Monday, April 23, 2012

Delaware Whole Community Preparedness Workshop

FEMA Region III Administrator MaryAnn Tierney, DSHS Sec. Louis Schiliro, and Dover Mayor Carelton Carey
On April 18th and 19th, the Delaware Citizen Corps held a “Whole Community Preparedness and Resiliency Workshop,” co-hosted with FEMA Region III's  Individual and Community Preparedness Division. The event was held at the Delaware State Fire School in Dover. Approximately one hundred twenty five people from federal, state, and local governments, as well as members of numerous businesses and non-profit organizations attended. FEMA Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney, DSHS Secretary Schiliro, Dover's Mayor Carey, and DEMA Director Turner were in attendance; each giving opening remarks to convene the conference each day. The first day focued on "Preparedness for the Community," while day two focused on the Public-Private Sector Partnerships. There were presentations on Emergency Planning for Active Shooters, Federal Alliance of Safe Homes (FLASH), Community Resiliency, a presentation from the Wal-Mart Emergency Preparedness Manager, and a presentation on Target's Community Engagement program. There were also panel discussions on "Engaging the Public as a Member of Emergency Management," "Accessing All Resources in a Tough Economy," and "Resiliency through Education and Awareness." Region III groups in PA, MD, VA, WV and NJ were also represented.

Delaware Citizen Corps Program Manager Robert George introduces DEMA Director Jamie Turner.

Friday, April 20, 2012

National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, April 22-28

As the nation marks the first anniversary of one of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are teaming up this week to save lives from severe weather.

The two agencies encourage the public to "know your risk, take action, and be a force of nature" by taking proactive preparedness measures and inspiring others to do the same.

Last April, tornadoes raked the central and southern United States, spawning more than 300 tornadoes and claiming hundreds of lives. That devastating, historic outbreak was only one of many weather-related tragedies in 2011, which now holds the record for the greatest number of multi-billion dollar weather disasters in the nation's history.

The country has already experienced early and destructive tornado outbreaks in the Midwest and South this year over the last two months, including a significant number of tornadoes last weekend. May is the peak season for tornadoes, so it is important to take action now.

"The damaging tornadoes that struck this year, causing widespread devastation as well as loss of life, also spurred many amazing and heroic survival stories," said NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D. "In every one of these stories, people heard the warning, understood a weather hazard was imminent and took immediate action. We can build a Weather-Ready Nation by empowering people with the information they need to take preparedness actions across the country."

"One of the lessons we can take away from the recent tornado outbreaks is that severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "While we can't control where or when it might hit, we can take steps in advance to prepare and that's why we are asking people to pledge to prepare, and share with others so they will do the same."

To "be a force of nature," FEMA and NOAA encourage citizens to prepare for extreme weather by following these guidelines:
  • Know your risk: The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly and sign up for alerts from your local emergency management officials. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
  • Take action: Pledge to develop an emergency plan based on your local weather hazards and practice how and where to take shelter. Create or refresh an emergency kit for needed food, supplies and medication. Post your plan where visitors can see it. Learn what you can do to strengthen your home or business against severe weather. Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio. Download FEMA's mobile app so you can access important safety tips on what to do before and during severe weather. Understand the weather warning system and become a certified storm spotter through the National Weather Service.
  • Be a force of nature: Once you have taken action, tell your family, friends, school staff and co-workers about how they can prepare. Share the resources and alert systems you discovered with your social media network. Studies show individuals need to receive messages a number of ways before acting - and you can be one of those sources. When you go to shelter during a warning, send a text, tweet or post a status update so your friends and family know. You might just save their lives, too. 

For more information on how you can participate, visit

Disaster Preparedness Presentation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

On April 15th, Delaware Citizen Corps Staff Bob George, Marny McLee and Dave Ham provided a Disaster Preparedness Presentation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at the Grace Methodist Church in Wilmington, DE. As part of their presentation, Citizen Corps also played their Disaster Preparedness DVD, which is open captioned and formatted for American Sign Language. An ASL Interpreter was used throughout the presentation. The group is composed from the Tri-States (DE, MD, and PA) and meets regularly at the church. An additional presentation is being planned for Kent and Sussex Counties. The point-of-contact for the presentation was Karen Miller. Loretta Sarro, who was also in attendance, shared her knowledge of the 911 Special Needs Volunteer Registry to the group.