Educational outreach in the time of social distancing

Blog Post created by megan.fitzgerald-mcgowan Employee on Jul 17, 2020

As we get deeper in to the summer, it's time to start thinking about the annual commitment that participating Firewise USA sites make.  In light of COVID-19, many have asked if Firewise USA(r) be rolling back any of its renewal requirements and specifically, the role of an educational outreach event? The short answer is no.  This is because the alternatives to in-person large events are not only achievable, but we've learned of great solutions from communities who have already done them this summer.    

Each year, communities agree to host some sort of educational outreach event and invest in on the ground actions that reduce the chance of ignition from a wildfire within a community.  These communities share their stories on all that they achieved.  These are always amazing  and inspiring, submitted via the renewal application on the online management portal.  This year, renewal applications are due by November 20th.  

It is human nature to find something that works, and then stick with it.  Many of our participants are used to having an annual meeting, maybe some food, do a presentation and handout some flyers.  In this time of social distancing, that can be difficult and may go against local safety regulations.

We are encouraging sites to get creative, try new and different ways of engaging your neighbors in the importance of everyone doing their part to protect the community. 

This list is not exhaustive, but they all meet the intent and renewal requirement of educational outreach in Firewise, so don't be limited by what you've done in the past.  

Is your community ready to take the next step on its wildfire journey?  Visit to learn how you can get organized and become a Firewise USA site.

 Sign up for NFPA Network to stay up to date with the latest news and information on key wildfire issues. You can also follow me on twitter @meganfitz34 more wildfire-related topics.

  As we navigate the evolving situation with COVID-19, NFPA remains committed to supporting you with the resources you need to minimize risk and help prevent loss, injuries, and death from fire, electrical, and other hazards. For information on NFPA’s response to the coronavirus, please visit our webpage.