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Citizen Corps Awards

2014

2014 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards Announcement

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards.  The awards recognize programs and individuals who have taken action to prepare their communities for disasters and helped to make their communities more resilient.

This year, applicants were asked to describe accomplishments that took place between January 1, 2013 and May 30, 2014.  Reflecting the full spectrum of the whole community, FEMA received more than 230 applications from non-profit, private sector, tribal, community-based organizations, and individuals representing 43 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

This year’s honorees will attend a ceremony showcasing their accomplishments in Washington, D.C., on September 9, during National Preparedness Month.

View the 2014 Awards Press Release

FEMA congratulates the following honorees and honorable mentions: 

Outstanding State Citizen Corps Council Initiatives

Delaware State Citizen Corps Council (DE)

Delaware Citizen Corps partnered with the Governor’s Faith-Based Council to create the Delaware Council of Faith-Based Partnerships in January 2012. Council members serve as interfaith volunteers and partners with government agencies and non-profit groups to address community needs. The Council co-sponsored and presented an Emergency Preparedness and Response Workshop for Faith Leaders. Delaware Citizen Corps also partnered with the University of Delaware’s Center for Disabilities Studies and their local Citizen Corps Council to co-sponsor multiple workshops and training opportunities for emergency responders, health care professionals, parents, caregivers and the Medical Reserve Corps programs.  Delaware Citizen Corps supported the development and marketing of the University of Delaware’s Center for Disabilities Studies web site http://www.allreadyde.org/ which address emergency planning for families with members who have disabilities. It also highlights an associated app for smart phones with tips for professional responders working with individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. Delaware Citizen Corps is also partnering with preparedness organizations like the Public Health Preparedness Section to promote the preparedness message through a statewide radio campaign that includes a Hispanic station. Delaware Citizen Corps is also a major partner with minor league baseball and hosted a preparedness night that includes a partnership with city, county and state emergency managers and many organizational partners.

Outstanding Local Citizen Corps Council Initiatives

Albany County Citizen Corps (NY)

Albany County Citizen Corps organized a National Preparedness Month Cook-Off between its County Executive and County Sheriff to promote citizen preparedness and learn how to prepare easy recipes that can be made without electricity.  The program also created an emergency preparedness quiz for National Preparedness Month to promote preparedness education in the community.  Paper versions of the quiz, along with submission boxes, were available at a local ShopRite grocery store, in the Albany County Department of Health clinic waiting room, and at an urban community outreach “block party” event sponsored by the New Jerusalem Church of Albany. In addition, in partnership with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, the Albany County Citizen Corps purchased and distributed Go-Stay-Kits for residents who registered with the county’s Evacuation Functional Needs 911 Registry.  The Albany County Citizen Corps also initiated a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign to increase the online presence of www.RegisteredandReady.com .  The SEO plan of action included implementing a Google AdWords campaign that utilized target phrases and key words, which when typed into the Google search engine, more effectively advertised www.RegisteredandReady.com to Albany County community members.  The program also launched a concurrent social media campaign, with weekly messaging developed for the Albany County Citizen Corps’ Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages to promote volunteer recruitment and emergency preparedness.

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness

The Mississippi Youth Preparedness Initiative  (MS)

The Mississippi State University (MSU) Extension Service created MyPI, a grassroots initiative that provides innovative preparedness training and education to approximately 3,500 teens per year.  As a coordinating agency of MyPI, the MSU Extension Service: coordinates the selection and training of youth preparedness trainers and the youth membership involved in the program: and monitors youth progress in emergency preparedness education, training, and service to the community. The MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Citizen Corps are committed to promoting emergency preparedness by empowering youth to take a leadership role within their families and communities.  MyPI is a ten-week program in which participants meet at least once a week to complete the DHS/FEMA-approved Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. Teen CERT is the foundation of the program and is taught in local counties by a team of local MyPI volunteer instructors, subject matter experts, and guest speakers.  CPR and AED certification is available for all participants, as well as a technology track and a career track. Participants also complete a PREP + 6 Service Project, to help prepare their family for disasters, and then identify and work with six additional families in their community.

Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Initiatives

MOCERT1 (MO)

Homeland Security Region D of Missouri has formed the first regional CERT in the state. Called MOCERT1 within the state, this new concept incorporates the region’s city and county CERT personnel, equipment, and assets into one regionally deployable team. This provides the strength and flexibility of a larger pool of personnel with more assets and equipment than any single local CERT would have available. The team developed its own standard operating procedures for how MOCERT1 assembles, deploys and operates on scene, as well as command staff titles and position descriptions. MOCERT1 received a special request to send a team to Moore, Oklahoma, to help the community following the devastating tornado. In May 2014, another out-of-state request asked MOCERT1 to deploy to Baxter Springs, Kansas, to assist with debris removal and to help individual homeowners whose properties were damaged or destroyed but were uninsured. The team also worked with the Miami, Oklahoma Church of Christ to repair roofs of uninsured homes through funding and other assistance provided by the church.

Awareness to Action

Do 1 Thing (MI)

The mission of Do 1 Thing is to move individuals, families, businesses, and communities to prepare for all hazards and become disaster resilient. Do 1 Thing discovered that most citizens are more likely to take action and do something if the message comes from a trusted source. Partners working with their employees and stakeholders can influence positive action towards preparedness. Do 1 Thing breaks preparedness down into 12 manageable steps for each month of the year. With Do 1 Thing individuals can take small steps that make a big difference. Do 1 Thing has successfully translated the monthly program into seven languages, Braille, large print, and audio. Recently, Do 1 Thing launched the Disaster Resilient Communities for Older Adults and People with Disabilities Project to increase disaster resilience by:

  • Working with individuals to plan and participate in their own disaster preparedness initiatives
  • Planning and working with public safety, emergency response, community and neighborhood groups to address the critical needs of older adults and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs during an event.

Technological Integration

Partnerships in Assistive Technologies (PATHS, Inc.) (WV)

Using the TapToTalk app, originally designed as a tool for students in school, PATHS, Inc. created a picture communication system (“album”) to provide  information to drivers and express the desires of riders.  Examples:

  • driver-to-rider, “pull the cord to stop,”
  • rider-to-driver, “please lower the bus.” 

PATHS, Inc. members decided that this communication system could also work with other service providers, especially professional responders.  In partnership with the Kanawha Putnam Emergency Planning Committee, PATHS, Inc. developed a series of “albums” to help police, fire and emergency medical services providers communicate with survivors, witnesses, or other individuals who may have communication issues.  These issues could include individuals with neurological issues, behavioral issues, and Limited English Proficiency. In addition to a basic intake “album” that is used by all responders, each professional group has an “album” that is specific to their needs.  The goal was to create questions that could be answered by a simple “yes” or “no” response.  Specific questions for the individual provider “albums” include, “did you see what happened,” or a series of questions describing the perpetrator.  But the first three, and most important questions for any user are “can you hear me”  “can you understand me?” and “do you speak English?”  Responses to these questions will let responders know if the TapToTalk “album” will be an effective form of communication with the survivors they are assisting.

Survivor Empowerment and Integration

Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management (MA)

In April 2014, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management (OPEM) released Show Me for Emergencies—an innovative, interactive mobile app that enhances communication between public health and emergency management personnel and individuals with communication challenges –including individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs –across a variety of emergency settings. Once the app is downloaded to a user’s device, it does not need Internet connectivity  to access its content. The  target audience for the app is public health personnel, first responders, Medical Reserve Corps and other volunteers, but everyone is encouraged to use it. The app can help users communicate information such as an individual’s preferred language, the type of emergency , personal and medical needs, and also features animated instructions for actions like boiling water or gathering items.

Community Preparedness Heroes

Lieutenant Brian K. Rand (MA)

Lt. Rand has created several programs and initiatives directly responsible for helping the citizens of Watertown, and provided the catalyst for building a strong community through taking action. Lt. Rand has taken great time and personal effort to build and manage Watertown’s CERT and is the trainer and program manager for the team. He has also obtained the licensing and state approval to convert the Watertown Fire Department from basic life support (BLS) to advanced life support (ALS). Lt. Rand has reached out to community colleges to help bridge the gap of higher learning and education for members of his fire department, as well as neighboring towns and cities. He is dedicated to providing a pathway for firefighters of several surrounding communities to improve their abilities to serve and protect the community through higher education. His efforts resulted in  an enrollment of 25 firefighters into college level degree programs. Lt. Rand is also responsible for taking great strides and initiative for implementing the Watertown Fire Department’s opioid overdose antidote program, and directly placed the Watertown Fire Department at the fore-front of battling an opioid overdose epidemic within the community. The Watertown Fire Department was the first BLS level healthcare provider in the Metro-Boston area to be approved for launching this program. Since the program’s inception in February 2014, Lt. Rand’s contributions resulted in saving four lives within the first month of the program, one of which occurred the first week.

Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP) (CO)

As the region’s largest watershed agency working in the Central Front Range, the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP) coordinates and implements major cross-disciplinary environmental protection and reclamation efforts aimed at preparing and responding to environmental issues. During an extended, structural drought, the Waldo Canyon Fire ignited on June 23, 2012, in the foothills west of Colorado Springs in the central Front Range of Colorado. The local community was still reeling from the devastation and loss caused by the Waldo Canyon fire when a normal monsoon-season rain storm occurred within the burn scar on July 30, 2012. CUSP immediately stepped up to the plate with an effective sequence of flood recovery efforts to protect life and property, with the majority of the work being planned in 2012 and completed in 2013. CUSP worked with businesses, individuals, government and other organizations to plan for post-fire flooding and keep communities informed. CUSP performed risk and damage assessments, helped develop evacuation plans, participated in community meetings, hosted several tabletop exercises, went door to door to share information about mitigation, assisted communities with flood mitigation structures and planning, helped to define the Incident Action Plan for post-fire flooding, worked in the Incident Command Center, and coordinated volunteers to assist with post-flood cleanup.

Fourth Annual Recipient of the John D. Solomon Whole Community Preparedness Award

The John D. Solomon Whole Community Preparedness Award is named for the late creator of the groundbreaking blog, In Case of Emergency, Read Blog: A Citizen’s Eye View Of Public Preparedness, and awarded to the winner of the Preparing the Whole Community category. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate once stated that John “set the standard for what it means to be part of our nation’s emergency management team.”

This year, the Fourth Annual John D. Solomon Whole Community Preparedness Award is presented to both the Smyrna Emergency Management Agency and the New York City Office of Emergency Management’s Ready New York for Seniors Program.

Smyrna Emergency Management Agency (GA)

In March 2014, the Smyrna Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) became the first municipality in the nation to fully participate in America’s PrepareAthon! Smyrna’s PrepareAthon! culminated in a two-day community preparedness event. On Friday, March 21, SEMA conducted a community wide tornado drill. Approximately 200 Smyrna businesses conducted an actual tornado drill, many for the first time. Every Smyrna employee participated in the tornado drill, in every municipal complex. Approximately 900 elementary school aged children participated in a tornado drill while at school. And more than 1000 middle and high school students downloaded a severe weather notification app. SEMA also conducted a full-scale Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) exercise at the Emory-Adventist Hospital that measures the capabilities of their Joint Emergency Operations Center and partial evacuation of the metropolitan hospital immediately after a severe weather event.

New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM): Ready New York for Seniors (NY)

From January 2013 to May 2014, Ready New York revisited its efforts to reach out to seniors living in the six new hurricane evacuation zones, encouraging them to create an emergency support network, to learn how to evacuate and choose meeting places, to pack a “Go Bag,” and to put together an emergency supply kit. Between January 2013 and May 2014, the program conducted approximately 200 presentations to more than  8,000 seniors throughout the city. At these presentations, more than 7,500 “My Emergency Plans” were distributed, along with more than 2,750 hurricane guides. In 2013 alone, the Ready New York program participated in more than 225 information and resource fairs around the city, distributing emergency preparedness education materials at these events to more than 84,500 people. Ready New York for Seniors has also attempted to reach a larger segment of the senior population through contact with houses of worship, gaining their assistance in distributing the program’s message and its brochures to their congregants. By means of this networking, in 2013 and the first five months of 2014, OEM’s hurricane guide was distributed to 127 houses of worship located in the new hurricane evacuation zones. The program is also continuing to work with the Queens Library system in their “Mail a Book” program—the book in this case being “My Emergency Plan.”

Honorable Mentions

Outstanding State Citizen Corps Council Initiatives

  • Utah State Citizen Corps Council (UT)
  • State of Colorado, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (CO)
  • Tonkawa Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma (OK)
  • Michigan Advanced CERT Designation (MI)

Outstanding Local Citizen Corps Council Initiatives

  • Lake County Citizen Corps Council (OH)
  • New York City Citizen Corps Council (NY)
  • Citizen Corps of St. Clair County (MI)
  • LaSalle County Citizen Corps Council (IL)
  • South Florida Regional Citizen Corps Taskforce (FL)

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness

  • State of Colorado, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (CO)
  • ThunderBots First Lego League Team (MA)
  • American Red Cross, Grand Canyon Chapter (AZ)
  • Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) (FL)
  • Happy H.X. Johnson (LA)

Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Initiatives

  • Galveston County CERT (TX)
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Emergency Manager’s Committee (MEMC) (MO)
  • The Villages CERT (FL)
  • Cape Coral CERT (FL)

Awareness to Action

  • ThunderBots First Lego League Team (MA)
  • Smyrna Emergency Management Agency (GA)
  • American Red Cross, New Hampshire Region (NH)
  • Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) (FL)
  • Central Illinois Public Information Officers (IL)

Community Preparedness Heroes

  • Galveston County CERT (TX)
  • Ocosta School District (WA)
  • David Tuckman (CA)
  • David E. Cook (CO)
  • John W. Higgins (VA)

Preparing the Whole Community

  • Miami-Dade County Office of Emergency Management (FL)
  • Emergency Preparedness Certificate Program (GA)
  • Berkeley CERT Volunteer 2014 Fair Planning Committee (CA)
  • Do 1 Thing (MI)
  • The Take Winter By Storm Campaign (WA)
  • The Mississippi Youth Preparedness Initiative (MyPI) (MS)

Survivor Empowerment and Integration

  • Costa Mesa CERT (CA)
  • City of Loveland (CO)
  • Fran O’Connor (NJ)
  • University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development (MN)

Technological Innovation

  • Bonnie Chavez (NM)
  • Boulder County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) (CO)
  • City of Cincinnati Fire Department (OH)
  • Community Emergency Response Network (MD)

2013

2013 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards Announcement

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards.  The awards recognize programs and individuals who have taken action to prepare their communities for disasters and helped to make their communities more resilient.

This year, applicants were asked to describe accomplishments that took place between January 1, 2012 and June 5, 2013.  Reflecting the full spectrum of the community, FEMA received nearly 200 applications from faith-based, non-profit, private sector, community-based organizations, and individuals from 39 states and the District of Columbia.

Recipients demonstrated remarkable innovation and creativity in preparing and supporting their communities. The winners of FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Awards will attend a recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C. during National Preparedness Month in September.

View the 2013 Awards Press Release

FEMA congratulates the following awardees and honorable mentions: 

Outstanding State Citizen Corps Council Initiatives

Illinois Citizen Corps (IL)

As the national Citizen Corps Program has been evolving to emphasize community resilience and individual and community preparedness, Illinois has been proactively following this trend.  Illinois engaged residents and organizations in a year-long, statewide, grassroots initiative called the Illinois Homeland Security Vision 2020.  The Vision 2020 process resulted in eight key priorities that drive the state’s strategy for homeland security. Two of the priorities stress the importance of “whole community” preparedness and the creation of a comprehensive and integrated volunteer recruitment, training and utilization. Eight local Illinois Citizen Corps Councils were selected to share grants to support this initiative and improve community preparedness throughout the state. One of the eight grants will enable the City of Springfield to implement a text alert service to provide residents with critical information about how to more effectively mitigate the effects of, prepare for, respond to and recover from a disaster or other emergency.

Outstanding Local Citizen Corps Council Initiatives

Heart of Texas Citizen Corps (TX)

On the evening of April 17, 2013 a fertilizer plant exploded in West Texas killing 14 people, including 12 first responders, injuring hundreds, and destroying houses and buildings.  The enormity of this disaster triggered a massive response from first responders and volunteers.  The volunteer response included no fewer than ten Citizen Corps teams organized under the Heart of Texas Citizen Corps Council, which is organized and overseen by the Homeland Security Division of the Heart of Texas Council of Governments.  The Waco and Marlin/Falls CERT teams also assisted with incident management activities, including checking responders, volunteers and other incident personnel in and out at the scene and performing data entry into WebEOC. In total, the local CERT teams contributed more than 120 hours of volunteer service and made a significant impact in assisting people in need.

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness

Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University (TX)

The Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) at Texas State University has developed a statewide approach to emphasize youth preparedness and educate the whole community in disaster preparedness.  Through the delivery of a statewide youth summer camp that includes emergency response training, community-specific action planning, and leadership development, the TxSSC prepares teams of youth to lead preparedness efforts in their local communities and schools.  In June 2012, the TxSSC funded 30 participants, made up of three youth groups and their adult sponsors from across Texas.  The participants attended the 2012 Youth Preparedness Camp for 5 days at Schriener University in Kerrville, Texas.

Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Initiatives

City of Austin CERT (TX)

In 2012, the City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management conducted a community-wide survey to measure how well the city is prepared for major disasters and emergencies.  The overall survey findings indicated that Austin residents were not well prepared for natural or man-made disasters. Based on the results, the City of Austin Community Emergency Response Team (Austin CERT) greatly enhanced its program by developing six new partnerships to help Austin prepare for and respond to local incidents and fill gaps that left the community vulnerable in times of emergency.  For example, as part of Austin CERT’s partnership with the Austin Water Utility, CERT volunteers have consistently performed nearly 1000 site visits per year, finding and reporting cut fences, water leaks, transient homes, potential copper thefts and many other security-related issues for the Austin Water Utility.  Volunteers call in potential threats and suspicious persons, photograph questionable findings, and e-mail the appropriate information to Water Utility Service Center staff for assessment and immediate repair, when necessary.  Over 160 work orders for facility repairs have been submitted based on reports from these volunteers.

In the past 16 months, members of Austin CERT have worked tirelessly to help maximize their efforts to make their program exemplary.  Austin CERT’s other new partnerships include the Austin Fire Department, Austin Teen CERT, Disaster Ready Austin, the Austin CERT Podcast, and the Texas Division of Emergency Management State Operations Center.

Awareness to Action

What to Do to Make it Through Campaign (WA)

Due to the risk of natural disasters and catastrophic events in the Puget Sound region, the City of Seattle, and the King and Snohomish County Offices of Emergency Management joined with the Puget Sound Offices of Emergency Management.  They participated in the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPG) to launch a multi-media campaign in Spring 2012.  The campaign, What to Do to Make it Through, aimed to raise awareness and encourage individuals to prepare for catastrophes by making a plan, building a kit with supplies for 7-10 days, and helping each other.  To establish regional awareness and a sense of urgency to prepare, the division partnered with Fisher Communications, a locally owned media outlet with the unique ability to offer TV, radio and online programs to implement a multi-faceted media campaign.  Mud Bay (pet preparedness) and Safeway (family/home preparedness) were secured as sponsors and contributed funds to a collective advertising purchase, including television, radio, and online.  This framework provided sponsors an opportunity to leverage limited advertising funds into a larger, more impactful presence to promote community preparedness.

Community Preparedness Heroes

Volunteers of the Hoboken CERT Team (NJ)

After Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in October 2012, the Hoboken CERT team was deployed to assist Hoboken’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in recovery efforts. The program distributed Hurricane Sandy information flyers throughout the Hoboken Housing Authority and locked down its HAM radio frequency to all communications with the exception of emergency traffic.  Additionally, the CERT program set up and manned the Emergency Operation Center with the Hoboken OEM and began the process of soliciting volunteers and staffing shelters.  On October 30, 2012, the CERT program started with recovery operations by identifying leaders and organizing hundreds of volunteers.  Hoboken CERT was able to utilize its amateur radio repeater as the primary means of communication for shelter operations, shuttle bus communications, and volunteer communications.

Third Annual Recipient of the John D. Solomon Whole Community Preparedness Award

City of Los Angeles Fire Department – South Los Angeles Teen CERT Collaborative (CA)

The John D. Solomon Whole Community Preparedness Award is named for the late creator of the groundbreaking blog, InCase of Emergency, Read Blog: A Citizen’s Eye View Of Public Preparedness, and awarded to the winner of the Preparing the Whole Community category. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate once stated that John “set the standard for what it means to be part of our nation’s emergency management team.”

John noted in his blog that youth are the segment of any community most likely to bring about change in attitudes toward emergency preparedness and resiliency.  This year, the Third Annual John D. Solomon Whole Community Preparedness Award is presented to the City of Los Angeles Fire Department’s South Los Angeles Teen CERT Collaborative, which provided training in basic disaster preparedness and response skills to local teens.

The South Los Angeles Teen CERT Collaborative was developed by the City of Los Angeles Fire Department in partnership with a wide representation of local organizations and businesses as a true whole community effort.  Word of mouth from trusted community leaders helped recruit youth into the program and local police vans provided transportation.  Local businesses provided meals and snacks for the youth, and other local partners ensured that at least five adults were present at every class to show support for the students' efforts.  The level of commitment and support demonstrated by local businesses, law enforcement, community leaders, and the youths themselves is reflective of the whole community engagement and collaboration that John encouraged and emphasized through his work.  A total of 27 teens were trained in the CERT program of which 14 were trained in CPR and first aid. FEMA Youth Preparedness Council member, Tiffany Espensen, also participated in the graduation ceremony.

