Tribal Emergency Management News

FEMA - August 2020 Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter


Back to School in the New Normal

As students prepare to go back to school, they may find schools operating differently due to COVID-19. Some students may be continuing with online learning while others may be preparing for in-person learning in schools, which may require them to wear face cloth coverings, continue social distancing, and have their temperatures checked.

Despite having to prepare your kids for school in a new learning environment, it is always a good time to help them learn about preparing for an emergency. We encourage you to consider the following actions to prepare your kids for an emergency.

  • Create an emergency plan with the whole family and practice it regularly.
  • Build an emergency kit that includes essential items such as water, non-perishable food items, first aid supplies, prescription medicines, and other items that will ensure safety and comfort.
  • Review your emergency communications plan and keep the information in a safe place like a backpack, wallet, or taped in a notebook.
  • Teach your kids when and how to call important phone numbers, like 9-1-1, for help and how to send text messages in case of an emergency.
  • Know the emergency plan for your child’s school and childcare facility, if open, and practice it with your child.
  • Learn different ways to help children cope during and after an emergency.

Get your kids involved and keep them informed on how to be prepared for emergency and disaster situations. If something goes wrong, children can be prepared to act! If you’re looking for activities, information, or other tools to help you and your family prepare for disasters, check out our Resource Library.

For more information on Children and Youth preparedness, please visit


CERTs Balance Competing Needs During the Pandemic

***Correction: In the previous issue of the August issue ICP Newsletter, there was an error linking this article to a different community page. The error has been corrected and readers should now be able to read the full article on the correct community page.

In mid-May, in Columbus, OH, unrelenting rain led to record rainfall totals over the course of two days. The rain also led to flooding in the area. To help, Franklin County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members joined the county’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security officials to assess the damage. This required CERT volunteers to pivot from their work assisting with COVID-19 response to address the flooding.

Christie LeClaire-Murphy, a member of the CERT, had been helping with COVID-19 testing at nursing homes. She also collected food donations and made cloth face coverings. After the flooding, she shifted gears to help with assigning damage assessment teams and operating the radio. She donned rain gear to review and document damage in the rain by using special paper and pens designed to hold up in wet conditions. “Balancing emergencies and going where you’re needed is part of the role of a CERT,” she says. Read more...

Agencies Pilot Training for Community-Based Organizations

From food banks to childcare centers, community-based organizations (CBOs) play critical roles in many areas across the country. Many people rely on these services during “normal” times. When emergencies occur, however, these organizations can see a surge of need during and after the event.

But what happens if these CBOs themselves are affected by a disaster? CBOs can be more resilient when facing an emergency if they’ve planned ahead of time. To help prepare them, FEMA created a new training called Organizations Preparing for Emergency Needs (OPEN). A few community organizations and state agencies had a chance to pilot the training before the official release of OPEN. Before COVID-19 restrictions went into effect, FEMA conducted an in-person pilot class in Region I (Lowell, MA). (Note: The photo featured in this article was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.) Read more...

Plan Your Hurricane Response Now

When hurricanes happen, they often bring rain, wind, and floods. The 2019 National Household Survey revealed over 87 percent of respondents who live in hurricane-prone areas believe they will receive timely reports or directions from local authorities. Most of these folks get that information from TV (59 percent), the internet (17 percent), and newspapers (12 percent). To develop or improve your emergency plan for hurricanes, visit To learn more about disaster preparedness in general, visit here.

Language Access Resources

On Tuesday, July 14, 2020, FEMA Region II held a webinar about language diversity in the United States and the importance of providing clear strategic messages in the areas of preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. In addition, the Office of Equal Rights covered the legal framework of implementing Limited English Proficiency during a disaster. Click here to view the recorded session.

Cyber Security and Other Scams Targeting Small Businesses (English and Spanish)

On Wednesday, July 22, 2020, Region II held a webinar session in English and Spanish with the Federal Trade Commission discussing the types of cyber security scams that target small businesses and how to avoid them. See below on how to view the recordings:

  • English: please click here.
  • Spanish: please click here.

Community Assets Mapping

On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, FEMA Region II held a webinar featuring Keith Adams, the Executive Director of New Jersey Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NJVOAD). In the session, he discussed how to identify community assets and resources that can be used to meet community needs and to strengthen the community. Click here to view the recorded session.

Children & Disasters

New YPC Members Bring Enthusiasm for Preparedness

Seven new members joined FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) this summer. FEMA created the YPC in 2012 to bring together young leaders from across the country who are interested in supporting disaster preparedness. The Council consists of 15 members who are in the 9th through 12th grades.

New members became acquainted with returning members and learned more about FEMA programs at the annual YPC Summit in July. Due to COVID-19 precautions, FEMA held this year’s event online. During the Summit, YPC members were joined by the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump. During the Summit, she noted that children are disproportionately impacted during and after disasters and highlighted her “BE BEST” initiative, part of which educates children about emergency and disaster response. YPC members also began planning their own projects to support community preparedness over the next year. Read more...

Important Dates

Disclaimer: The reader recognizes that the federal government provides links and informational data on various disaster preparedness resources and events and does not endorse any non-federal events, entities, organizations, services, or products. Please let us know about other events and services for individual and community preparedness that could be included in future newsletters by contacting 

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