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  • September is National Preparedness Month – Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare

    It’s National Preparedness Month, a time when communities, emergency responders, businesses, and families come together to make sure they are prepared for the next disaster. This year’s theme is “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare.”
    The national Ready campaign has established four universal building blocks of emergency preparedness and provides resources and tools to help with each. These building blocks are: Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit, and Get Involved. Find more from the Ready campaign at
    Use the month of September to help prepare your department and community so you are ready when the next disaster strikes. The weekly themes are as follows:

    •  Week 1 – How To… Reconnect with family after a disaster.
    •  Week 2 – Know How To… Plan for specific needs before a Disaster.
      • Monday, 9/8: Youth and children, and colleges and universities
      • Tuesday, 9/9: Tribal audiences
      • Wednesday, 9/10: Business
      • Thursday, 9/11: First responders (Police, Fire, EMS, Nurses, Public Utility, etc.)
      • Friday, 9/12: Organizations (faith-based, voluntary, and state/local/tribal)
      • Saturday, 9/13: Disabilities, access & functional needs, and older Americans
      • Sunday, 9/14: Pets/animals
    • Week 3 – How to… Build an emergency kit.
    • Weeks 4 & 5 – How to… Practice for an emergency. 

    Find resources for conducting community outreach from the National Preparedness Community. These include a digital engagement toolkit, outreach messages in Spanish, the 2014 National Preparedness Month logo and poster, and social media images.
    There will also be a National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30. Use this event to educate the community and plan a local preparedness event or disaster drill. Find tools, messaging, and resources to participate in the PrepareAthon! on the America’s PrepareAthon! web site.
    The National Volunteer Fire Council has many resources to help your department and community be prepared.


  • Fire Prevention Week Starts October 5

    We are less than a month away from the start of Fire Prevention Week. Use the week of October 5-11 to spread important fire prevention and safety messages in your community, educate community members about your fire department and Fire Corps team, and re-invigorate your department’s fire prevention program.

    This year’s Fire Prevention Week Theme is “Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month.” There are many resources you can utilize to educate your community on the importance of working smoke alarms:

    • Fire Prevention Week 2014: Find materials and resources to help promote the theme “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives” and educate the public on important smoke alarm and fire safety information.
    • Smoke Alarms: This section of the NFPA web sites includes statistics, resource guides, videos, smoke alarm installation instructions, and more to help fire departments, educators, and community members reduce fire deaths and injuries.
    • Install. Inspect. Protect.: This campaign from the U.S. Fire Administration urges residents to install smoke alarms in their home and inspect and maintain them on a regular basis.
    • Fire Corps: Fire Corps teams provide non-operational support to fire and EMS departments, including fire prevention and life safety education in the community. Resources available on the web site include “Fire Corps Guide to Fire and Life Safety Education,” fire prevention and safety tips sheets, tools to help implement a smoke alarm installation and home safety check program in your community, and much more.
    • NVFC Virtual Classroom: Courses in this online learning center include “FC-303: Fire Corps in Public Education” and “FC-304: Conducting Home Safety Checks.”

    You can also test your knowledge about smoke alarm safety through the 2014 Fire Prevention Week Quiz. 

  • Guide for Family Members of Volunteer Responders Now Available

    Joining the volunteer fire service means a lifestyle change not only for the individual volunteer, but also for their entire family. To help family members navigate the volunteer fire service life, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) partnered with to create the new resource, What to Expect: A Guide for Family Members of Volunteer Firefighters.

    This guide is intended for spouses, children, parents, siblings, or significant others of volunteer and paid-on-call responders. It introduces family members to the basics of the volunteer firefighter life and provides guidance for keeping family relationships strong, being part of the fire department family, and more. In addition, there are first-hand accounts from volunteer firefighters and their family members along with an array of tips and resources to help first responder families adjust to this lifestyle. Information on Fire Corps is also included.

    The guide is available for free download from the NVFC web site, or order print copies from the NVFC store. For a limited time only, NVFC members can order up to 25 print copies for free; access the discount code on the Member Benefits page of the Members-Only section of the NVFC web site.

    About the National Volunteer Fire Council
    The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides invaluable tools, resources, programs, training, and advocacy for first responders across the nation.

    About is an online community for wives, fiancées, and girlfriends of firefighters. Their mission is to strengthen fire marriages and encourage fire families.

Citizens Helping Fire and EMS

Since its start in 2004, Fire Corps has helped fire and EMS departments in 49 states to build more capacity by engaging community volunteers to assist in a variety of non-emergency roles. These community volunteers can make a real difference for their local department, both by expanding the services a department can offer and by enabling first responders to focus more on training and response activities. Fire Corps is a partner program under the Citizen Corps initiative and is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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