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Author: Andrew Velasquez III
Fire Prevention Week - October 7-13 - is a time to reflect on the bravery of our local firefighters who risk, and sometimes sacrifice, their lives to save others.  It is also a time to make sure you and your family have an emergency plan and know the steps to take if confronted by a fire or other emergency. Before joining the FEMA team, I was the Director of the state of Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Executive Director for the city of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management.  I have seen first-hand the devastating effects of fires.  That is why FEMA Region...
Posted On: October 10, 2012
Author: Ernie Mitchell
I have a challenge for you.  Wherever you’re reading this blog post, look around the room you’re in. Do you know two ways that you could safely exit the room in the event of a fire? Sunday marks the beginning of Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 7-13), and the fire service, teachers, and others in your communities across the U.S. will be sharing fire safety tips, with a focus on the importance of knowing how to safely evacuate your home, school, or office during a fire.  We’ll be using the slogan “Have Two Ways Out”, which is a key ingredient in knowing the fire escape plan for...
Posted On: October 5, 2012
Author: Rich Serino
While I was in Colorado Springs for the Building Resilience through Public-Private Partnerships conference last week, I also had the honor of meeting with some of the impressive first responders from the state and local level who fought the Waldo Canyon Fire.The firefighters faced an intense challenge. Sixty-five mile-per-hour winds fanned the flames and pushed the fire up and down mountainsides surrounding the town. More than 32,000 residents were forced to evacuate and the fire consumed more than 18,000 acres.FEMA worked as part of a team of federal, state and local agencies, supporting the...
Posted On: July 30, 2012
Author: Ernest Mitchell
It’s hard to imagine the Fourth of July festivities without a great fireworks display. But celebrations can become tragic when someone is injured or property is damaged by fire. FEMA and the US Fire Administration remind you to prepare for a safe and memorable Independence Day by leaving the fireworks to the professionals. Even those fireworks that are sold legally can cause injuries. Also with many areas of the country under severe drought conditions, the chances of accidentally causing a fire are greatly increased, so they should be avoided in those areas.Did you know that fireworks alone...
Posted On: July 3, 2012
Author: Dan Stoeker
First responders, volunteers, and community and voluntary organizations – these are usually the first people on the ground to help following a disaster.  These key members of the emergency management team are vital in helping communities and individuals prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and are invaluable links between the communities they regularly serve and tribal, local, state, and federal government. The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD) is a coalition of 53 national nonprofit organizations and 55 State/Territory members,...
Posted On: June 29, 2012
Author: Lars Anderson
Editor's Note: This blog was updated at 3:40 p.m.   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.High Wildfire Activity Continues Last week, we mentioned the threat of potential wildfires – unfortunately, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming are all experiencing fire outbreaks that are ongoing. We continue to closely monitor the wildfire activity from our regional offices in Denver...
Posted On: June 15, 2012
Author: Kevin Hannes
Sometimes large-scale events and unforeseen circumstances can slow down recovery efforts, and sometimes all it takes is something small – like a toad. In case you don’t regularly read the Austin American Statesman, you may have missed an interesting story that shows the complex nature of disaster recovery. Those involved with disaster recovery need to think about a wide variety of factors that come into play, including the cleanup efforts’ effects on animals.To set the stage, a historic wildfire season hit Texas in 2011, and we continue to work in support of state and local officials in...
Posted On: January 13, 2012
Author: Public Affairs
PoEmmitsburg, MD, October 16, 2011 -- The names of firefighters who lost their lives in 2010 are unveiled at the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial. Craig Fugate, FEMA Administrator, and Glenn Gaines, Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator for the U.S. Fire Administration, were in attendance to honor those who lost their lives serving their communities, and support the families they leave behind. (Photo courtesy of Fallen Firefighters Foundation)Yesterday, the U.S. Fire Administration and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation hosted a memorial service remembering firefighters who have lost...
Posted On: October 17, 2011
Author: Glenn Gaines
Throughout Fire Prevention Week, I’ve reflected on the changes in how we prepare for and prevent fires, as well as the importance of properly using a fire extinguisher. To wrap up the week, I wanted to remind you that protecting your family and home from fire all begins with prevention. Have working smoke alarms in your home Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms are one of the best and least expensive means of providing an early warning of a potentially deadly fire and could reduce the risk of dying from a fire in your home by almost half. A smoke alarm stands guard around the...
Posted On: October 14, 2011
Author: Glenn Gaines
At the U.S. Fire Administration, we receive numerous questions throughout the year (and especially during Fire Prevention Week) related to home fire safety, but none more so than questions related to fire extinguishers.The use of a fire extinguisher in the hands of a trained adult can be a life and property saving tool. However, a majority of adults have not had fire extinguisher training and may not know how and when to use them. Several years ago when I was still on the job as Chief with the Fairfax County Fire/Rescue department, I recall an incident to which my fire company was dispatched...
Posted On: October 13, 2011