Preparedness Newsletter

This Digest is provided by FEMA's Individual & Community Preparedness Division to highlight community preparedness and resilience resources, an important part of FEMA's mission to help people before, during, and after disasters. We're building a culture of preparedness together.

Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter

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September 2019: National Preparedness Month, National Household Survey Results, Head Start Prepares, and more


In This Issue:
Ready Tips
CERT & Communities
Children & Disasters
Financial Preparedness
Important Dates


Ready Tips

September is National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month (NPM) is recognized each September. It's a great time for families to review preparedness steps. The 2019 theme is “Prepared, Not Scared.” Each week of the month highlights a different preparedness topic. Learn more tips here.


CERT & Communities

Preparación para Todos:  Listos Educates the Whole Community

September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month. This month recognizes the important contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. One program known for such contributions is LISTOS. LISTOS was recently featured at the California For All CERT and LISTOS Conference.

Based in California, LISTOS is an emergency preparedness course tailored to Spanish speakers. Translated from Spanish, “listos” means “smart,” “ready,” or “prepared.” This program addresses barriers Spanish speakers might face, even beyond language. For example, some people may feel intimidated when they interact with emergency responders. Additionally, cost and time to prepare can also be barriers. Read more…

Coming soon!

FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Division is excited to announce a new resource for Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) coming soon. “OPEN: Organizations Preparing for Emergency Needs” is a course that will be available online and for download. The course is designed for those who own, manage, or work for CBOs, like food banks and childcare facilities. It will help participants learn to:

  • Describe the important roles your organization plays in incidents.
  • Identify risks to your organization.
  • Describe the actions you can take to help your organization prepare for incidents.
  • Locate resources to help you take preparedness actions.

Stay tuned for updates coming soon!


Children & Disasters

Head Start Program Training to Prepare and Recover Faster

It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about disasters, but childcare plays an important role in disaster recovery. Imagine a family affected by a hurricane. Their house may need repairs, neighbors may need help, and money could be a concern. Parents depend on safe and reliable childcare. If a community childcare center cannot open, then parents cannot return to work. Businesses lose workers, and stores lose customers. This can affect the ability of the whole community to recover. This is especially true in historically under-served communities where Head Start centers have a heavy presence. Preparing Head Start and other early childhood education centers is vital to recovery. Read more…

Webinar: Youth Can Help with Preparedness

Join FEMA this National Preparedness Month (NPM) for a webinar on youth preparedness. Youth preparedness is a key theme for NPM this year. This webinar will feature FEMA experts and a member of the Youth Preparedness Council (YPC). They will discuss the needs of children and families before, during, and after disasters. They will also talk about how YPCs can improve community resilience. Finally, they will share new programs and tools for kids launched this year.

The webinar will be Tuesday, September 24, 12:00-1:00 PM EDT. Learn more and register here.

Share Your Stories

If you have a story, event, or resource you would like to share, let us know at

FEMA Region V Hosts Inaugural Regional Youth Preparedness Summit

FEMA Region V recently hosted its first Regional Youth Preparedness Council Summit. FEMA Region V serves Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin and held the Summit in Chicago, Illinois. The Summit lasted two days from July 31 to August 1, 2019.

At the Summit, Council members met with FEMA staff, state partners, and other organizations working on youth preparedness. They also met with Regional Administrator James K. Joseph and explored career paths with a panel of FEMA employees. Hannah Schultz, a member of the national Youth Preparedness Council from Region V, also attended. She shared her experiences and will be a mentor to the Region V Council Members.

Each year, members complete projects in their schools and communities. This year, they started preparedness clubs at their high schools, gave out supplies for preparedness kits, hosted Student Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP) events, and organized trainings. During the Summit, the Council members presented these projects. They also shared their ideas to help FEMA to reach more young people in building a culture of preparedness.

This year, four returning Council members will be joined by three new members. Stay tuned for more from FEMA Region V's Regional Youth Preparedness Council and learn more here.


Financial Preparedness

Start Small, Save Up for Emergencies

This September, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is joining FEMA for National Preparedness Month. Together, they will highlight the importance of emergency savings and financial preparedness.

Savings is critical to your financial well-being. A lack of short-term savings can cause financial stress. It can also result in significant financial hardship when the unexpected happens. People generally don't expect medical emergencies, natural disasters, or an expensive car or home repair. But these things can happen at any time. Having an emergency fund allows you to better withstand a financial shock.

In February 2019, the CFPB launched the Start Small, Save Up initiative to increase awareness of the importance of saving. Read more…

Your Disaster Checklist

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Ready campaign, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFP) are excited to announce the newly co-branded Your Disaster Checklist! Collecting, copying, and storing your financial information now could help you avoid unnecessary challenges during and after a disaster. It could also help you recover faster. Use this checklist to make sure you have the information and documents you need.

Your Disaster Checklist will soon be available to order for free from the CFPB warehouse. You can also download and print it here. Get your disaster checklist today!


Register Your Event

Register your event today Whether you are hosting a Prepareathon, CERT training, or other preparedness event—be counted, get access to resources, and share with others!


Important Dates


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 - - TWITTER: @Readygov


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