1-800-480-2520 request publication number #2005 for the English version or publication number #2035 for the Spanish version.

Ready 2 Help

Ready 2 Help is a card game that teaches youth how to stay safe and help in emergency situations. Ready 2 Help can be played by 2-4 players ages 8 and above. Parents, coaches, teachers, and other youth leaders can use the game and companion book to teach kids how to react to emergencies in a fun and friendly way. The game encourages discussion about preparedness using five simple steps: Stay Safe, Stay Calm, Get Help, Give Info, and Give Care. Everyone can play and learn!

Obtain copies of the card game and companion book –

National Strategy for Youth Preparedness Education

Developed by FEMA, the U.S. Department of Education, and the American Red Cross, the National Strategy for Youth Preparedness Education presents nine steps partners can take to help build a Nation of prepared youth. The steps focus on building partnerships to enhance youth preparedness learning programs; connecting young people with their families, communities, first responders, and other youth; and increasing preparedness at school.

9 Priority Steps for Creating a Nation of Prepared Youth

  1. Elevate the importance of youth preparedness learning programs at the national, state, and local levels.
  2. Evaluate the quality and effectiveness of existing and new youth preparedness programs.
  3. Support the implementation of youth preparedness learning programs.
  4. Create positive relationships between youth and the first responder community.
  5. Link youth preparedness to family and community participation, especially in communities where English may not be the first language spoken (or understood) among adults, in other underrepresented communities, and inclusive of individuals with access and functional needs.
  6. Make school preparedness a key component of youth preparedness.
  7. Build and strengthen productive partnerships among stakeholder agencies and organizations.
  8. Identify opportunities to embed youth preparedness in youth culture.
  9. Design a sustaining, locally driven model for developing, designing, and delivering programming.

Join the National Strategy Movement

Help us propel the youth preparedness movement! By aligning your organization’s activities with one or more of the National Strategy’s nine priority steps, you are joining a network of prominent public- and private-sector organizations that are dedicated to promoting youth preparedness and building a more resilient Nation. Find out how to affirm the National Strategy, or email FEMA-Youth-Preparedness@fema.dhs.gov for more information.

National Preparedness Month 2019 – Week 2

September is National Preparedness Month.

The theme for week two is Make a Plan to Prepare for Disasters.

Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area.  Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.  Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Locations frequented
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals
  • Households with school-aged children

Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan

Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use them as a guide to create your own.

Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household

National Preparedness Month 2019 – Week 1

September is National Preparedness Month.

This week’s theme is Save Early for Disaster Costs.

Americans at all income levels have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergency. In these stressful circumstances, having access to personal financial, insurance, medical, and other records is crucial for starting the process of recovery quickly and efficiently. Taking the time now to collect and secure these critical records will give you peace of mind and, in the event of an emergency, will ensure that you have the documentation needed to start the recovery process without delay.

  1. Gather financial and critical personal, household, and medical information.
  2. Consider saving money in an emergency savings account that could be used in any crisis. Keep a small amount of cash at home in a safe place. It is important to have small bills on hand because ATM’s and credit cards may not work during a disaster when you need to purchase necessary supplies, fuel or food.
  3. Obtain property (homeowners or renters), health, and life insurance if you do not have them. Review existing policies for the amount and extent of coverage to ensure that what you have in place is what is required for you and your family for all possible hazards. Homeowners insurance does not typically cover flooding, so you may need to purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program.
  4. Scroll down for more helpful financial preparedness tips and download the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) to get started planning today.

The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK), a joint publication from Operation Hope and FEMA to help you prepare financially and provide tips to reduce the impact disasters can leave you with financially.

For Organizations 

Encourage people throughout your organization to be financially prepared. Here are some ideas to promote financial preparedness in your organization:

  • Hold a brown bag meeting or
  • Make a presentation at an existing staff meeting using the Emergency Preparedness Financial First Aid Kit PowerPoint and use the Safeguarding Your Valuables Facilitator Guide to support your discussion.
  • Include financial preparedness information in the staff monthly newsletter.

