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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Keep Your Tree Safe Throughout the Holiday Season

Although Christmas tree fires are not common, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) says they are more likely to be serious.

Keep your trees watered.  Dry and uncared for trees can catch fire from a short in electrical lights. They can also catch fire from lit candles, lighters, and matches.

Before your tree becomes an issue, be fire smart with these USFA tips:

  • Place the tree away from heat sources and exits.
  • Use only decorations that will not catch fire.
  • Inspect lights for worn wires or other defects before use.
  • Always keep an eye on tree lights. Turn off lights at night.
  • Keep natural tree stands filled with water at all times. Do not let your tree dry out. 
  • If the tree becomes dry, remove it.

Find extra holiday, Christmas tree, and fire safety information on the USFA Holiday Safety page.


Prepare Your Car for Winter

Keep yourself from getting stranded this winter. Store emergency items in your vehicle to handle cold weather, ice, and snow.

There are specific emergency items to store in your vehicle during the winter. There are also maintenance checks to keep you safe, your vehicle warm, and your engine running. 

Follow these tips and find more winter preparedness information from the Ready campaign.

Check or have a mechanic check items, such as:

  • Antifreeze levels
  • Battery and ignition system
  • Brakes
  • Exhaust system
  • Fuel and air filters
  • Heater and defroster
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights
  • Oil
  • Thermosat
  • Windshield wiper equipment  and washer fluid level
  • Winter tires

Add winter items to the emergency kits in your vehicles:

  • Shovel
  • Ice scraper, snow brush
  • Boots, mittens, warm clothes
  • Blanket(s)
  • Tow chain or rope
  • Road salt and sand
  • Tire chains or snow tires

Additional winter preparedness tips are available to keep your family safe and warm all winter long. To view more, download Prepareathon's How to Prepare for a Winter Storm guide


Prepare to Apply for a Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Award

Protect your community from wildfire by applying for a $500 Wildfire Community Preparedness Day  grant through the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, Saturday, May 5, 2018,  encourages communities to work together to address their wildfire risk.

From January 8 through March 2, 2018, NFPA welcomes applications for one of 150 funding awards. Develop a plan now to work with partners and identify wildfire risks in your community. NFPA's Firewise USA site has resources you can use to understand your risk. To view past projects, visit the 2017 Success Stories .

For more information on wildfire preparedness, visit the U.S. Fire Administration's Wildfire page


Training Rescheduled: Building a Roadmap to Resilience – A Whole Community Training

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland, rescheduled the Building a Roadmap to Resilience course (E426) for May 21-25, 2018 .

This course helps communities build upon the Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management. Participants will develop a community preparedness plan. They will receive tools to establish a community coalition. They will also learn how to encourage local leaders to expand resilience in the community.

The target audience for this course includes community stakeholders interested in disaster resilience, and emergency management professionals with less than three years of experience who support or implement inclusive emergency management, community disaster planning, preparedness activities, and community outreach partners at the state and local levels. Students should have a basic understanding of the fundamentals of emergency management and community preparedness.

To register for this course, please submit a completed General Admission Application, FEMA Form 119-25-1 to your State Training Officer . For more information about this course, please contact Steven (Tyler) Krska at . Please visit to learn about additional FEMA training and education opportunities.


Important Dates to Remember


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