Honorable Mentions

Outstanding State Citizen Corps Council Initiatives

  • Delaware Citizen Corps (DE)
  • Michigan Citizen Corps (MI)
  • Arizona Citizen Corps (AZ)
  • Virginia Citizen Corps (VA)

Outstanding Local Citizen Corps Council Initiatives

  • Hands on Central Ohio Citizen Corps (OH)
  • Palm Beach County Citizen Corps (FL)
  • Clermont County Citizen Corps (OH)
  • SAFER Santa Rosa Citizen Corps (FL)

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness

  • AT&T Wisconsin (WI)
  • American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter (CA)
  • Ready New York for Kids (NY)
  • American Red Cross Mile High Region (CO)

Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Initiatives

  • Montgomery County CERT (MD)
  • New York City CERT (NY)
  • Harris County CERT (TX)
  • Hoboken CERT (NJ)
  • Arlington County CERT (VA)

Awareness to Action

  • Texas School Safety Center (TX)
  • City of Providence Emergency Management Agency (RI)
  • American Red Cross of St. Louis (MO)
  • www.Do1thing.us (MI)

Community Preparedness Heroes

  • Heidi Witucki (MI)
  • Chuck Guaraglia (CA)
  • Stephanie Parker (TX)
  • Karlynn Workman (OR)

Preparing the Whole Community

  • American Red Cross and Hope Worldwide (DC)
  • Aware and Prepare Initiative (CA)
  • City of Providence Emergency Management Agency (RI)
  • Sage Services (CA)

 

2012

2012 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards Announcement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to announce the multi-state recipients of the 2012 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. These Awards recognize the innovative practices and achievements of individuals, Citizen Corps Councils, and non-profit, faith-based, and private sector organizations working throughout the nation to make our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to manage any disaster or emergency event.

FEMA received applications from 38 States, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, representing program activities taking place during the period of January 1, 2011 and June 1, 2012.  Each application reflected a wide array of activities, partnerships, and achievements, and demonstrated how much can be accomplished when the potential of Whole Community is harnessed. Other winners participated in emergency community planning and established creative methods to address the needs of their communities.

All winners will be invited, as FEMA’s honored guests, to a community roundtable event in Washington, D.C.

FEMA congratulates the following awardees:

Outstanding State Citizen Corps Council Initiatives

Texas Citizen Corps (TX)

A leader in all aspects of community and citizen preparedness, Texas has 36 registered County Citizen Corps Councils, 15 Local Citizen Corps Councils and 104 registered Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs).  The Texas State Citizen Corps program also fostered partnerships with numerous state agencies, including the State Administrative Agency and the Department of State Health Services, as well as non-governmental organizations.  Strong partnerships and a Memorandum of Understanding with the Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) proved especially successful when trained CERT volunteers were integrated in the response for the Bastrop Complex Fire and North Texas tornadoes. Texas also has one of the most active and dynamic CERT programs in the country, and provides training to tribal governments, Spanish-speaking communities, and individuals with access and functional needs.

Outstanding Local Citizen Corps Council Initiatives

New York City Citizen Corps Council (NY)

The New York City Citizen Corps Council (NYC CCC) has successfully established strong working relationships with nonprofit and community organizations and furthered its role in preparing the whole community for any disaster or emergency event.   For example, through its work with the Immigrant Task Force, NYC CCC has successfully brought together nearly 130 leaders from nonprofit and other organizations to focus on ways to reach the immigrant population with preparedness and protective action messaging.  Additionally, the Council helped to facilitate the collaboration of community leaders from New York’s diverse communities to discuss the role volunteers can play in enhancing cross-cultural communication before, during, and after a disaster.

Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Initiatives

CERT Program and Volunteers, City of Newport Beach (CA)

The City of Newport Beach has 156 neighborhoods and more than 1000 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers, giving Newport Beach the highest per-capita CERT volunteer-to-resident ratio in all of California. These volunteers develop disaster preparedness and response programs for their communities, and provide training to their neighbors to educate Newport Beach’s more than 88,000 residents about natural and manmade hazards. 

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness

Chinatown Community Development Center (CA)

San Francisco’s Chinatown is one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the country, and Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels are the dominant form of housing for more than 500 low-income, immigrant families.  The occupants of these SROs, many of whom are seniors who speak only Chinese, are among the hardest to reach and most at-risk populations in the city. In order to help these residents to be better prepared for disasters, Chinatown’s Community Development Center (CDC) developed a Youth for Single-Room Occupancy (YSRO) Program. In this program, youth are trained and certified in emergency response and disaster preparedness, lead fire prevention and earthquake preparedness outreach efforts, and provide training to senior SRO residents.  Participants in the YSRO program have also published a safety handbook, developed a slide presentation, and created bilingual educational materials currently used in outreach to seniors and at-risk populations.