At Home

Using the EFFAK as a guide, or by downloading a secure mobile app on your phone, store important documents either in a safety deposit box, an external drive, on the cloud to make it easy to access during a disaster.

Having your financial and medical records and important contact information will be crucial to help you start the recovery process quickly. Take time now to safeguard these critical documents.

Household Identification

  • Photo ID to prove identity of household members
  • Birth certificate to maintain or re-establish contact with family members
  • Social security card to apply for FEMA disaster assistance
  • Military service
  • Pet ID tags

Financial and Legal Documentation

  • Housing Payments to identify financial records and obligations
  • Insurance policies to re-establish financial accounts
  • Sources of income to maintain payments and credit
  • Tax statements to provide contact information for financial and legal providers & apply for FEMA disaster assistance

Medical Information

  • Physician information to provide doctors with health information if medical care is needed
  • Copies of health insurance information to ensure existing care continues uninterrupted
  • Immunization records
  • Medications

Insurance Information

Having insurance for your home or business property is the best way to ensure you will have the necessary financial resources to help you repair, rebuild, or replace whatever is damaged.  Document and insure your property now.

Household Contact information

  • Banking Institutions
  • Insurance agent
  • Health professionals
  • Service providers
  • Place of worship

Get your benefits electronically

A disaster can disrupt mail service for days or weeks. If you depend on Social Security or other regular benefits, switching to electronic payments is a simple, significant way to protect yourself financially before disaster strikes. It also eliminates the risk of stolen checks.

Register for Sept 4 ,2019 Financial Preparedness Webinar
Register for Emergencies and Disasters: Are You Financially Prepared? Wednesday, September 4, 2019 10:00:00 AM PDT – 10:30:00 AM PDT

FEMA: Americans Need to Start Saving for a Rainy Day

This was written as an opinion piece in The Hill by FEMA Deputy Administrator for Resilience Daniel Kaniewski. TL;DR – The government isn’t coming to save you. Better start getting prepared to take care of yourself/your community.

Every day our nation faces some risk whether it be from flooding, earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, tornados or other threats. While none of us want to think that the next disaster will happen where we live, the fact is our communities can never truly be prepared for disasters if the people who live in our communities are not.

One of FEMA’s core missions is to educate the public on disaster preparedness, both at home and in the community, and the results are encouraging. Every year, more Americans are taking preparedness actions. But, we need to address an essential component of the preparedness message —  savings and insurance.

We need individuals to take charge of their own preparedness both at home and in their communities. It starts with discussing the importance of financial health and its relationship to being ready. Americans must adopt the habit of saving for emergencies, both large and small. An emergency fund can help cover evacuation expenses or pay for supplies to get a home ready for a hurricane. After a disaster, these funds can be used to replace damaged items or pay for necessities before an insurance company can settle a claim.

Research paints a compelling picture of the link between financial wellness and disaster preparedness. We also know that emergency savings make a big difference in helping families recover more quickly after disasters. However, a 2017 Federal Reserve report found 40 percent of adults would not have the cash readily available if faced with a $400 emergency expense. Additionally, a 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found that 8.4 million households in the United States have neither a checking nor savings account.

So, at a time when the evidence points toward the importance of savings, many Americans are not in a position to act. Even those who do have bank accounts often do not take the action of ensuring they have immediate access to cash at home. Having liquid assets in the bank and cash at home are both essential steps in building a prepared household. ATMs and credit card machines might not be functioning after a disaster and you will likely have to use cash for food, water or fuel in the immediate aftermath.

Americans should focus on building up their financial wellness to protect themselves and their families. FEMA and its financial wellness nonprofit and private sector partners continue to share messaging and resources that can be used to help build financial resilience in communities. Through PrepTalks “Financial Literacy and Overcoming Liquid Asset Poverty,” and the FEMA Podcast “Making ‘Cents Out of Disaster Financial Preparedness,” we have compiled resources to provide individuals and communities a greater understanding and awareness of financial resilience.

