Emergency Management

Be Prepared for the Holiday Season


Individual and Community Preparedness eBrief

u s d h s f e m a

December 7, 2017

In this issue:

         Celebrate Safely this Holiday Season

         Stay Safe: Wildfires Can Happen Anywhere, Anytime

         Is the 鈥淚nvisible Killer鈥 in Your Home?

         Prepare to Apply for a Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Award

         Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Webinar: Sharing Lessons Learned from Recent Disasters

         Important Dates to Remember



Celebrate Safely this Holiday Season

Keep candles 12 inches from things that can burnEntertaining and celebrating with family and friends is what the holiday season is all about. 


This year, take some time to learn about potential fire hazards related to cooking, candles, decorations, electrical cords, and heating devices.


Keep your holiday parties safe with these https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/holiday.html">U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) tips:

  • Test your smoke alarms and tell your guests about your https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/escape.html">home fire escape plan.
  • Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking at high temperatures like frying, grilling or broiling.
  • Ask people who smoke to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them, so young children do not touch them.
  • Keep doorways and exit paths clear of furniture and decorations.


Find more holiday and fire safety information on the USFA https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/holiday.html">Holiday Safety page.




Stay Safe: Wildfires Can Happen Anywhere, Anytime

Wildfire Graphichttps://www.fema.gov/blog/2017-12-06/southern-california-fire-update">With several active wildfires affecting the Western United States, it is important to know how to stay safe with information and resources from Prepareathon鈩.


Wildfires can happen anywhere in the country and at any time of year. If you see a wildfire approaching, call 911 to report the fire. Do not assume that someone else reported it and follow these tips from https://community.fema.gov/hazard/wildfire-en_us/be-smart?lang=en_US">Prepareathon鈥檚 How to Prepare for a Wildfire Guide:


If ordered to evacuate:

  • Leave immediately.
  • Help firefighters, if there is time before you leave. Some of the things to help include closing up the house and leaving lights on for visibility, as well as moving flammable materials to the center of the home, away from windows. You can also leave hoses connected to a water source, so they are available for the fire department.
  • Text SHELTER and your ZIP code (e.g., SHELTER 20472) to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area. Follow local media for more information on shelters.


If trapped in your home:

  • Call 9-1-1 and provide your location, if possible. Please be aware that during a major event such as a wildfire, emergency services may be overwhelmed, and a response may be delayed or impossible.
  • Turn on the lights to increase the visibility of your home in heavy smoke.
  • Keep doors, windows, vents, and fire screens closed.
  • Keep your doors unlocked.
  • Move flammable materials (e.g., curtains, furniture) away from windows and sliding glass doors.
  • Fill sinks and tubs with water to assist in dousing small smoldering fires, which may pop up.
  • Stay inside, away from outside walls and windows.


For more information on wildfire safety, review https://community.fema.gov/hazard/wildfire-en_us/be-smart?lang=en_US">Prepareathon鈥檚 How to Prepare for a Wildfire guide, or watch the https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWhTdfHQWqs">When the Fire Starts video. You can also read about https://www.buzzfeed.com/briannasacks/as-wildfires-rip-through-southern-california-heres-how?utm_term=.cpQJAbw3zE#.ip6JGjEywg">California鈥檚 use of FEMA鈥檚 Wireless Emergency Alerts during the recent wildfires.  





Is the 鈥淚nvisible Killer鈥 in Your Home?

Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.Carbon monoxide (CO) is the 鈥渋nvisible killer鈥 because it is a colorless, odorless, and poisonous gas.


According to the https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/carbon_monoxide.html">U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), more than 150 people in the United States die every year from accidental nonfire-related CO poisoning from household products, like generators. Other products include faulty, improperly-used or incorrectly-vented, fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters, and fireplaces.


Breathe easy this winter and avoid CO poisoning with these USFA tips:

  • Install and maintain CO alarms in a central location outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of your home to provide an early warning of CO.
  • Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, and vents.
  • Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.


Learn the symptoms of CO poisoning and other CO safety information on the USFA https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/carbon_monoxide.html">Carbon Monoxide Safety page.




Prepare to Apply for a Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Award

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, Saturday, May 5, 2018Strengthen your wildfire preparedness by participating in https://community.nfpa.org/external-link.jspa?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nfpa.org%2FPublic-Education%2FCampaigns%2FNational-Wildfire-Community-Preparedness-Day">next year鈥檚 Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on May 5, 2018.  


This opportunity encourages communities to work together to address their wildfire risk.


Develop a plan now to collaborate with agency partners and identify the risks to your community. The https://community.nfpa.org/external-link.jspa?url=http%3A%2F%2Ffirewise.org%2F%3Fsso%3D0">National Fire Protection Association鈥檚 Firewise USA site has resources you can use to understand what your risks are in the home ignition zone.


Create your plan and get ready to apply next year from January 8 through March 2, 2018, for one of 150 funding awards. Participate on this day to be a part of helping to create safer, more resilient communities across the Nation.


On Wednesday, December 13, the Federal Emergency Management Agency鈥檚 Individual and Community Preparedness Division invites you to a webinar featuring several Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programs from Florida, Texas and California to share their experiences and lessons learned from responding to the recent disasters. This webinar will also provide you with an opportunity to ask questions and share your knowledge.Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Webinar: Sharing Lessons Learned from Recent Disasters

https://icpd.adobeconnect.com/certlessons1/event/registration.html">CERT Webinar: Sharing Lessons Learned from Recent Disasters
Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Time:  3:00 鈥 4:30 p.m. EDT

  • James Cunningham, North Collier Fire Rescue, Florida
  • Christy Rojas, CERT Program Manager, Volunteer Florida
  • John Ignatcyzk and Christopher Winn, Los Angeles City Fire Department, California
  • Jake Heflin, Long Beach City Fire, California
  • Lisa Rubey, New Braunfels CERT, Texas
  • Doris Hermann, Galveston County CERT, Texas

How to Join the Webinar:

We hope you will be able to join us on December 13!

December 13 at 3 p.m. ET: https://icpd.adobeconnect.com/certlessons1/event/registration.html">CERT Webinar - Sharing Lessons Learned from Recent DisastersImportant 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 newslettersby contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Contact Us

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u s d h s f e m a




gary ballGary Ball
Emergency Management Director.
+1 580 255 3411

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