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What We’re Watching: 7/26/13

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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.

Tropical Storms Dorian & Flossie

We continue to closely watch both Tropical Storm Dorian in the Atlantic and Topical Storm Flossie in the Pacific.  Although at this time there are no watches and warnings in effect for either storms, we encourage residents in projected paths to take action now and prepare.  Tropical storms still present dangerous hazards such as winds over 70mph, tornadoes, heavy rain and flooding.  We urge everyone to closely monitor your local weather conditions and follow the instructions of local officials.  Make sure your emergency kit is fully stocked with the things your family may need.  Head over to Ready.gov on your computer or m.fema.gov/hurricanes on your phone for hurricane safety tips and information on tailoring your family’s emergency kit.

We will continue to provide updates on both storms as necessary, especially through our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Public-Private Partnership Conference

As part of our continued efforts to better engage with the private sector, the Department of Homeland Security, in partnership with FEMA, U.S. Northern Command and American Red Cross, are hosting the Third Annual Building Resilience through Public-Private Partnerships Conference next week on July 30-31, 2013. 

The conference attracts participants from the public and private sectors to promote innovation in furthering public-private partnerships to make our neighborhoods and country more resilient.  We’ll be live tweeting from @FEMALive during the conference, so if you’re on Twitter you can follow the conversation by using #PPPconf

Visit FEMA’s Private Sector page for more information on the conference and how we engage our private sector partners.

Photos of the Week

Here’s a few of my favorite photos from the past week. For more photos, head over to our Photo Library.

Union Beach, N.J., July 24, 2013 -- A King Street United Brethren Church volunteer prepares the substructure of a storm battered home before installing insulation. This is a coordinated effort from various non-profit organizations to aid homeowners to rebuild their damaged homes after Hurricane Sandy. Union Beach, N.J., July 24, 2013 -- A King Street United Brethren Church volunteer prepares the substructure of a storm battered home before installing insulation. This is a coordinated effort from various non-profit organizations to aid homeowners to rebuild their damaged homes after Hurricane Sandy.

 

Lyons, Mich., July 25, 2013 --Susan Craft, DPW Maintenance Superintendent, points out to FEMA Project Specialist Ron Hamilton how the bridge is endangered by the loss of riprap during the flooding of the river. FEMA Public Assistance Grants are available following application and inspection, to cover at least 75% of the cost of repair.Lyons, Mich., July 25, 2013 -- Susan Craft, DPW Maintenance Superintendent, points out to FEMA Project Specialist Ron Hamilton how the bridge is endangered by the loss of riprap during the flooding of the river. FEMA Public Assistance Grants are available following application and inspection, to cover at least 75% of the cost of repair.

Have a great (and safe) weekend!

Celebrating the 23rd Anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act

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As we celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 2013, I recall a quote by Justin Dart Jr., the man described as the Father of the ADA.  Dart said, “The vision of justice is an eternal long march to the promised land of the good life for all." 

Now for those that may not know, the ADA is a landmark civil rights law passed in 1990 with bipartisan congressional support and signed by President George H.W. Bush.  The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in areas like employment, participation in State and local government programs, and in most private businesses (public accommodations).  Transportation and effective communication are also addressed in the law.  Many people also don’t realize that for the past 40 years, all Federal agencies and any program that receives even one dollar of federal funding have had similar non-discrimination and inclusion obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, specifically Section 504.  Together the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA provide far reaching civil rights protections for people with disabilities.

The intent of the ADA was to establish a level playing field, a point where we can be equal, active participants in “the system.”  After 23 years, people with disabilities know our ADA rights and more and more often, we are exercising them.  Thanks to the promises and protections of the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act, people with disabilities are no longer content to just sit on the sidelines or be included as an afterthought as other people decide what is best for us.  There is a saying used by people with disabilities, “Nothing about us, without us.”  We want to participate and be involved in making those decisions that affect us. 

The ADA has made incredible progress for the civil rights of people with disabilities but yes, we are still on that “eternal long march to the promised land.”  We continue to break down barriers - physical barriers, programmatic barriers, transportation barriers, communication barriers, employment barriers, technology barriers, and yes, sadly, there are still attitudinal barriers as well.  But things are changing.