We continue to share the message of the importance of saving, but we also have to expand the definition of financial preparedness. A large part of protecting every family’s financial future is insurance. There is not a more important or valuable disaster recovery tool than insurance. This of course includes flood insurance, which is usually not included in standard homeowners’ and renters’ policies. But it’s not just flood insurance. All types of insurance have a role to play in reducing financial risk. Unfortunately, we have an insurance gap (the difference between what is insured and what is insurable) in this country; approximately 70 percent of disaster losses are uninsured. Those who lack insurance will take longer to recover — and some may never fully recover–adding further stress after a disaster.

Survivors working toward their recovery should understand that FEMA’s Individual Assistance program grants were never intended to cover all disaster losses. The average FEMA Individual Assistance grant to disaster survivors in Texas following Hurricane Harvey was approximately $3,000. The average flood insurance payout was more than $117,000.

Enhancing financial preparedness and closing the insurance gap can help reduce the impacts of disasters. We have to get ahead of the risks we may face and not just respond to them. Making a more resilient nation must be a shared goal, and a shared responsibility.

Daniel Kaniewski, PhD, serves as FEMA’s deputy administrator for resilience and is currently FEMA’s second-ranking official.

FEMA Seeks Applicants for Youth Preparedness Council

FEMA is seeking students in 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th grades to apply to join the Youth Preparedness Council.

https://www.ready.gov/youth-preparedness-council

APPLY ONLINE TO JOIN FEMA’S YOUTH PREPAREDNESS COUNCIL

Students in 8th, 9th, 10th, or 11th grade who have engaged in community service, or are interested in emergency preparedness, are encouraged to apply to serve on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s, Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Youth Preparedness Council.

The application is available online. Applicants must complete the application form and submit two letters of recommendation and their academic records.

Applications are due March 31. To start your online application, click here. You can also download the application and submit a PDF copy of the application here.

Youth Preparedness Council

FEMA created the Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) in 2012 to bring together young leaders who are interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities, by completing disaster preparedness projects nationally and locally. The YPC supports FEMA’s commitment to involve America’s youth in preparedness-related activities. It also provides an avenue to engage young people by taking into account their perspectives, feedback, and opinions.

YPC members meet with FEMA staff throughout their term to provide input on strategies, initiatives, and projects. YPC members also attend the annual YPC Summit in Washington, DC, meet periodically with FEMA representatives, and work to complete a number of emergency preparedness projects.

FEMA: We’ve Failed Miserably at Building Community Preparedness

A FEMA report has found that the federal government’s efforts to build disaster-resilient communities has been a failure for various reasons, including that government is not the best entity to reach out with a message of preparedness. It suggests that encouraging a bottom-up approach may be more effective.

Report: We’ve Failed Miserably at Preparedness

A better approach, a new FEMA Higher Education Program report says, is to develop individual cultures of preparedness from the bottom up that could eventually lead to a more resilient nation…

“We’ve achieved our national preparedness goals when it comes to first responders [as per Presidential Policy Directive 8] but when it comes to preparedness of individual households and communities, we’ve failed,” said Laura Olson, a lead author of the report. “To say we’ve failed it putting it mildly…”

The key difficulty with past approaches is that communities across the country lost trust in the government and therefore, the report says, government is not the best entity to reach out to communities with a message of preparedness.

There must be recognition that there is going to be a cultural difference in communication, whether it be communication between emergency managers and communities or any other entities, and to eliminate assumptions…

Click here to read the entire article at govtech.com.

 

FEMA X: Youth Preparedness Camp, Aug. 2019

From FEMA Region X:

Developed under a youth engagement concept, this six-day, five-night camp, hosted and staffed by camp and emergency management professionals will teach students how to safely assist in the immediate aftermath of a disaster when the professional response may be delayed or limited. Subject matter experts and local emergency responders will support the curriculum delivery and introduce participants to various emergency response professions. As part of the camp program, youth participants will identify and develop a concept for a give-back project where they will utilize their skills to improve preparedness in their communities.

