National Community Preparedness News
DHS launched the “Stop. Think. Connect.” public cybersecurity awareness campaign — a national initiative that promotes simple steps the public can take to increase their safety and security online. “Stop. Think. Connect.” is a national public education campaign designed to increase public understanding of cyber threats and how individual citizens can develop safer cyber habits that will help make networks more secure.
Ready recently launched a new region in their campaign that contains 26,000 words, 7 publications & even kids information!
While the 7th annual National Preparedness Month (NPM) has ended, FEMA continues to remind citizens of the importance of emergency preparedness. NPM, sponsored by the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps, is held each September. NPM encourages Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities. More than 4,800 organizations joined the Ready Campaign as NPM Coalition Members, committing to promote emergency preparedness by hosting events and other activities in their communities. Coalition Members encourage the public to create a family plan, get an emergency kit and be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur in their area and their appropriate responses. This Campaign also reached out to more than 3 million employees in the business community, 2,445 Citizen Corps Councils, 3,514 Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), 27 Citizen Corps partners and affiliates, and countless individuals and families across the nation. These partners worked to bring government and community leaders together to involve citizens in all-hazards emergency preparedness and resilience.
On October 6, the National Commission on Children and Disasters delivered its 2010 Report to the President and Congress. The Commission examined and assessed the needs of children in relation to the preparation for, response to, and recovery from all hazards, including major disasters and emergencies. The Commission reports findings and recommendations relating to: child physical health, mental health, and trauma; child care in all settings; child welfare; elementary and secondary education; sheltering, temporary housing, and affordable housing; transportation; juvenile justice; evacuation; and relevant activities in emergency management.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the availability of a new toll-free helpline to provide information, support and counseling for families and children affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Part of the Obama Administration’s long term oil spill recovery plan, the Oil Spill Distress Helpline (1-800-985-5990) links callers to behavioral healthcare services and will serve as an important resource for the localized oil spill outreach efforts in the Gulf Coast states.
Webcast of event on emergency management practices inclusive of people with disabilities. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate often mentions that “FEMA does not plan for easy, it plans for real.” The Administrator also recognizes that virtually every community in the United States may have as many as fifty percent of their population in need of assistance to prepare for emergencies and disasters. Building on these concepts, the FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination is hosting a national forum in Baltimore. The three-day interactive training conference brings disability and emergency management community leaders together from across the country to build capacity on inclusive emergency management practices. The full agenda can be found at: http://www.fema.gov/about/odic/. The conference attendance is by invitation only but will be webcast live in its entirety at: http://dhs.scienceandtechon.tv/2010.femancbc/home.php.
Secretary Napolitano, is a speech to New York City first responders, discuss the challenges in building a culture of preparedness and resilience across the country. She said "We’re taking other steps to support individuals and families, citizens and communities. Recall that it was a New York street vendor who tipped off a policeman about the bombing attempt in Times Square. It was a group of passengers on Flight 253 who intervened to stop the bombing attempt on Christmas Day." To read all of her remarks as prepared, please click here.
One-fourth of all businesses that close because of a disaster never reopen, according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety. However, businesses that have and implement a disaster preparedness plan typically have less damage, loss and downtime than those that do not. Have a business continuity plan that includes: a pre-identified relocation site; means to retrieve data, including employee, customer and vendor records; a strategy for contacting people, such as a call-down tree; and a method for operating effectively with a smaller staff of key individuals. FEMA provides a step-by-step approach to emergency planning, response and recovery for companies of all sizes in the Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry, available free in the FEMA publication library at http://go.usa.gov/xbF. Additional preparedness information is available at www.Ready.gov/business. For more resources and additional information read the article here.
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) is celebrating Crime Prevention Month this October with a Poster Celebration for all youth under the age of 18. Draw a poster showing McGruff or some other crime prevention theme, and submit it to NCPC and have it displayed on NCPC website gallery. See the attached flier for rules and details. This activity is perfect for classroom, after school, or community programs about being safe in your community. Help raise awareness that crime prevention is everybody’s business. Form more information, click here.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have a collection of public service announcements (PSAs) and Podcasts that provide timely messages about what you can do to protect yourself and your family during a natural disaster. Examples include "Driving Through water After a Disaster," Parenting Under the Stress of a Disaster," and "Electrical safety in Your Home After a Disaster." See the full list of PSAs on the CDC website at http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/psa/.