Preparing the Whole Community

American Red Cross Gateway to the Golden State (CA)

The American Red Cross Gateway to the Golden State Region Chapter mobilizes volunteers and leverages community partnerships to increase the resilience of low-income, immigrant, and underserved neighborhoods. Through six pilot Ready Neighborhood programs in local communities they have trained more than 16,000 individuals in lifesaving skills, including disaster preparedness, CPR, and basic first aid.  In addition, they have developed a cadre of over 200 bilingual volunteers who work to prepare individuals whose first language is Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Tongan.  They have also established a variety of networks through partnerships with more than 200 government agencies, community organizations, schools, and businesses, all working together to increase the preparedness and resilience of their communities.

Promising Partnerships

Partners in Preparedness (NY)

The New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) launched its Partners in Preparedness program in Times Square during the 2011 National Preparedness Month kick-off event. This new initiative was designed to help organizations better prepare their employees, volunteers, services, and facilities for a wide variety of disasters.  The program frequently hosts webinars for its partners to share information and discuss the City’s response plans. The New York City OEM recognizes that informed partners are better able to make decisions in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disasters. Currently 243 organizations, representing more than 500,000 employees and volunteers, are engaged in the Partners for Preparedness program. 

Awareness to Action

American Red Cross of the Poconos (PA)

Following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011, a community-based evaluation revealed the need to better prepare youth for disasters and emergency events.  This information, coupled with the realization that many children are home alone for long periods of time due to parents and guardians working, encouraged the American Red Cross of the Poconos to take action and create the Kids Home Alone Emergency Preparedness Program. The American Red Cross of the Poconos was able to reach more than 500 fifth graders through the program’s eight interactive workshop stations, which feature hands-on activities, videos, and games. These stations teach 10-11 year olds how to stay safe in various disaster situations and the importance of putting together a family disaster plan and emergency kit.  Post-evaluation for the workshops showed 90 percent of the students would recommend this program to other students and indicated the information was useful to them.

Innovative Use of Technology

North Dakota State University Agriculture Communication (ND)

In 2011, North Dakota State University led the development of two Smartphone apps to address the needs of the North Dakotans affected by disasters: 

The Disaster Recovery Log app, free to Android smart phone users, was designed to help individuals recover from damage caused by flooding and other disasters.  Utilizing the smartphone’s camera and voice recorder features to document disaster damage, users are able to download and share information with disaster relief agencies, insurance representatives, and other organizations. 

The Winter Survival Kit smartphone app helps individuals stranded during a winter storm find their current location, dial 911, notify friends and family of their situation/location, and calculate how long they can run their engine to keep warm while staying safe from carbon monoxide poisoning.  It is available for free for both Android and iPhone smart phone users.

Volunteer Integration

West Pierce County Fire and Rescue CERT Program (WA)

The West Pierce County Fire and Rescue CERT Program boasts 369 members who serve a population of more than 90,000 citizens.  The program integrates members of the whole community, bringing together diverse populations including members of the military, first responders, teachers, clergy, social workers, those who speak English as a second language, business owners, and even marine biologists to learn more about their local risks and to prepare one another and their neighborhoods for any disaster or emergency event.  159 new members have been recruited since 2011, allowing volunteers to reach deeper into the community with preparedness topics such as earthquake readiness, emergency shelter and evacuation readiness, and even medical triage. 

Community Preparedness Heroes

Michael Parker (CA)

When Captain Michael J. Parker assumed command of the Headquarters Bureau for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, he set out to improve his department’s communication with the community.  He identified several partners to help improve and focus the Department’s messaging, and introduced the department to new platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

In 2012 the Los Angeles County area was being terrorized by a serial arsonist. In response Joint Information System named “Arson Watch LA” was established that used agency websites, Facebook, Twitter, Nixle, and YouTube. Within 36 hours, Arson Watch LA had over 1000 fans on Facebook and 1500 followers on Twitter, with an extended reach of 29,000 people. On Sunday, January 1, 2012, Arson Watch LA released security footage of the suspect to all social network sites and agency websites.  By 10 p.m., tips began to pour into the tip line regarding information pertaining to the video.  By 3 a.m. the suspect was captured in West Hollywood.

