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During this fourth week of National Preparedness Month, we’re focusing on community involvement, specifically how to get involved on a community level with disaster preparedness. Many communities have voluntary organizations that are activated during disasters. You can find out more from the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. It is an association of organizations that mitigate and alleviate the impact of disasters and fosters more effective delivery of services. Community Emergency Response Teams train volunteers to prepare for the types of disasters that their community may face.

In terms of fire emergencies, you can prepare your community with these Fire Prevention Week “must-haves.” In addition, NFPA’s Get Ready! Preparing Your Community for a Disaster includes fact sheets firefighters, first responders, and others can use in times of crisis or to prepare in case of one.


For ideas for getting young people involved in preparations in case of a wildfire or flooding, check out the latest blog from my colleague, Megan Fitzgerald McGowan.

During this third week of National Preparedness Month, we’re reminded that young people can play a big role in preparedness programs.  Disaster planning, response, and recovery efforts must take into account the unique needs of children, who make up roughly a quarter of the U.S. population.


It’s a good time to assess the self-sufficiency of adolescents and teens when it comes to protecting themselves from fire. NFPA’s lesson plan: Home Fire Safety–Teens Who Care for Themselves at Home is a teaching tool public educators, school teachers and other can use for presentations. By the end of the lesson, participants should be able to view fire safety behaviors as an important part of gaining responsibility and describe at least five important home fire safety actions for teens who stay home alone.


The Making Safe and Responsible Choices lesson plan, also designed for this age group, assists                                                                                           participants accurately rate the level of risk in                                                                                           behaviors and apply responsible decision-making.





Image of September Safety Source

At 1:00 p.m. ET today (September 17) a panel of fire and life safety experts will share their knowledge about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning to help you make this Fire Prevention Week the best it can be. The September issue includes information on how to register. The newsletter also includes ways to help college-age students and parents keep fire safety in mind, and suggestions for promoting emergency preparedness as part of National Preparedness Month.


Thanks to all the fire departments that signed up this August to participate in Domino’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, "Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and practice your escape!," October 6 - 12, 2019. All departments were automatically entered into a sweepstakes to receive an “FPW in a Box 300” package. Domino’s, who annually sponsors the contest, has officially announced the three randomly selected winners. Here they are:


Kimberly Cisneros

San Marcos Fire Department

San Marcos, TX


Caroline Kusher

Green Acres Station #10

Spokane Valley, WA


Janet Harty

Longmont Fire Station 5

Longmont, CO 


Congratulations to all of you, and best of luck implementing Fire Prevention Week in your communities this October! You will be receiving your FPW in a Box packages shortly.


To all fire departments: Even though the contest is over, you can still sign up to participate in the Domino’s Fire Prevention Week program Please contact Danielle Bulger at to get started and for more information.

Practice your escape plan today!


Do you have a plan for an emergency? It’s important to make a plan today. Throughout the month of September, NFPA will be participating in National Preparedness Month, sponsored by FEMA. During this second week of the public awareness campaign the focus is on being prepared if disaster strikes. Here are some steps:

  • Put together a plan by discussing key questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.
  • Consider specific needs in your household
  • Fill out a family emergency plan
  • Practice your plan with your family/household

Planning and practice are at the center of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign. Home escape planning and practice ensure that everyone knows what to do in a fire and is prepared to escape quickly and safely. FPW materials designed to help public educators, consumers, and others reinforce the important messages in their communities can be found in the toolkit, which includes sample social media posts and cards, home fire escape grids, kids’ activity sheets, checklists, and press releases.

National Preparedness Month, Have enough food, water and meds to last for at least 3 to 7 days.

Throughout the month of September, NFPA will be participating in National Preparedness Month, sponsored by FEMA. During this first week of the public awareness campaign, we’re reminded to save early for disaster costs. The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations.

For more information, visit Watch this short informative video, Why do I Need to Rethink Insurance?

Protecting yourself today means preparing your home or workplace, collecting sources of information, developing an emergency communications plan and knowing what to do when a flood is approaching your home or business.

FEMA’s Flood Loss Avoidance fact sheet is a valuable resource. Visit the NFIP publications page (see "During the Flood") and NFPA’s Get Ready safety tip sheet for more information about what to do before and during a flood.

And If you’re looking for general information on home insurance in case of disaster and protecting yourself in the wildland urban interface, you’ll want to check out the blog from my colleague, Megan Fitzgerald McGowan.

Older adults exercising


September is National Senior Center Month. The National Institute of Senior Centers is celebrating by highlighting the theme: Senior Centers: The Key to Aging Well. This year’s theme was chosen to highlight how senior centers share knowledge, programming, and resources that make a different in the lives of older adults.

One resource that can be beneficial to senior centers and those who frequent them is NFPA’s Remembering When: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults. In such a target-rich environment, public educators, health educators and volunteers can present the program to dozens of individuals at a time. While Senior Centers are being highlighted is a great time to bring into focus programming to enhance their quality of life.

The Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award, which NFPA presents each year, recognizes educators who take the lead role in making their communities safer. The 2019 recipient is City of Kingsport Fire Department Public Education Officer Barry Brickey. Periodically, NFPA will be highlighting techniques Brickey has used to successfully engage his local community in fire safety practices.

In the community of Kingsport, Tennessee, Fire Prevention Week isn’t a week-long observance in October. Fire Headshot of Barry Brickey in service uniformPrevention Week runs from the beginning of August through the second week of December and Barry Brickey plays a large role in that expanded time frame.

He says that the last week of July is his slow week for presentations, but kicks of his “scheduling boom.” From the first week of school in August, until a couple of weeks before Christmas, Brickey’s schedule is packed with school visits, presentations to the general public, and fire station tours.

“Our department has become the ‘fire station visit center’ for our region,” he says. Students from neighboring counties and cities in Tennessee and Virginia visit his fire department.

“Eight companies will go out to school, neighborhood, and church festivals with handouts and fire safety stickers,” he adds. In addition to working with the American Red Cross to install smoke alarms, conducting Fire Safety Day at each elementary school and visiting Head Start, day care centers, and kindergarten classes, the department fields many requests from businesses, older adult centers, places of worship, and business groups.

What makes Kingsport Fire Department so popular? “A little humor, a lot of instruction, interaction, and practice,” Brickey says.

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