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.

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Dress Warmly This Winter

Remember to stay vigilant of the cold temperatures brought on by winter for both you and your loved ones. Here are some tips on how to keep warm when venturing out in the cold:
  • Dress for winter weather by wearing several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. 
  • Wear mittens, if possible, which are warmer than gloves. 
  • Cover as much exposed areas of your body as possible. This includes wearing a hat and scarf, insulated and waterproof shoes and covering your mouth to protect your face from cold and windburn.  These tips can help to prevent loss of body heat.
Find more winter safety information in the America's PrepareAthon! How to Prepare for a Winter Storm guide.


Heat Your Home Safely

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), half of all home heating fires occur in December, January, and February. Make sure your home heating device is safe by following USFA heating tips to maintain a fire-safe home this winter.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least three (3) feet from all heat sources including fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, space heaters or candles.
  • Never use an oven to heat your home.
  • Only use space heaters that have automatic shut off if it tipped over or becomes too hot.
  • Use a metal or heat-tempered glass screen when using your fireplace.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
For more information on how to keep specific heating devices safe, such as a furnace, space heater, kerosene heater, fireplace or wood stove, visit the USFA's Heating Fire Safety page.


Six Ways to Protect Pets in Winter

If it's too cold for you, it is probably too cold for your pet. Remember to bring animals inside. 

Make sure your four-footed family members stay safe and warm by following these simple guidelines from The Humane Society:
  • Remember to bring your pets inside. Do not leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops. 
  • Exposed skin on noses, ears, and paw pads are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. Even during short walks, short-haired dogs can become cold quickly and may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater. 
  • Rock salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet and may be toxic if ingested. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.  Use pet-safe products whenever possible. 
  • If there are feral or stray cats in your area, they need protection from the elements as well as food and water. Learn more
  • Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. Bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine. 
  • If you encounter a pet left in the cold, politely let the owner know you're concerned. If someone you raise these concerns with continues to neglect their animals, follow these steps to report wintertime neglect .
For more information, visit the Humane Society or find Cold Weather Guidelines for Large Animals and Livestock on


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