May is National Wildfire Awareness month. The hotter, drier weather of summer increases wildfire risk. The United States Fire Administration has simple ways to prevent a fire from affecting your home and community.
- Reduce the amount of flammable materials and brush that can burn around your home by removing pine needles, dry leaves or other highly flammable materials.
- Protect your roof: trim branches that overhang your home and clean off any leaves and sticks from your roof and gutters.
- Move wood piles and small propane tanks away from your (and your neighbor’s) home, 30 feet or more is best.
- Embers from a burning fire can get under an unprotected porch or through vents. To prevent this, install a wire mesh screen with openings no larger than 1/8th inch.
Wildfires can develop and spread quickly, leaving little time to get somewhere safe. Know what to do to keep yourself, your family and your pets safe and take steps now to protect your future.
Visit Ready.gov for more safety tips on what to do before, during and after wildfires.
As organizations across the country plan for when and how to resume full operations while protecting the well-being and safety of their employees and communities, FEMA has created an Exercise Starter Kit to help organizations facilitate their own internal workshops based on reconstitution planning principles and the White House’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again and a FEMA fact sheet on “Planning Considerations for Organizations in Reconstituting Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
The kit for organizations and government agencies includes a fact sheet, sample slides and a facilitator guide with suggested questions.
The application periods for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants and Assistance to Firefighters Grants COVID-19 Supplemental (AFG-S) close at 5 p.m. ET on May 15.
There is $315 million in SAFER grants funding available to enhance the ability of recipients to attain and maintain fire department staffing and to ensure that their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. The $100 million available for AFG-S provides financial assistance directly to eligible fire departments, non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations and state fire training academies for critical personal protective equipment and supplies needed to respond to the coronavirus public health emergency.
Applicants requiring assistance can visit the FEMA website, or contact the AFG Help Desk at 1-866-274-0960 during business hours, Monday through Friday.
The FEMA Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) launched four new coronavirus (COVID-19) training videos. The first video provides an overview of COVID-19, to include information about its symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. The second video in the series includes information about managing patients with the virus. The third provides information about the movement and transport of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients. The final video is about treating patients in non-healthcare settings.
All four COVID-19 training videos are available to view on YouTube.
Last week, the FEMA Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) began providing crisis and disaster response training to more than 120 University of Alabama – Birmingham medical students who have been displaced from their classrooms by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The virtual training is being conducted by CDP instructors using curriculum developed to be part of the CDP library of expeditionary training course offerings. Expeditionary trainings are generally modules of complete CDP courses geared toward organizations and responders with a need for specific aspects of CDP course material, but which don’t have the time to attend or host complete CDP courses.
The CDP will teach the students a total of six modules. The first three modules will be taught before May 22 and will focus on decision making, mass casualty triage and emergency medical response. The next three modules will start on June 1 and will focus on healthcare facility preparedness, government roles in medical emergency response and health sector emergency preparedness.
If successful, CDP officials will consider extending this training to other medical schools. Visit the CDP website to learn more about the mission of the CDP and the trainings they offer.
FEMA is holding a virtual hiring event for AmeriCorps volunteers released from service and looking for a new opportunity. FEMA has full-time and intermittent positions available in a variety of fields. Former AmeriCorps volunteers can use their skills and experience gained by engaging diverse communities to help people before, during and after disasters.
The following virtual events will be held in May:
- Day in the Life at FEMA Informational Webinar from noon – 1 p.m. ET on May 20. During the webinar, you’ll hear from AmeriCorps alumni as they share their experience building a career at FEMA. In addition, they will provide an overview of the virtual hiring fair and what to expect.
- Virtual Recruitment & Hiring event with FEMA representatives from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET on May 29. This will be an open-house style job fair to engage with FEMA Hiring Managers. During this virtual event, you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions, share your resume and potentially set up an interview for a position.
To sign up for these events, visit the event page. AmeriCorps alumni can explore opportunities open to the public by visiting USAJOBS.gov and FEMA Careers. Many positions are currently teleworking or office based.
Emergency officials across the country have sent nearly 300 important safety messages on the coronavirus pandemic to their residents using the FEMA Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).
As of Tuesday May 12, 86 agencies across 28 states and the District of Columbia, as well as two Indian tribes and one U.S. territory, have sent a total of 299 messages. This includes 242 alerts containing information on COVID-19 to cell phones and other wireless devices via the Wireless Emergency Alerts and 57 alerts to radios/televisions via the Emergency Alert System.
For more information on IPAWS and how to be able to use the system to send alerts, visit the FEMA website.
IPAWS is a national system for local alerting that provides authenticated emergency alert and information messaging to the public through cell phones and internet applications using Wireless Emergency Alerts and to radio and television via the Emergency Alert System.
Application Period Open for Fire Prevention and Safety Grants
The application period for Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants is now open. The FP&S grants support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards within the areas of fire prevention and firefighter safety research and development. There is $35 million in funding available. The application period closes at 5 p.m. ET on Friday, May 29.