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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Season's Gr-Eatings!

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home fires involving cooking equipment. By making safety part of the Thanksgiving dinner menu, you can avoid preventable cooking fires. Here are some steps to follow when preparing your holiday feast:

  • Test your smoke alarms to make sure they are working;
  • Keep children at least 3 feet away from the stove; and
  • Keep an eye on what you are cooking.

In recent years, deep-frying turkeys has become a popular cooking method. While fried turkey may be a tasty addition to your meal, cooking with deep-fat turkey fryers can be a recipe for disaster! They have a high risk of tipping over, overheating or spilling hot oil - which can lead to fires, burns and other injuries.

For a safer alternative to deep-frying your bird, the National Fire Protection Association encourages the use of an outdoor turkey cooking appliance that does not use oil .


It's a Clean Sweep

When the temperatures fall, many people use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired appliances to heat their homes. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fires in the U.S. Fires confined to chimneys, flues or fuel burners account for 87 percent of these tragedies and are often due to creosote buildup in chimneys and stovepipes. The U.S. Fire Administration encourages these steps and more to keep your home fires burning safely:

  • Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned yearly by a certified chimney specialist;
  • Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace opening to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out;
  • Do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate any fire; and
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating sources.

Home fires occur more often in the winter months than any other time of the year. Learn how to properly build and maintain a fire to heat your home with this video series hosted by the National Fire Academy Deputy Superintendent. The series includes an overview on inspecting your fireplace, appropriate materials to burn, and how to control the fire to prevent unwanted accidents.


Updated: Citizen Preparedness Survey Database

Looking for the latest research on preparedness? The Citizen Corps website houses the “Citizen Preparedness Survey Database” filled with hundreds of disaster preparedness surveys. This database serves as a repository for disaster preparedness-related research studies. The database is updated annually to include new key search terms and surveys made available online in the past year. All studies included in the database: 

  • Survey the general public at the national, regional, or city level (and may also sample special populations, e.g., Katrina evacuees, businesses, or schools);
  • Examine individual or organizational concerns about, or preparedness for, a disaster or terrorist attack;
  • Survey U.S. residents; and
  • Were conducted after September 11, 2001.

Now you can go to one location to find more than 400 studies on disaster preparedness. The studies are broken into the following categories:

  • Public Preparedness;
  • Business Continuity; and
  • School Disaster Preparedness.

To view the latest research and check out this database visit: .


Countdown to Citizen Corps and CERT Information Deadline

We are asking that all local programs update their information in the registration system by no later than November 28 . Citizen Corps and CERT information collected by this deadline will be included in the 2015 National Preparedness Report.

Updating your online profiles provides us with information that we can use to justify continued Federal support for the Citizen Corps and CERT programs, including:

  • The website and all of its free downloadable resources and an online searchable directory of programs;
  • Free printed materials for registered programs through the FEMA Warehouse;
  • Technical assistance and support through the Citizen Corps and CERT inboxes;
  • Recognition programs like the Individual and Community Preparedness Awards;
  • Outreach and education efforts, including regular e-briefs and webinars; and
  • The development of new content and updates to existing content, including the CERT curriculum and supporting materials.

While we encourage you to update any new information in your online profiles, we are particularly interested in updates to the following for 2014:

  • Numbers of individuals trained;
  • Number of trainings conducted;
  • Number of volunteers and volunteer hours;
  • Council membership;
  • Number of exercises; and
  • Funding sources.

We hope that you will take the time to update your profiles, so that all of the great work you've done will be accounted for in the National Preparedness Report and elsewhere! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at or at . Thank you!


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.