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.

Your June 2020 Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter

Be heard…Email comments or suggestions to us at


In this issue:

Ready Tips

CERT & Communities

Children & Disasters

Financial Preparedness

Important Dates


Ready Tips

Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies

As communities around the country follow stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many people may have welcomed new pets into their homes! While enjoying quality time with your pets, we encourage you to prepare by considering your pet in your emergency planning.

Consider the following to ensure that you and your pets are prepared in case of an emergency:

  • Include your pets in your emergency plans. Remember that what is typically best for you is typically best for your pet, too;
  • Build a separate emergency kit for your pets. Ensure you include food, water, medicine, a favorite toy, and other essential items;
  • Be sure to keep digital records, such as medical and veterinary information, and pictures that you can use to identify your pet after a disaster in case you become separated; and
  • Create a list of places, such as pet-friendly hotels, boarding facilities, or veterinary offices, that accept pets if an emergency happens and you need to leave your home. Keep in mind that, with the current COVID-19 pandemic, many hotels or shelters may be operating under new guidelines. Be sure to research current rules for your state and city.

To learn more about pet preparedness and find tips and tools for both pet and large animal owners, please visit


CERT & Communities

CERT Volunteers Foster a Sense of Community

In addition to making cloth face coverings and assisting with traffic flow at hospitals, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers are connecting community residents and boosting morale during the COVID-19 pandemic by rallying neighbors to check in on each other, hosting radio call-in shows, and offering translation services.

Opening Lines of Communication

Hoboken, NJ, CERT volunteer and professional interpreter Vivian Huang spearheaded an effort to staff a call center that can respond to requests for COVID-19 assistance in 11 languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Italian, and Russian. Read more...

Community Caring for Those in Need

Across the country, people are practicing social distancing and following stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. This “new normal” has not stopped community-based organizations (CBOs) from stepping up with innovative ways to help people cope with their new routines. CBOs provide critical lifelines to those who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. For example, CBOs have supplied food pantries with food, workers, and assistance. Food pantries have been particularly essential to the daily survival of many people. At the same time, social distancing has caused feelings of loneliness and isolation. In response, many CBOs are offering people a way to connect with others while still practicing social distancing. Check out the links below for ideas on how to shape your “new normal.” Read more...

New and Improved IS-315 & IS-317 Courses Available Now

FEMA has two new independent study (IS) courses available on the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) website:

  • IS-315: CERT and the Incident Command System (ICS)—this course now includes more content on how Sponsoring Organizations can use CERT, the innovative ways to integrate CERT programs into your response framework, and more! To learn more, please click here.
  • IS-317: Introduction to Community Emergency Response Team—this course now takes less time to complete; includes revised practices that cover the fundamentals of CERT; and covers various ways CERTs can contribute to communities before, during, and after an emergency! To learn more, please click here.

Webinar—Grief and Losses During the COVID-19 Crisis (English and Spanish)

Please join FEMA Region II for a webinar about grief and losses during the COVID-19 crisis. In this webinar, learn about grief, its different types and processes, and the factors that influence grief. Additionally, speakers will share recommendations about positively overcoming the grieving process. These webinars are available in English and Spanish:

  • English: Tuesday, June 16, 2020, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET. To register, click here.
  • Spanish: Wednesday June 17, 2020, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET. To register, click here.

Avoiding COVID-19 Cyber Threats

On May 27, 2020, FEMA Region II held a webinar that provided information about various COVID-19-related cyber threats from the past few months. These cyber threats include the targeting of remote access services, distribution of phishing campaigns, and compromised websites. Krista Valenzuela, who leads the Cyber Threat Intelligence and Analysis Bureau at the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell (NJCCIC), covered best practices and recommendations to reduce victimization from these threats. Click here to view the recorded session.

Updated Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Trainings Coming in September

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) will deliver two updated  Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) courses in September:

  • E428: CERT Train the Trainer, September 21-23, 2020
  • E427: CERT Program Manager, September 24, 2020

The courses will include information from the revised CERT Basic Training. Interested CERT leaders should contact their Sponsoring Organization and state training officers to register to attend.

Webinar—Stress Management Related to Isolation, Social Distancing, and Quarantine (English and Spanish)

Please join FEMA Region II for webinars on stress management related to isolation, social distancing, and quarantine. These webinars feature guest speakers from Americares. Speakers will discuss how to identify the difference between the terms isolation, social distancing, and quarantine. Additionally, they will share strategies to support the well-being of adults and children. These webinars are available in English and Spanish:

  • English: Thursday, June 11, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET. To register, click here.
  • Spanish: Thursday, June 18, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET. To register, click here.

Webinar—Community Assets Mapping

Join FEMA Region II on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, from noon to 1:00 p.m. ET and hear from Keith Adams, who is the executive director of New Jersey Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NJVOAD). He will discuss how to identify community assets and resources that can be used to meet community needs and to strengthen the community. To register, please click here.

2020 Hurricane Season Briefing

On May 28, 2020, FEMA Region II held a webinar hosted by the Caribbean Area Office in Puerto Rico. During the webinar, Ernesto Morales and Ernesto Rodriguez, meteorologists from the Puerto Rico National Weather Service Office, provided an overview of the 2020 Hurricane Season Forecast. In this session, they reviewed the forecasts for the year, information about extreme weather preparedness, and information from the National Hurricane Center. Click here to view the recorded session.


Children & Disasters

Youth Reflect on COVID-19 Uncertainties

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended everyday life, and young people across America have seen their daily routines change. Many schools across the country have implemented digital learning, and in-person hangouts have turned into virtual gatherings on platforms like Zoom. We asked members of FEMA’s National Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) and Regional Youth Preparedness Councils about how their lives have changed, the challenges they’re facing, how their YPC training has helped them cope, and the lessons they’ve learned. They responded with thoughtful answers that reflect both worries about today and hope for the future. Read more...


Financial Preparedness

Resources to Help with COVID-19 Financial Uncertainty

Despite the financial uncertainty COVID-19 has caused millions of people across the United States, there are many resources to help. Agencies across the government offer a variety of a variety of tools and programs to assist. Please find a summary of these resources below.

Consumer Protection

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has shared new tools to help with financial difficulty. These resources provide information on what to do when you can’t pay your bills and a guide to COVID-19 economic stimulus relief. There is also advice for protecting your credit and avoiding COVID-19 scams. In addition to English, some information is available in other languages as well.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also has information in both English and Spanish about scams and fraud arising from the pandemic and is tracking complaints and reports on COVID-19-related issues. The FTC has published eleven videos that offer tips about coronavirus scams. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warns about investment fraud, which may occur when a company claims that its products or services will be used to help stop disease outbreak. Read more...

Plan Now with the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK)

As people continue to stay at home to slow the spread of COVID-19, consider taking some time to review your finances and ensure you have all the documents you need in an easily accessible place. Having important financial information available to you can help you find peace of mind during a time of uncertainty. Visit to access free tools for financial preparedness, including the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK), which includes forms that can be filled out online. Read more...


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


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

Social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.