The Region 10 Youth Preparedness Council, made up of high-school aged youth from all four states, will participate in the camp, and help lead their peers throughout the week.

For those selected to participate, FEMA will fund youth participants’ travel costs. It is critical that participants do not make any travel reservations on their own, for FEMA staff will assist with the pre-departure travel voucher process and ensure all required documentation is collected and submitted.

Eligibility

  • Entering 8-12th grade in fall of 2019
  • Reside in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon or Washington
  • U.S. Citizen

Where:

Stanwood, WA 98292

When:

August 18 – 23, 2019

How to Apply:

  • Provide the following information:
    • Name
    • Age
    • Grade entering in fall 2019
    • City
    • State
    • Availability August 18 – 23, 2019
    • Special accommodations (i.e. dietary, physical, mobility, etc.)
  • Answer the following questions:
    1. Why do you want to attend this camp? What do you hope to get out of the experience?
    2. How did you hear about the Youth Preparedness Camp?
    3. Have you been involved in any emergency/disaster preparedness activities or trainings? If so please explain. (If not, that’s ok, you’ll still be considered! Everyone starts somewhere.)
    4. What about disaster preparedness interests you?
    5. How would you like to help your community get better prepared? Some ideas include volunteering with a CERT, volunteering with your local American Red Cross, or starting a preparedness club.
  • Submit your application by the March 15th deadline to fema-r10-communityprep@fema.dhs.gov.

For further information or questions, please contact Ilyssa Plumer – Ilyssa.Plumer@associates.fema.gov or 425-487-4943.

First National Wireless Emergency Alerts Test on Oct. 3rd, 2018

The fourth national Emergency Alert System (EAS) test and first national Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) test will occur on Thursday, October 3rd, 2018 at 11:20am Pacific and 11:18am respectively. This was rescheduled from September because of Hurricane Florence.

From FEMA:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) on the backup date of October 3, 2018 due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence. The WEA portion of the test commences at 2:18 p.m. EDT, and the EAS portion follows at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.

The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless providers participating in WEA. This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test. Previous EAS national tests were conducted in November 2011, September 2016,  and September 2017 in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters, and emergency management officials in recognition of FEMA’s National Preparedness Month.

The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar. The EAS message will include a reference to the WEA test:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.”

Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes beginning at 2:18 p.m. EDT. During this time, WEA compatible cell phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA should be capable of receiving the test message. Some cell phones will not receive the test message, and cell phones should only receive the message once. The WEA test message will have a header that reads “Presidential Alert” and text that says:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (i.e. Tornado Warning, AMBER Alert). Users cannot opt out of the WEA test.

The test was originally planned for September 20, 2018 but has been postponed until October 3, 2018 due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence.

National Preparedness Month, Week 5, 2017

Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make a family emergency plan today. September is National Preparedness Month. Learn more at www.ready.gov/September.

Get involved with your community with groups like the Lower Valley Assembly, CERT teams, Map Your Neighborhood groups or other preparedness groups in your area. Most counties will have an emergency management coordinator who can be contacted for CERT or Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) information. If you can’t find information in your county, you can contact your state emergency management department. In Washington state, that is the Emergency Management Division and you can contact their public education staff for direction to local MYN or CERT resources at at (253) 512-7419 or email public.education@mil.wa.gov. They’ll even help out of staters with MYN material.

Related:

How Churches Can Prepare for Disasters

Red Cross: Community Preparedness

Oath Keepers: Community Preparedness Teams

National Preparedness Month, Week 4, 2017

 

Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make a family emergency plan today. September is National Preparedness Month. Learn more at www.ready.gov/September.

Related:
Channel 3 ProjectCommunication Realities

Understanding Survivalist Communications Needs

FEMA: Create Your Family Emergency Communication Plan (pdf)

Signals Intelligence Resources

Prepper Radio Communication 101

What Should an Emergency Plan Include?

