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Leaders in Public Safety: FEMA Honors 11 Individuals, Organizations for Community Preparedness Achievements

Release date: 
September 26, 2017
Release Number: 

2017 Individual and Community Preparedness Award Winners Announced

WASHINGTON –The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today the winners of the 2017 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards, recognizing the lifesaving efforts of individuals and organizations from across the country who are working to prepare for emergencies. Each year, FEMA honors individuals and organizations who excel at inspiring the public to be ready if a tornado, hurricane, wildfire, or other disaster were to strike their community.

“We are a stronger, more resilient nation when we work together—in communities large and small—to prepare for and respond to disasters,” said FEMA Acting Deputy Administrator Daniel Kaniewski. “FEMA is proud to recognize the great efforts of individuals and organizations who are helping to create a national culture of preparedness.”

This year’s award winners strengthened their community to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate a disaster through innovative practices and programs. For example the City of Arlington Office of Emergency Management in Texas teamed up with the Arlington Christian Disaster Network to manage spontaneous volunteers and assist with sheltering needs around disasters. The Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe in California, with a population of 203 people, transformed the Blue Lake Casino and Event Center into an official public shelter with help from the American Red Cross, and installed backup “green” power should the regular power grid get cut off. Another example is Rosalind “Roz” McKelvey from Germantown, Pennsylvania, who organized a community-wide drill to address the unique challenges of preparing a community where approximately 40 percent of the residents live at or below the poverty line.

The 11 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Award recipients will be recognized in a webinar and during local ceremonies to celebrate their achievements.

This year’s winners of FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Awards are:

Since its inception in 2009, FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division has received and reviewed hundreds of applications, awarding 90 winners and acknowledging 450 honorable mentions from communities nationwide.

Visit for more information on the 2017 award recipients and to see the honorable mentions.


FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.

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Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 11:59