In emergency management for example there is a renewed effort across the country to not just “plan for” people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs but instead to “plan with” the whole community.  FEMA, FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, and our Regional Disability Integration Specialists are working with State and local governments, Tribal governments, non-profit groups, and private businesses by providing guidance, resources, and encouragement to include people with disabilities in all aspects of emergency management from planning and exercises to response, recovery, and mitigation.  People with disabilities are getting involved in our communities.  We are now a part of many emergency planning committees, citizen emergency response teams (CERT) and other first responder organizations.

So on this anniversary, we can look back on 23 years of hard earned progress and look to the future with hope of what is yet to come as we “march to the promised land of the good life for all."  

What We’re Watching: 7/19/13

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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.

Weather Outlook

For many parts of the U.S. it’s been a scorcher all week long, but it looks as though things are finally going to cool off as slightly lower temperatures are expected next week. In the meantime, here are some extreme heat safety tips to keep in mind until the cool down arrives:

  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
  • Know those in your neighborhood who are elderly, young, sick or overweight. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help
  • Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
  • Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.
  • Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
  • Drink plenty of water; even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine and limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
  • Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays. Protect your face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.

For more extreme heat safety tips and information, visit www.Ready.gov/heat.

Our friends at the National Weather Service don’t expect any other severe weather over the next couple of days, but as we know weather conditions can rapidly change.  We encourage everyone to monitor your local weather conditions at www.weather.gov or on your mobile phone at http://mobile.weather.gov.

Photos of Week

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the week. You can find more photos at the FEMA Photo Library.


San Francisco, Calif., July 18, 2013 -- Attendees and participants of the 11th FEMA Think Tank listen and contribute to the discussion facilitated by Deputy Administrator Rich Serino at the San Francisco Tech Shop.San Francisco, Calif., July 18, 2013 -- Attendees and participants of the 11th FEMA Think Tank listen and contribute to the discussion facilitated by Deputy Administrator Rich Serino at the San Francisco Tech Shop.

Alakanuk, Alaska, July 16, 2013 -- The Alaska State Coordinating Officer Sam Walton and Federal Coordinating Officer Dolph A. Diemont meet with City Manager James Blowe to discuss the FEMA programs.Alakanuk, Alaska, July 16, 2013 -- The Alaska State Coordinating Officer Sam Walton and Federal Coordinating Officer Dolph A. Diemont meet with City Manager James Blowe to discuss the FEMA programs which will assist in the recovery efforts after severe flooding crippled the entire infrastructure. Federal funding in the form of Public Assistance (PA) is available to state, tribal and eligible local governments and certain nonprofit organizations on a cost sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the flooding in the Alaska Gateway Regional Educational Attendance Area (REAA), Copper River REAA, Lower Yukon REAA, Yukon Flats REAA, and the Yukon-Koyukuk REAA.

FEMA & NAACP: Partnering to Empower Preparedness for All


 Orlando, Fla., July 12, 2013 -- FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) President and CEO Benjamin Jealous signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) at the NAACP’s 104th Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. Orlando, Fla., July 12, 2013 -- FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) President and CEO Benjamin Jealous signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) at the NAACP’s 104th Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Last Friday Administrator Craig Fugate sat alongside Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization to sign a memorandum of agreement between FEMA and the NAACP. This agreement builds on a long-standing partnership between FEMA and the NAACP, and leverages both institutions’ resources and networks to improve the whole community throughout the disaster cycle. For years the NAACP has been on the front lines in communities meeting the need of disaster survivors and we are thrilled to formalize this partnership. We are humbled to be one of many employees working to help strengthen and sustain strategic partnerships like the one with the NAACP in an effort to fulfill the agency’s mission to support our citizens and first responders.

As a nation, our resiliency depends on our ability to work together to empower individuals and communities to be a part of the emergency management team before, during and after a disaster. We are committed to ensuring we keep a direct line of communication open to organizations and community leaders that focus on improving the lives of vulnerable communities every day. As Administrator Fugate shared in his Champion of Change blog post, the real first responder is usually a neighbor or friend. We recognize and respect the value of forming strategic partnerships with voluntary and community-based organizations, like this one with the NAACP, because when it comes to the government response, we can’t fix what we don’t know.

It’s important that those of us in the emergency management field continue to partner with organizations with direct ties to communities to make our nation stronger, better and more resilient. This includes strengthening our efforts to proactively engage with our community partners. We’re grateful to our friends at NAACP, old and new, and look forward to working with them.

Using Mitigation to Save Lives: Alabama Reaches A Milestone

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There is no question that April 27, 2011 changed the lives of Alabamians. On that one day, our state experienced more than 60 confirmed tornadoes causing widespread devastation. Soon after, we decided to do all we could to make our state safer in the future.

