At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.
Cold temperatures, snow, and ice have impacted millions across the U.S., especially in the last few weeks. I have been sharing winter safety tips on a weekly basis in each What We’re Watching post, but it never hurts to have a few more. If any of these look familiar, it’s because these tips were shared on many of FEMA’s social media accounts this week, too!
- During winter months, keep your car's gas tank at least half full for emergencies. This should keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Winter storms & blizzards can knock out power. Make sure your home emergency kit is stocked up with extra blankets, gloves, and hats – and that you also have a plan to stay warm if power cannot be quickly restored.
- Some great emergency kit items for your car during the winter months: a shovel, flashlights, water, matches, blankets, booster cables & emergency flares.
- If winter weather is expected in your area, listen to a NOAA weather radio & follow local news for the latest forecast and conditions.
Fire safety for the winter months
We all know winter means colder days and nights, but did you know the number of home fires tends to increase during the winter months, too? This is due in part to an increase in cooking and heating fires, as well as people using alternative heating sources for their home.
So take a few minutes this weekend to check your home’s smoke alarms and review your family’s fire escape plan – those are two small things that can make all the difference if a fire occurs. For more winter fire safety tips, visit the U.S. Fire Administration’s website, or check out this video:
We are also watching a few upcoming events, so mark these on your calendar!
- Great Central U.S. ShakeOut - On February 7 at 10:15 a.m. Central time, over 2 million people will stop what they’re doing to participate in an earthquake drill and "Drop. Cover. Hold on." Signup today to participate and then check out Ready.gov/earthquakes to learn how you can prepare your home, workplace or school for an earthquake.
- Think Tank - The next FEMA Think Tank Conference Call is scheduled for Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 12:00 PM EST. The call is open to anyone, and the theme for the discussion is innovative solutions in emergency management. Here’s a summary of the upcoming call, and you can learn more at fema.gov/thinktank:
Innovation is often thought of as something for the tech or design world, not for government or bureaucracy. The model of connecting government with outside networks has been around for a long time, but FEMA is has successfully taken it to the next level. Soon after Sandy made landfall, FEMA deployed an Innovation Team--a multi-sector, cross functional group with the mission of working with the whole community: government, non-profit and international organizations, volunteer groups, businesses, and concerned citizens. More information on the Innovation Team is available on the recent blog post.
Photo of the Week
Debris from Hurricane Sandy is processed at the Jacob Riis Park where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers works to clean and sort it into piles for recycling. Trash separated from the debris is put into trucks to be hauled to landfills.
For more photos, visit the FEMA Photo Library.
A Fond Farewell
Saying good-bye is always hard, and last Friday was a hard day as FEMA said good-bye to William L. Carwile, III, Administrator for Disaster Operations. After over 40 years of cumulative federal service, Bill retired from the agency. The entire FEMA family wishes Bill all the best and a long and healthy retirement.
Have a safe weekend!