This Citizen Corps News Digest is provided by FEMA's Individual & Community Preparedness Division to highlight community preparedness and resilience resources and activities recently announced by federal agencies and Citizen Corps partners.

DHS -FEMA Updates

Be heard…Email comments or suggestions to us at


After Arthur

Category 2 Hurricane Arthur has finally run its course, but not before making its way up the East Coast with winds reaching 100 mph, tidal surges and flooding. Eleven counties across Coastal North Carolina alone declared a state of emergency! The area experienced flooding and power outages causing damage to local beaches, towns and infrastructure.

Because hurricane season lasts for several months, be sure you know the safest and most efficient ways to begin returning to day-to-day life after such a severe storm:

  • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended;
  • If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe;
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it's not contaminated;
  • Inspect your home for damage; and
  • Walk carefully around the outside your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering.

For additional pre and post hurricane information, visit , and don't forget to review the America's PrepareAthon How to Prepare for a Hurricane guide for additional tips and actions which will help you stay safe!


IS-317, Introduction to CERT, Now Available on EMI Website

Independent Study – 317, Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) has recently been added to the Emergency Management Institute's catalog of free online course offerings. As part of the process of making the course available through EMI, we have made several technical fixes to IS-317 in response to feedback we received from many users over the past several months. Thank you for helping us to make this a better resource.

We will still be featuring a link to IS-317 on the main CERT page at , but that will now redirect users to the appropriate page at EMI.

As a reminder, this course serves as an introduction to CERT for those interested in completing basic CERT training or as a refresher for current team members, but is not equivalent to, and cannot be used in place of, the classroom delivery of the CERT Basic Training. To become a CERT volunteer, you must complete the classroom training. To find a nearby CERT program that offers classroom training, please visit .

IS-317 includes six modules:

  • CERT Basics
  • Fire Safety
  • Hazardous Material and Terrorist Incidents
  • Disaster Medical Operations
  • Search and Rescue
  • Course Summary

The CERT Program educates individuals about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. With proper CERT training, individuals can help protect their families, neighbors and co-workers if a disaster occurs.


Busting Hurricane Myths in a FLASH

How do you know when it's time to evacuate? According to the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), more than 84% of Americans base their evacuation decisions on the category of the hurricane. The reality is that most evacuation circumstances are based on flood and storm surge risk, not wind speed!

At this year's National Hurricane Conference, FLASH launched #bustamyth ; an initiative intended to realign America's views regarding when to evacuate in a tropical storm or hurricane and to dispel other hurricane myths such as:

  • 54% of Americans think taping windows protects from hurricane damage, when in fact it is a waste of time and money and may prove to be dangerous. Permanent wind shutters provide the best protection against flying debris and wind. 
  • 84% of Americans believe they need to evacuate based on wind speed, but in fact the greatest threat to life in a hurricane is flood and storm surge risk. Because hurricanes can be detected ahead of time, take heed of authorized evacuation warnings. Head for higher ground or evacuate to somewhere outside of the projected danger zone of the hurricane.
  • 69% of Americans believe that it costs more than $10,000 to strengthen their homes, when it can be done effectively for little more than $1000. Measures to protect against potential flooding and wind damage include reinforcing windows and roofs, waterproofing basements and elevating critical utilities.

For more facts on how to prepare for a hurricane, check out the America's PrepareAthon How to Prepare for a Hurricane guide!


Last Call for the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking nominations for the 2014 Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience to recognize those who have shown outstanding leadership skills and resilience towards preparedness in their communities in 2013! Don't miss out on your chance to be recognized for your achievements in resilience and preparedness!

The Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience is the DHS's national resilience award for superior leadership and innovation by a private sector individual or organization that exemplifies the qualities and achievements of Rick Rescorla. Those who have had to adapt quickly to changing conditions and rapidly recover from emergency situations show resilience. In 2014, the award will be presented to one "for-profit" and one "not-for-profit" organization.

Candidates may be nominated for the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience until July 17, 2014, 11:59 p.m. EDT. All nominations must be submitted by email to . For further information, including the nomination form, please visit the web page at . Questions concerning the award may be sent to .


Dates for Your Calendar!


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:

About FEMA

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at,,, and Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.