While facing many challenges, Americans are stepping forward to participate in civic life to solve problems and strengthen their communities, according to Civic Life in America: Key Findings on the Civic Health of the Nation released by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC). The Civic Life in America research found that the majority of Americans – nearly 125 million – turned toward problems and helped support their neighbors in times of need. Whether volunteering or helping a neighbor find a job, Americans are engaging in activities that help build stronger and more civically involved communities, according to the assessment. Click here to see the announcement and learn more about the assessment and city and state rankings.
The National Association for Amateur Radio (ARRL) is sponsoring the Simulated Emergency Test (SET). ARRL Field Organization leaders are planning an event that will actively involve members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®), the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), the ARRL National Traffic System (NTS) and many other related groups that prepare for and respond to emergencies. Public service and emergency response agencies and organizations in your community, ARRL Section Leaders and/or local and state officials will also be invited to participate. For more information see the announcement.
Five years after a hurricane season that wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast, the American Red Cross (ARC) released “Bringing Help, Bringing Hope,” a report that details the Red Cross response to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma and the ensuing years of recovery for the survivors. The Red Cross gave 1.4 million families — approximately 4.5 million people — emergency financial assistance in response to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, which was 19 times more than the previous record. Donors gave the organization a total of $2.2 billion for people affected by the storms.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the availability of up to $250 million in grants for New Access Points for the delivery of primary health care services for under served and vulnerable populations under the Health Center Program. The funds, made available by the Affordable Care Act, will be awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
President Obama awarded 13 Americans the 2010 Citizens Medal, the nation's second-highest civilian honor, for their exemplary acts of service. This year's recipients are powerful reminders of the impact individuals can have on their community: a Chicago nurse and childcare professional who opened a live-in resource center to mentor hundreds of pregnant teenagers; a school bus driver who delivers hot meals and coffee to New York City's homeless daily; and a paralyzed woman who founded Kids' Food Basket, which provides meals to thousands of needy children in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The Corporation for National and Community Service awarded its new Nonprofit Capacity Building Program grants totaling $1 million to increase the capacity of nonprofits to improve lives in communities facing economic hardships. The two-year grants were awarded to five organizations to build and implement performance management systems to help achieve greater results for nonprofits in diverse communities.
While FEMA and the State of West Virginia are providing a restart for many homes in the counties hardest hit by June storms, voluntary community service and faith-based organizations are tackling the longer term needs of many households. Voluntary agencies supplement the efforts of FEMA to keep residents warm, safe and dry as well as provide hope. Among the voluntary agencies helping in West Virginia are the American Baptist and Southern Baptist Churches, Appalachian Service Project, Catholic Charities, Community Lutheran Partners, Group Work Camps, Methodist Disaster Recovery and Volunteers in Mission, Southern Appalachian Labor School and some non denominational communities.
NOAA's National Weather Service issued its latest forecast for the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season, reaffirming its May forecast of an active Atlantic hurricane season. In light of this latest forecast, FEMA reminds Americans living in coastal states that the time is now to ensure their family is prepared for a hurricane or other emergency.
A new American Red Cross (ARC) survey shows many web users would turn to social media to seek help for themselves or others during emergencies—and they expect first responders to be listening.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Protection and National Preparedness are hosting a National Dialogue on Preparedness to supplement the mission and recommendations of the Local, State, Tribal, and Federal Preparedness Task Force. At the direction of Congress, the Task Force—comprised of 35 local, state, and tribal members and 24 Federal ex officio members with diverse expertise in homeland security and emergency management—was formed in April to assess the state of disaster preparedness and make recommendations for improvement throughout the nation. The Task Force has been working on this mission since April, through face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, and web-based collaboration. In order to supplement and build upon the discussions of the Task Force membership, DHS is opening a dialogue to a broader range of stakeholders—to include individuals from the private sector, non-governmental and volunteer organizations, additional governmental partners across all levels, and the general public. The Department’s broad stakeholder community is encouraged to join the National Dialogue, by submitting feedback and ideas at: http://preparedness.ideascale.com. DHS appreciates your support by sharing the link with your employees, colleagues, members, or stakeholders so they can participate in this important event. Engaging a wide variety of preparedness stakeholders in this way will help DHS identify similarities and differences for how various organizations view preparedness issues and will also help DHS capture a wide range of diverse perspectives and meaningful input for Preparedness Task Force deliberation. The National Dialogue on Preparedness Website will be open through August 31, and will allow individuals to propose ideas, vote on popular recommendations, and tag discussion topics.