Emergency Management News

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wireless Emergency Alerts

Have you ever noticed a unique sound and vibration coming from your cell phone?  You may have received a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) - a nationwide emergency alert system notifying you of a pending emergency in your area. These messages provide information about extreme weather warnings, local emergencies, AMBER Alerts™, and Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.
WEAs look like a text message and show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert. If you receive a WEA, follow any directions advised by the message and seek additional information from local media or authorities.
WEAs are sent by authorized government agencies through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service.
WEA messages can save lives! To learn more check, out FEMA’s WEA Public Service Announcements and the Be Smart. Know Your Alerts and Warnings guide from America’s PrepareAthon!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How You Can Help the American Red Cross #RedCross

Since March is Red Cross month, now is a good time to get involved with one of the nation’s leading humanitarian organizations dedicated to assisting people in need throughout the United States and the world. Since 2006, the Red Cross and FEMA have worked together to help government agencies and community organizations provide food, shelter, and family reunification services for people affected by disasters.
Each year, the Red Cross responds to about 70,000 natural and man-made disasters in the U.S.  In the past this organization and its partners have opened 1,400 evacuation shelters for disaster survivors, provided services for nearly 450,000 evacuees, and provided more than 68 million hot meals in the U.S. alone.
To provide these services, the Red Cross depends on public support. There are many ways to get involved. You can make a donationvolunteer in your community, give blood, or become a digital advocate, among other things. To learn more about how you can help, visit RedCross.org.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Volunteer with Fire Corp #OKfire

If you’re looking for more ways to volunteer in your community, consider joining your local Fire Corps program. Fire Corps allows community members to support their local fire and EMS departments in a non-emergency role, which enables department members to focus on emergency response and training.
Fire Corps volunteers use their skills to assist with various tasks, including:
  • Providing food and water to first responders;
  • Conducting fire prevention and life safety education; and
  • Distributing disaster preparedness materials.
Recently, members of the Burbank Fire Corps program in Burbank, CA engaged with the community to spread the preparedness message during several local events. At a shopping event called Ladies Night Out, volunteers set up booths with emergency preparedness information, passed out pamphlets about smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and encouraged residents to sign up for the Burbank Fire Department’s EMS subscription program.
At another event, Burbank Fire Corps shared safety information with kids during an outdoor movie screening and family day. All events were a great opportunity to provide tips for personal, household, and community preparedness.
Interested in serving? There are more than 1,500 Fire Corps programs in the U.S. and more than 21,000 volunteers. Find a program near you and volunteer today!  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Serve with CERT! #OKready

Volunteering, like disaster preparedness, is a year-round activity. If members of your community are looking for opportunities to give back this year, consider encouraging them to join your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Team members receive training in basic medical operations, light search and rescue, and many other useful disaster skills. After competing their training, CERT volunteers may support their communities in a variety of different ways before, during, and after emergencies, including by providing information to the public, conducting residential checks, supporting traffic and crowd control efforts, staffing emergency operations centers, and more. CERT teams are typically sponsored by fire departments, police departments, or other local emergency management agencies that provide training to and manage volunteers. 
There are more than 2,300 CERT programs nationwide that help their communities in a variety of different ways. Watch this video showing the Bridgewater, MA CERT in action during a recent blizzard that left the town without power; then check out FEMA’s blog and CERT Newsletter archiveshighlighting other great activities from teams around the country.   
Learn more about CERT, find a team in your area, and encourage community members to start volunteering today. If a program doesn’t exist in your area, you may be able to help create one by contacting your State’s Point of Contact.