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

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Emergency Kit: The Hunt is On

Who's ready for some adventure? Next week the focus for National Preparedness Month will be “ How to…Build an Emergency Kit .” America's PrepareAthon! and would like you to participate in a scavenger hunt to find items that should be in your emergency kit.

The scavenger hunt will be conducted September 15-19 via Twitter using #BuildaKit. The handles @PrepareAthon and @Readygov will provide clues four times a day (10 AM, 12 PM, 2 PM and 4 PM). As clues are given, answer with a picture of the emergency kit item. Be sure to study the basic disaster supply kit list at . Answers will be revealed an hour after a clue is provided by two very familiar “flat” friends .

  • Date: September 15 – 19, 2014
  • Time: 10 AM – 4 PM (Eastern Time)
  • Participate: On Twitter by following #BuildaKit as @PrepareAthon and @Readygov give clues

We encourage you to participate and spread the word about this scavenger hunt. Building a kit is also a simple and low-cost option for taking part in America's PrepareAthon! Don't forget to register for the National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30.


Readiness for Military Families

Readiness is the military equivalent to preparedness – and the military is ready! Ready to train, exercise or deploy worldwide with sometimes short notice . Like civilians, military personnel and their families should have an emergency preparedness plan ready to be implemented before, during and after disasters. In addition, military families should have contingency emergency plans for any changes in the family's circumstances while a family member is deployed.

To help military families with their emergency planning, each installation has a Readiness and Emergency Management (R&EM) Flight that provides emergency management education materials and briefings to military personnel and their family members. The R&EM Flight helps families develop their emergency plans and resources as well as understand the base's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP).

Military families tend to relocate frequently, so it is critical that when arriving at a new station the whole family becomes familiar with common local hazards. Revising their family emergency communication plan and setting up local alerts and warnings should also be a priority.

Check out this video for more information on why preparing makes sense for military families. You can also visit for great resources and tips for military families. For additional helpful tips, tools, and resources for military families stationed abroad, please visit the American Red Cross website.


Drill into Action

Out of the devastation of disasters come valuable learning opportunities. In July 2006, Lake County, OH experienced an intense flood when ten inches of rain raised the Grand River 11 feet above flood level. Hundreds of residents were displaced from their homes for days and found their valuables damaged beyond repair. Lake County residents formed a Citizen Corps Council to ensure they were prepared the next time an event like this occurred. Seven years later, in July 2013, their community experienced another major flood.

Lake County Citizen Corps learned from the 2006 flood that a Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) is an important asset during disaster recovery. In order to prepare their community and Citizen Corps members, they performed a full scale VRC drill to ensure they could operate one efficiently. The American Red Cross lead the exercise with 20 members of the community including, but not limited to Citizen Corps volunteers, staff from the Lake County Emergency Operation Center, Lake Metro Parks and others.

Lake County Citizen Corps' training and drilling proved valuable when their community was hit with another flood in 2013. Just 24 hours after a local state of emergency was declared by the County Commissioners, the Lake County Citizen Corps Council stood up a VRC, which received a total of 63 referrals from the 2-1-1 —an information and referral search phone line—regarding residents with disabilities and older residents. Citizen Corps volunteers assisted by:

  • Making phone calls to verify that the residents who requested assistance through 2-1-1 received flood related clean-up; and
  • Following-up with 2-1-1 referrals to check on the residents' condition.

America's PrepareAthon! stresses the importance of being prepared for a disaster by taking action through drills, exercises or discussions. When a flood hit Lake County again, their Citizen Corps was able to quickly set-up a VRC that ran efficiently thanks participating in a VRC drill and completing intensive VRC training beforehand. If you are interested in organizing an exercise or other activity to help ensure your community is prepared, we encourage you to check out the resources available at , including playbooks for local leaders for planning and organizing events, and free customizable communications tools and resources. Just select a hazard that may impact your community to get started. Once you plan your event, we hope you'll share it with other communities throughout the country by registering for America's PrepareAthon! and visiting the America's PrepareAthon! “Add Events” page.


Updated: Citizen Corps/CERT Registration System

The Citizen Corps/CERT Registration system has been updated. We appreciate everyone's patience throughout this process. Below are some reminders about this update:

You can also view the webinar we hosted for the FEMA Regional Community Preparedness Officers and the State Citizen Corps and CERT Program Managers to demo the new registration system. The recording is available at .

Continue to provide your feedback and question at .


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.