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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Cook Safely for Thanksgiving

Prevent your Thanksgiving from going up in flames.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) , cooking is the main cause of home fires. Also, the peak day for home cooking fires is Thanksgiving.

Keep your holiday safe and fun. Follow these tips from the USFA:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the burner.
  • Watch what you are cooking. Fires start when the heat is too high. If you see any smoke or the grease starts to boil, turn the burner off.
  • If you simmer, bake, or roast food, check it regularly and use a timer to remind you.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire (oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packages, towels, and curtains) away from your stovetop.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Then, no one can bump them or pull them over.
  • Keep a pan lid or baking sheet nearby.  Use it to cover the pan if it catches fire. This will put the fire out.
  • In the event of an oven fire, turn off the oven and keep the door closed until it is cool.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot, and kids should stay three feet away.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

For more tips, visit the USFA's Cooking Fire Safety page . If you plan to deep fry your turkey, download the Prevent a Turkey Fryer Fire tip sheet. 


Volunteer this Veterans Day

Saturday, November 11, is Veterans Day. You can show your appreciation for our Nation's veterans by volunteering.

As the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) notes, “ We may never be able to repay them for their sacrifice, but we can show them just how much we appreciate all that they have done.” Observe Veterans Day by volunteering your time to honor America's service members. The VA offers several ways to volunteer:

For more information, visit . The American Red Cross also has volunteer opportunities for those that want to support military families. 


One Million Free Smoke Alarms Installed

Last week, the American Red Cross announced that its  Home Fire Campaign installed one million free smoke alarms. 

Due to the efforts of volunteers and community partners who participated in the campaign, 285 lives have been saved . The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program provided funding for this initiative, and several Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) volunteered for the campaign.

FEMA also encourages CERTs throughout the Nation to join the American Red Cross in Sound the Alarm community events this spring.  From April 28 to May 13, 2018, this initiative plans to install 100,000 free smoke alarms across more than 100 major cities.

Joining is simple! Follow these steps to sign up to be a Sound the Alarm volunteer:

  1. Go to .
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your zip code to find a nearby event.
  3. Scroll down again and click the region nearest you.
  4. Scroll down again to “Volunteer Opportunities,” click the event that works for you. Once you choose the event, fill out the short application.
  5. Be sure to type “CERT team/program name” in the Group/Organization field so FEMA can recognize your participation.


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

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