Main Content

Blog

Author: Jessica Stapf
Raging floodwaters, swirling winds, and startling earthquakes are just some of the hazards that communities across America face. It’s impossible to plan for every possible disaster or emergency - but it is possible for community leaders to implement a scalable, adaptable organizational system or “structure” so affected communities can bounce back as quickly as possible – no matter the event.We are excited about a new resource designed to help any community build their own approach to disaster recovery: the Effective Coordination of Recovery Resources for State, Tribal...
Posted On: April 9, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
The release of the third season of the Netflix hit series House of Cards provides a great opportunity to provide some insight into what FEMA Corps is all about. I wanted to use this space to share some truth about the real-life men and women who wear the “FEMA Corps” blue shirts you may have seen onscreen.*Rest assured – no spoilers here!Truth: FEMA Corps is a real program.I’m proud to be a former FEMA Corps member. The FEMA Corps program was created in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service to enable young people to help their communities...
Posted On: March 18, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
Community Emergency Response Teams and the work they do across the country to prepare citizens and respond to emergencies in their communities have been a focal point for us here at the start of 2015. So far, we’ve profiled what these teams do and how you can connect with them via social media. Now I want to share a few examples of the unique ways these programs practice emergency preparedness in their neighborhoods.The Harris County Citizen Corps uses the model of a quintessential Texas event – a rodeo – to sharpen the skills of their Community Emergency Response Team. The...
Posted On: February 9, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
CAPTION: NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured the center of the developing Nor'easter located off North Carolina's Outer Banks on Jan. 26 in the image from 16:30 UTC (12:30 p.m. EST). There are quite a few stories that caught our attention this week. The #blizzardof2015 is forecast to bring feet of snow to areas that aren’t used to getting that much of the white stuff at once.Our Social Hub is updated to highlight our federal, state, and local partners in the Northeast, including our Region I and Region II accounts. The Hub is a way to follow updates from trusted sources; you don't...
Posted On: January 26, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
CAPTION: Community Emergency Response Team members completing their fire extinguisher training. Photo Credit: Ready Houston In case you missed it (or #ICYMI for social media nerds like yours truly), we’ve been highlighting the great work of Community Emergency Response Teams across our social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and of course, here on our blog.In my post last week, I highlighted these teams as a great way to get involved within your community this year. The work of each Community Emergency Response Team is as diverse as the thousands of communities across the...
Posted On: January 20, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
The New Year is upon us and with that comes the inevitable, hard-to-answer question: "What's your New Year's resolution?" Many will respond with something along the lines of "I'd like to give more time to my community" or "I'd like to do some volunteering."If you are one of those who have placed this on their to-do list, you may want to consider linking up with your local Community Emergency Response Team.These teams are designed to get communities more involved in disaster response and recovery:Nearly half (49%) of these teams have volunteer...
Posted On: January 9, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
Fires can happen on both large and small scales in all kinds of places. This week, we’ve seen two examples that show the dangers of fire, but both stories offer examples of fire safety in action.Here in the United States, lightning struck two separate homes in Texas—six miles apart. The damage was devastating, but not as devastating as it could have been. Both families’ lives were spared thanks to some working smoke alarms.The communities affected have rallied around these families in order to help them begin their recovery. "’The neighborhood is coming...
Posted On: January 7, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
This week, our friends over at the Department of Energy released their newest venture: the Lantern Live app. Available for Android devices, Lantern Live gives people the ability to report the status and location of nearby fuel stations (alternative and conventional), check their area for power outages and easily access safety tips.According to the Department of Energy, “future releases of Lantern Live will likely include the ability to crowdsource information on the status of gas stations via standardized hashtags for social media.” Future releases of the app will also be built on...
Posted On: November 19, 2014
Author: Jessica Stapf
A large portion of the United States is experiencing incredibly cold temperatures this week. From North Dakota down south to Texas, temperatures are unseasonably low—causing people to dig out their winter hats, scarves and snow boots. Our friends in state and local Departments of Transportation, fire and police departments, and at the National Weather Service have been working really hard to make sure communities in the line of this cold snap are safe and prepared just in case this is just the first taste of a frigid winter season. This late fall freeze has a bit of a sense of humor,...
Posted On: November 12, 2014
Author: Jessica Stapf
Last week, the Chicago Tribune featured a story about a firefighter from the Galapagos Islands who traveled about 3,000 miles from his home to attend a firefighting training course in Romeoville, IL. Carlos Gonzales, who is a tour guide in his everyday life, saved up the money—nearly $3,000—to attend the course, hosted by the Romeoville Fire Academy.Like many fire departments across the United States, Mr. Gonzales’ hometown fire department relies on volunteers to keep it up and running: "We are all volunteers (firefighters) on the island… We do it without pay because it's our home and we...
Posted On: October 2, 2014