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Get the 4-1-1 on FEMA Safe Rooms

july 2, 2015

Firework Safety Tips

Many people enjoy picnics, family, and fireworks on July 4. Fireworks are fun and beautiful, but they are also dangerous if not handled properly. In the month of July, an average of 230 people go to the emergency room each day due to firework related accidents. Sparklers can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is as hot as a blow torch. The U.S. Fire Administration urges everyone to stay safe this Independence Day, and to leave the fireworks to the professionals.

For those who decide to legally purchase and use fireworks, here are some important safety tips:

  • Keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby;
  • Never allow young children to play with or light fireworks;
  • Dont stand over a firework when lighting the fuse;
  • Light fireworks one at a time; and
  • Do not try to relight a firework that isnt working properly.

For more information about summer safety and fireworks, visit

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FEMA Safe Rooms

Having a FEMA safe room or International Code Council 500 storm shelter in your home or small business can help provide near-absolute protection for your family or employees during extreme weather events such as tornadoes and hurricanes, but safe rooms must be built correctly to ensure occupants are protected from injury or death.

In the FEMA publication, Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room for Your Home or Small Business, FEMA provides specifications on how to properly design and build a safe room. These guidelines offered in this publication must be met to be considered a FEMA safe room. This document also outlines how to modify a home or business to add a safe room to an existing space.

If you have questions about building a safe room, contact the FEMA Safe Room Helpline at You can also check out this list of Frequently Asked Questions.

In addition to having a safe room, there are other ways to prepare for disasters. Americas PrepareAthon! offers valuable information about severe weather events that may impact your community this season, including tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, and floods.

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Working Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are an important tool for preventing home fire deaths. If you have a fire in your home, working smoke alarms provide an early warning so you can quickly escape. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. 

If your smoke alarm is more than 10 years old, its time to replace it. Smoke alarms are one of the best safety devices to protect yourself, your family, and your home. Before you buy and install a home smoke alarm, follow these USFA tips:

  • Choose smoke alarms that communicate with each other, so if one alarm sounds, they all will;
  • Put smoke alarms on every level of your home, in every bedroom, and in the hallway outside of each sleeping area;
  • Place smoke alarms on the ceiling or high on the wall. Check the manufacturers instructions for the best place for your alarm; and
  • Use only qualified electricians to install hardwired smoke alarms.

For more information about smoke alarms, take a look at this USFA public safety announcement.

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Where to Store Your Disaster Supply Kit

You never know where you will be when an emergency occurs. Thats why its important to always be prepared! In addition to having a disaster supply kit at home, you should also store one at work and in your car. The contents of your kits should vary depending on the storage location. The Ready campaign outlines what to pack in your disaster supply kit whether youre at home or on the go:

  • Your home kit should contain items like non-perishable food items and water to last for at least three days. Keep it in a designated area, so that everyone has access to it. You may want to consider having supplies for sheltering for up to two weeks;
  • Your work kit should have enough food, water, and any necessary medications to last for at least 24 hours. You should also have comfortable shoes in case you have to walk a long distance in the event of an evacuation; and
  • Your car kit should include flashlights, jumper cables, a first aid kit, water, a shovel, and warm clothes!

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Reminder: Inclusion of People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs in CERT Programs Webinar

The Federal Emergency Management Agencys Individual and Community Preparedness Division is pleased to invite you to a webinar that focuses on practices that will enhance the experience for CERT participants with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

Title: Inclusion of People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs in CERT Programs

Date: Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Time:  3:00 - 4:30 p.m. (ET)

Guest Speakers:

  • Gay Jones, FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC)
  • Kathryn Gerk, Emergency Services Manager, Richmond, CA Fire Department
  • Jennifer Fales, Emergency Management Coordinator, Kansas City, MO Office of Emergency Management  

How to Join the Webinar:

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Dates for Your Calendar!

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Disclaimer: The reader recognizes that the federal government provides links and informational data on various disaster preparedness resources and events and does not endorse any non-federal events, entities, organizations, services or products. Please let us know about other events and services for individual and community preparedness that could be included in future newsletters by contacting

This email was sent to using GovDelivery, on behalf of FEMA · U.S. Department of Homeland Security · Washington, DC 20472 Powered by GovDelivery


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