In the days, weeks and months following the tornadoes, Governor Bentley and I toured the state and heard the personal stories of disaster survivors.  Many of them told us how they only had moments to find safety while praying for their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

They were the lucky ones that day.  No matter how much they had lost, they were grateful to still be here, and live through one of the state’s most devastating disasters.  Unfortunately, more than 250 people lost their lives during that 24-hour span of tornadoes.

Once my staff and I grasped the sheer magnitude of what had just happened, we all knew we had to do something to prevent this from happening again.


Pratt City, Ala., May 11, 2011 -- Blue tarps dot the landscape of a section of Pratt City hit by the April 27th tornado. Tarps are used to try and protect contents from further damage in homes not completely destroyed. FEMA has provided thousands of tarps to Alabama residents since the storms. Pratt City, Ala., May 11, 2011 -- Blue tarps dot the landscape of a section of Pratt City hit by the April 27th tornado. Tarps are used to try and protect contents from further damage in homes not completely destroyed. FEMA has provided thousands of tarps to Alabama residents since the storms.

The weeks following the disaster, Governor Bentley made it his priority to utilize a FEMA program known as the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.  This program is based on a percentage of the federal disaster cost from the tornadoes, with FEMA paying as much as 75 percent of the costs for families and communities to install safe rooms to prevent or minimize the effects of future disasters.

Having this program available to us was only one part of the equation; the next part was ensuring the public and community leaders understood how this program would benefit them.

In June 2011, a joint effort with FEMA, private and public sector partners, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency hosted the Safer Alabama Summit. This event discussed future mitigation projects that would help our communities rebuild safer and stronger.

Tuscaloosa, Ala., June 13, 2011 -- Federal Coordinating Officer Albie Lewis leads a panel discussion at the Safer Alabama Summit on mitigation. Mitigation helps reduce the loss of life and property in the event of a disaster. Tuscaloosa, Ala., June 13, 2011 -- Federal Coordinating Officer Albie Lewis leads a panel discussion at the Safer Alabama Summit on mitigation. Mitigation helps reduce the loss of life and property in the event of a disaster.

After that event, what I call the “real” work began and that included our mitigation staff working with FEMA’s staff and the sub-applicants to receive, process and review more than 4,500 applications for safe rooms. They also processed applications for generators, alert notification systems and the hardening of portions of Druid City Hospital in Tuscaloosa.

In just over two years, or 26 months to be exact, I’m proud to say Governor Bentley awarded and the mitigation staff obligated approximately $77 million to the great citizens of Alabama. This was unprecedented for our state and, possibly for any state in the U.S.

I attribute the success in which we distributed the grant so quickly to the leadership of Governor Bentley and the relationship we have built with our local and federal partners. The way my staff devoted countless hours to working with the necessary parties to get the applications completed showed their unwavering dedication to the people of Alabama, but it also echoed the sentiment of my entire staff—April 27, 2011 is a day we will never forget!

Sleepless in Philadelphia

Here at FEMA we’re committed to the “Whole Community” approach to emergency management which Administrator Fugate initiated when he arrived. For those of you that haven’t heard of the Whole Community concept, it basically says that FEMA can’t manage emergencies by ourselves; we need to make sure that we’re including the private sector, community organizations, faith-based organizations, state local, and tribal government, the general public, non-profits, schools, our partners in other federal agencies, and almost any other group you can think of. One specific part of the Whole Community idea that we’re really working on is integrating the needs of people with access and functional needs in an inclusive setting and to accomplish this, we’re working collaboratively with our community partners who can bring resources, skills, and expertise to the table.  To support this effort Administrator Fugate created the Office of Disability Integration & Coordination and positions like mine, as the Regional Disability Integration Specialist here in the Region III office in Philadelphia.

A large part of my job is making sure that the access and functional needs of people with disabilities are addressed in an inclusive manner, as well as making connections between emergency managers and disability leaders.  So I want to tell you a little bit about an exciting project we are participating in with our community partners.

Philadelphia, Pa., June 28, 2013 -- LesleyAnne Ezelle, Regional Disability Integration Specialist, FEMA Region III visits the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Red Cross office where they held a Shelter Sleepover Exercise. Philadelphia, Pa., June 28, 2013 -- LesleyAnne Ezelle, Regional Disability Integration Specialist, FEMA Region III visits the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Red Cross office where they held a Shelter Sleepover Exercise.

