Friday, June 26, 2009

Citizen Corps News: Upcoming Events of Interest for Citizen Corps Councils & Partners II

  • Critical Days of Summer
  • Summer Thunderstorms
  • United We Serve
  • Independence Day
  • Anniversary of the Signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Citizen Corps supports weekly and monthly outreach themes which encourage and promote civic engagement, public safety, preparedness, resilience, and volunteerism. The outreach themes are intended to be used as an opportunity to jumpstart work with additional Citizen Corps partners and affiliates on promoting awareness, planning events, and media outreach to strengthen community preparedness at the state and local level. Local Citizen Corps Councils and partners may contact local representatives from the organizations below to learn how the community can benefit from involvement, reach out to citizens about participation, and involve the local media in distributing information on these events. These events will help raise awareness for local Citizen Corps activities and ultimately increase community preparedness, training, and volunteer participation.

The following are the upcoming events for the end of June and July:

Critical Days of Summer: The "Critical Days of Summer" campaign is an effort to keep families and neighbors safe during summer activities. Studies show that more deadly accidents and mishaps occur during the busy summer months than any other time of year. The campaign focuses on summer safety in four areas: traffic safety, boating safety, drowning prevention, and heat stress prevention. For safety and prevention resources and more information you can share with your community, visit: the U.S. Coast Guard's Boating Safety webpage, National Safety Council's Distracted Driving webpage,, NOAA's National Weather Service Heat Wave webpage, FEMA's Extreme Heat webpage, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Impaired Driving webpage, Motorcycle Safety webpage, Seatbelt Safety webpage, and Child Passenger Safety webpage.

Summer Thunderstorms: In many areas, the summer months are particularly prone to thunderstorms. It is important to note that all thunderstorms are dangerous and produce lightning. Visit FEMA's Thunderstorms and Lightning webpage, NOAA's Severe Storm Laboratory webpage, and NOAA's Lightening Safety webpage for resources and more information about what individuals can do prior to, during, and after a storm. Work with Citizen Corps partners and affiliates to educate your community on thunderstorms through planning events and distributing information at locations that are frequented during the summer such as parks, hardware stores, swimming pools, fairgrounds, and theme parks. Distribute flashlights, bottled water, and flyers with tips and local emergency numbers.

United We Serve (Jun 22 - Sept 11, 2009): United We Serve is President Barack Obama's extended call to service, challenging all Americans to help lay a new foundation for growth in this country by engaging in sustained, meaningful community service. United We Serve has an emphasis on community organization and resilience which are goals shared by Citizen Corps Councils and partners across the country. The United We Serve summer initiative is June 22 through September 11, 2009- the National Day of Service and Remembrance. has several resources to help you spread the word on United We Serve, including: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama's call to service videos, an online tool where individuals and groups can register their local preparedness projects, share success stories, and find local volunteer opportunities, and toolkits to help create new service projects.

Independence Day (July 4, 2009): As families and neighbors head outdoors to backyard barbecues, campouts, and fireworks displays for the 4th of July celebrations, share the message of cooking fire and fireworks safety in your community. Visit, the National Council on Fireworks Safety, and National Citizen Corps Affiliate, the National Fire Protection Associationlocal television station to conduct an interview with a firefighter or Fire Corps volunteer to share this information. Additionally, you may distribute fire and fireworks safety information at summer celebrations around the community. Engage CERT members and other Citizen Corps volunteers to participate in 4th of July parades; consider having a Citizen Corps float and be sure to hand out preparedness information along the parade route. for tips on how to safely enjoy cooking outdoors, campfires, and fireworks. Consider asking your

Anniversary of the Signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (July 26, 2009): People with disabilities and special needs can visit to learn more about adequately preparing themselves for disasters. This year marks the 19th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. It is important to recognize that some individuals with special needs and disabilities may have an increased vulnerability to disasters. To support individuals with special needs and commemorate the anniversary of this act, your Citizen Corps Council may pledge to include special needs in all activities, host an event for organizations that serve special needs to educate them on preparing their clients for disasters, or work with your Citizen Corps partners to spread special needs preparedness and find ways to involve community members with special needs. For more information on preparing and planning for individuals with special needs visit

A complete list of weekly and monthly outreach themes for 2009 is available on the Citizen Corps website at


The National Office of Citizen Corps
FEMA Community Preparedness Division

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