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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Now Open: 2017 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards Application Period

The wait is over! The application period for the 2017 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards is now open.

The awards highlight innovative local practices and achievements by individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions toward strengthening their community to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate a disaster.

To be considered for this year's awards, all applications must be sent to  by May 30, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EDT and feature program activities occurring between January 1, 2016 and May 30, 2017. For more information on how to apply, visit: .


Protect Your Property During Wildfire Season

Learn how to keep your home safe from wildfires with tips from the National Fire Protection Association's Firewise Communities Program and then take part in a nationwide effort for wildfire preparedness.

On Saturday, May 6, participate in Wildfire Community Preparedness Day by clearing your property of dried leaves, branches and other items that may fuel a wildfire .

Firewise recommends landscaping principles to minimize damage and prevent losses, such as:

  • Clear needles, leaves and other debris from the roof, gutters, eaves, porches and decks.
  • Remove flammable items within 30 feet of all structures including firewood piles, portable propane tanks and dry and dead vegetation.
  • Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire so keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, trim it to reduce fire intensity, and don't let debris and lawn cuttings linger.
  • Fire can spread to tree tops. If you have tall trees on your property, prune low hanging branches six to ten feet from the ground and for smaller trees, prune low hanging branches no more than a third of the tree's height. Remove tall grasses, vines and shrubs from under trees.

For more information, read the “ How to Prepare for a Wildfire ” guide. 


Prepare Your Business During National Small Business Week

You can use National Small Business Week, April 30 – May 6, to prepare your organization for a variety of emergencies like fires, floods, cyber threats, and other disasters.

Start by completing a Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan from the Small Business Administration (SBA).The SBA also highlights other resources to help you protect employees, lessen the financial impact of disasters, and quickly re-open.

Use these Resources

For more information on disaster assistance, loan programs, and emergency preparedness for small businesses visit the SBA Emergency Preparedness page.


Webinar: Improving Fire Safety and Arson Awareness for Faith-Based and Community Organizations

On Tuesday, May 9, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the DHS Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships, and U.S. Department of Justice will host a webinar in support of National Arson Awareness Week. This webinar will highlight federal resources and practices that can help community organizations and houses of worship improve fire safety and arson awareness collaborations with the first responder community. Topics of interest will include arson awareness, fire safety, wildfire safety and emergency operations planning.

Title: Improving Fire Safety and Arson Awareness for Faith-Based and Community Organizations

Date: Tuesday, May 9

Time:  2 – 3 p.m. ET

Moderator: Nicole Wood – DHS Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships


  • Tim O'Dowd – U.S. Fire Administration
  • Eric Treene – U.S. Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights
  • Scott Breor – DHS National Preparedness and Protection Directorate
  • Benjamin Berger – FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division

How to Join the Webinar:

We hope to that you will be able to join us on May 9!


Important Dates to Remember


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.