On June 28th, 2013 I went to the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Red Cross office where they held a Shelter Sleepover Exercise. The point of the exercise was to test their ability to provide services and support to people with access and functional needs in a general shelter. There were volunteers from the local community, many of whom are active with the Functional Needs Subcommittee of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force.

They asked me to give an overview of effective communication, so I gave a demonstration on the equipment that we now have in our Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC). This equipment can also be used in other settings so that people with access and functional needs can get the same information as everyone else and get it in their preferred method of communication.  FEMA now has 175 accessible communication kits that are used to provide effective communication access in every DRC.

While this technology gives us many new options to communicate more effectively, it was pointed out by one of the shelter ‘clients’ that sometimes a skilled person who can interpret and provide information is needed too. We realize that having trained and knowledgeable shelter staff and access to on-site interpreters, scribes, and personal care attendants is just as important to providing effective and accessible services.  FEMA can offer these services to the state, during a Presidentially-declared disaster, if requested.  By having exercises like this one, both the shelter clients and the shelter volunteers get the opportunity to learn what works, what doesn’t, what may be available and we’re able to find solutions, together, to make the shelter experience truly inclusive and accessible.

One of the things that I found very impressive about this exercise is that it was a good example of the saying “nothing about us, without us” that we use a lot in the advocacy movement when we talk about planning services for people with disabilities. Shelter Sleep Over and other activities in Region III are an example of embracing that philosophy and we are looking forward to many more collaborative learning experiences.

What We’re Watching: 7/12/13

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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.

Chantal Weakens But Heavy Rain Still Possible

Although Tropical Storm Chantal broke up and the system was downgraded into a tropical wave, it served as a great reminder of the severe weather like heavy rain that can be accompanied by these storms.  Over the weekend, remnants of the storm are likely to bring heavy rain for those in Florida and along the Southeastern coast of the United States. We urge residents in these states to monitor weather conditions as they can quickly change.

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous. Almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low lying areas, at bridges, and at highway dips. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.  Remember – turn around, don’t drown.
  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving.

 Flood safety terms:

  • Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
  • Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if local officials give notice to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Flash Flood Watch: Rapid rises on streams and rivers are possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
  • Flash Flood Warning: Rapid rises on streams and rivers are occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.

For more flood safety tips, visit www.Ready.gov/floods or http://m.fema.gov/floods (on your mobile phone).

Mark Your Calendars                 

Join Deputy Administrator Serino next Thursday, July 18 at 2:00 p.m. EDT (11:00 a.m. PST) for the next FEMA Think Tank conference call.  This month’s call will provide an opportunity to discuss innovations that those in emergency management should know about, including existing, new, and forward thinking innovations that improve a product or service in unexpected ways. 

The goal is to take innovations that are not necessarily associated with emergency management and relate them to emergency management in order to improve the way we do response, recovery, preparedness, and mitigation. Here’s the call-in information:

  • Time: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time (11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time)
  • Call in Number: 888-323-9869
  • Passcode: Think Tank
  • Captioning: FedRCC.us

So mark your calendars and join us next week!

In Case You Missed It

Earlier this week, Shayne Adamski, Senior Manager of Digital Engagement for the agency testified in front of a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security along with our partners from the American Red Cross, Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, and Jersey City Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. The discussion of the hearing focused on how social media and new technology are transforming preparedness, response and recovery efforts and the way we operate here at FEMA.  In case you missed it, you can watch the hearing here.

I came across this article on Emergency Management Magazine about how the Cleveland Indians put their emergency plans into play during a recent exercise.  The article serves as a good reminder of the importance of being prepared no matter where you are or where you live – even professional sports teams need to practice their emergency plans!  Read more about the exercise and visit www.Ready.gov/business for information on getting your business better prepared for emergencies.

Video of the Week

A great example of the continued recovery work after Hurricane Sandy, the Statue of Liberty reopened on July 4, 2013, after being closed for eight months following damages from Hurricane Sandy.

Have a safe weekend!

Innovating Smarter, Nimbler Government at FEMA

This week, President Barack Obama laid out the Administration’s New Management Agenda.  As part of a new approach to deliver a smarter, more innovative, and more accountable government, President Obama put forth a plan to more effectively use technology and innovation to better serve and meet the needs of the public.  During a press conference, President Obama highlighted some of the innovative and survivor centric solutions that FEMA is implementing:

Today, our Chief Technology Officer, Todd Park, and our Chief Information Officer, Steve VanRoekel, are working with their teams to innovate and apply the best technology to help solve some of our biggest challenges -- from creating jobs to reducing health care costs to keeping our nation secure. 