National Preparedness Month, Week 3, 2017

Don’t forget to do a neighbor check! Always check with each other in case of emergency. September is National Preparedness Month. Learn more at www.ready.gov/September.

Related:

Check Your Neighbours (pdf)

Neighborhood Preparedness (pdf)

Five Steps to Neighborhood Preparedness (pdf)

Prepare Your Neighborhood

OK-HELP Signs

National Preparedness Month, Week 1, 2017

Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make a family emergency plan today. September is National Preparedness Month. Learn more at www.ready.gov/September.

Related:

Long Term Water Storage

Myths and Facts of Water Storage

Pool Shock & Bleach for Water Purification

Granular Calcium Hypochlorite

Only use HTH Pool Shock that does not have any algicides or fungicides.  Ingredients should reads CALCIUM hypochlorite and inert ingredients.  Use a brand with at least 73% Hypochlorite.

For this video I used Poolife Turboshock, but feel free to use any brand you wish as long as it fits the perimeters above.

Before you begin mixing any chemicals in any way, please follow basic safety precautions.  Make sure you do this in a ventilated area.  Have plenty of water to dilute any mistakes.  Wear eye protection for splashes.  Lastly always mix the powder into the water NOT the other way around.

Add and dissolve one heaping teaspoon of high-test granular calcium hypochlorite (HTH) (approximately 1/4 ounce) for each two gallons of water.

The mixture will produce a chlorine solution of approximately 500 mg/L (0.0667632356 oz per US gallon), since the calcium hypochlorite has an available chlorine equal to 70 percent of its weight.

To disinfect water, add the chlorine solution in the ratio of one part of chlorine solution to each 100 parts of water to be treated. This is roughly equal to adding 1 pint (16 oz.) of stock chlorine to each 12.5 gallons of water to be disinfected.

To remove any objectionable chlorine odor, aerate the water by pouring it back and forth into containers to add air.

Chlorine Bleach

Common household bleach (unscented) contains a chlorine compound that will disinfect water. The procedure to be followed is usually written on the label. When the necessary procedure is not given, find the percentage of available chlorine on the label and use the information in the following tabulation as a guide.

Available Chlorine Drops per Quart of Clear Water

  • 1% needs 10 Drops
  • 4-6% needs  2 Drops
  • 7-10% needs 1 Drops

(If strength is unknown, add ten drops per quart of water. Double amount of chlorine for cloudy or colored water)

The treated water should be mixed thoroughly and allowed to stand for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight chlorine odor; if not, repeat the dosage and allow the water to stand for an additional 15 minutes.

September Is National Preparedness Month, 2017

Once again National Preparedness Month is at hand. This September, FEMA’s National Preparedness Month (NPM) will focus on planning, with an overarching theme “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”

We should all take action to prepare! We are all able to help first responders in our community by training how to respond during an emergency and what to do when disaster strikes — where we live, work, and visit. The goal of NPM is to increase the overall number of individuals, families, and communities that engage in preparedness actions at home, work, business, school, and place of worship.

2017 Weekly Themes

  • Week 1:  September 1-9                        Make a Plan for Yourself, Family and Friends
  • Week 2:  September 10-16                    Plan to Help Your Neighbor and Community
  • Week 3:  September 17-23                    Practice and Build Out Your Plans
  • Week 4:  September 24-30                    Get Involved! Be a Part of Something Larger

In Washington State, prepare in September because October 19th, 2017 is the Great Shake Out.

Two Weeks Ready: Be Prepared. Build Kits. Help Each Other. Download our new brochure. Our thanks to the Seattle Office of Emergency Management for developing this brochure and offering it to us for statewide customization.

NEW! Download our drop, cover and hold earthquake scenarios map.

Map Your Neighborhood works.

You don’t have to do it all at once. Prepare in a Year!

Sign up for ShakeOut!

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