….

First, we found ways to deliver the services that citizens expect in smarter, faster, and better ways.  So, for example, until recently, when a natural disaster struck, teams from FEMA had to rely exclusively on in-person inspections to figure out which families needed help.  Now they analyze satellite and aerial imagery and get housing assistance to areas that need it most, more quickly.  After Hurricane Sandy, most folks were able to sign up for assistance using FEMA’s mobile and web apps -- updating and checking the status of their applications.  And FEMA agents went door-to-door in some areas with iPads, helping residents who had lost power and Internet access sign up for disaster relief without leaving their homes.  So making sure that we’re delivering services better, faster, more efficiently. 

Here at FEMA, we understand the value of innovation and recognize that through innovation we can develop new and creative solutions and deliver these solutions to those that need them the most—survivors.  During the initial response to Hurricane Sandy, the FEMA Innovation Team deployed to identify solutions to some of the challenges faced in New York.  As the President highlighted, one innovative solution was providing our FEMA Corps teams with the equipment necessary to go door-to-door to register survivors who may have lost power.  This solution was so warmly received that we have made it common practice.

After the tornadoes struck Oklahoma, FEMA deployed the newly formed Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams to go door-to-door to register survivors at their homes.

The role of technology has certainly changed the way we operate and serve survivors during their time of need.  Our Geospatial Team used geospatial mapping and imagery to provide information to first responders and emergency managers about damaged areas moments after the deadly tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma.  We also launched our FEMALab in response to the tornadoes in the National Response Coordination Center, which allowed some of our innovation team members to work virtually.

We continue to look for ways to improve- to find creative solutions to the many challenges we face in emergency management. You can help us to innovate too! Join us for the next FEMA Think Tank on Thursday, July 18th for our latest edition, “Innovation Every Emergency Manager Should Know About” which will cover innovators from around the country.  We hope you join us and tell us what you are doing to innovate!

What We’re Watching: 7/3/13

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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.

Photos of the Week

To kick things off, here are a few of my favorite photos from the week. For more photos, visit the FEMA Photo Library.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano Town Hall MeetingAnchorage, Alaska, July 1, 2013 -- Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano discusses the past, present and future direction of the Agency during a town hall meeting with DHS staff. The Department of Homeland Security has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face, which requires the dedication of more than 240,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cyber-security analyst to chemical facility inspector.

St. Roch Park Ribbon CuttingNew Orleans, La., July 1, 2013 -- FEMA joins state and local officials along with members of the community to cut the ribbon at a newly rebuilt St. Roch Park and Playground. The facilities were devastated by Hurricane Katrina's winds and floodwaters. FEMA provided nearly $700,000 to the city of New Orleans for repairs of the park, pool and neutral ground lighting.

Disaster Recovery Center in AlaskaGalena, Alaska, June 30, 2013 -- FEMA specialists provide recovery information to disaster survivors on the available programs at this Disaster Recovery Center. President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for the State of Alaska triggering the release of Federal funds to help people and communities recover from flooding that occurred from May 17 to June 11, 2013.

Celebrating the Fourth Safely

With the celebration of our country’s Independence tomorrow, I wanted to take some time to remind folks that while this holiday is indeed a joyous occasion often marked with grilling, picnics, and of course fireworks -- it’s important that we all take precautions to stay safe.  However you plan to celebrate tomorrow, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

Fireworks – Leave them to the Pros

Every year there are many injuries and deaths caused by amateur firework use. That’s why we encourage you to leave the fireworks to the professionals.

Grilling Safety

Check out this video from the U.S. Fire Administration on grilling safety:



And here are a few grilling safety precautions reminders, to help keep everyone around the grill safe:

  • Propane and charcoal grills must only be used outdoors. Using them indoors or in any enclosed spaces (such as tents), poses a fire hazard and a risk of exposing occupants to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Young children are at high risk of being burned by hot food and liquids. Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the grill.
  • Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and foot traffic. Grills should be positioned at least 10 feet away from siding, deck railing, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Never leave a grill unattended.
  • Keep matches, lighters, charcoal, and starter fluid out of the reach of children in a locked drawer or cabinet.

Following these tips can help ensure your Fourth of July is safe and enjoyable!