Mohamed Ali (WA)

During a severe windstorm in 2011 the Department of Public Health saw a spike in the number of deaths related to carbon monoxide poisoning.  When the forecast in King County called for another significant winter storm event, Mohamed Ali made calls to members of the Somali Health Board and religious and community leaders, stressing the need to talk to community members about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Local leaders crafted a voicemail message in Somali and English that was robo-dialed to thousands of Somali’s and East Africans in King County. They included carbon monoxide poisoning prevention messaging and winter travel warnings. Mohamed’s phone number was included in the message so if anyone had questions they could call him. The following morning, Mohamed was awakened to phone call after phone call and was responded to multiple requests for assistance.

Mohamed’s actions helped save lives:  there were no fatalities attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning, and a 90 percent reduction in carbon monoxide hospital admissions was reported after the storm.

Scott Ellis (NJ)

After being forced to give up his dream job as a firefighter when he was paralyzed in an accident, Scott Ellis continued to dedicate his life to helping others.  As the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at the Progressive Center for Independent Living in Hamilton, NJ, Scott has trained hundreds of individuals with access and functional needs on how to prepare for emergencies, conducted adaptive equipment demonstrations and access and functional needs awareness/sensitivity training for first responders, and served as a leader in his local CERT program and provided CERT training to individuals with access and functional needs

Second Annual Recipient of the John D. Solomon Preparedness Award

Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE)

The John D. Solomon Preparedness Award is named for the late creator of the groundbreaking blog, In Case of Emergency, Read Blog: A Citizen’s Eye View Of Public Preparedness. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate once stated that John, “Set the standard for what it means to be part of our nation’s emergency management team.”

This year, the Second Annual John D. Solomon Preparedness Award is presented to the Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) for their outstanding engagement efforts and their singular ability to collaborate and work as a team with a broad scope of organizations in disaster preparedness and response.   Their efforts exemplify the commitment to teamwork and broad scope that hallmarked John’s work. BRACE coordinates with nearly 500 different organizations, engaging in efforts that reach the business community, children and youth, underserved populations, faith-based organizations, first responders, and individuals with access and functional needs, and more. However, BRACE’s commitment to teamwork extends beyond their vision of making their community “the most disaster resilient in America.” BRACE responds to requests from across the country from communities seeking to replicate the programs and services provided by BRACE, and regularly shares their insight and experiences with other jurisdictions through correspondence and presentations. BRACE also strives to innovate and improve on emergency preparedness efforts, engaging in a lessons learned process in which BRACE and its partners identified shortfalls following Hurricanes Ivan, Dennis, and Katrina, and took steps to address those shortfalls.

Honorable Mentions

Outstanding Local Citizen Corps Council Initiatives

  • Southeast Florida Regional Citizen Corps (FL)
  • Green River Regional Citizen Corps (KY)
  • Palm Beach County Citizen Corps (FL)
  • Prince George’s County Citizen Corps (MD)

Outstanding State Citizen Corps Council Initiatives

  • Arizona Citizen Corps (AZ)
  • Delaware Citizen Corps (DE)
  • Washington Citizen Corps (WA)
  • Oregon Citizen Corps (OR)

Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Initiatives

  • West Pierce County Fire and Rescue CERT Program (WA)
  • New York City CERT (NY)
  • Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office CERT (MA)
  • Georgetown University Campus CERT (DC)

Awareness to Action

  • Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) (FL)
  • Massachusetts Office of Disability (MA)
  • Golden Triangle Business Development District (DC)
  • North Alabama Medical Reserve Corps (AL)

Promising Partnerships

  • American Red Cross Mississippi (MS)
  • King County Healthcare Coalition (WA)
  • San Francisco Interfaith Council (CA)
  • Islamic Relief USA (VA) 

Preparing the Whole Community

  • New York City Citizen Corps (NY)
  • Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) (FL)
  • American Red Cross Nashville (TN)
  • King County Healthcare Coalition (WA) 

Innovative Use of Technology

  • Ready Georgia Mobile App (GA)
  • Michael J. Parker (CA)
  • American Red Cross Mile High Region (CO)
  • #SMEMchat (MD)

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness

  • Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School (ID)
  • Santa Rosa Citizen Corps (FL)
  • Stutsman County Citizen Corps (ND)
  • Alamo Area Citizen Corps (TX)

Volunteer Integration

  • CERT Program & Volunteers, City of Newport Beach (CA)
  • Neighborhood Ready Project (OR)
  • Town of Scarborough (ME)
  • Chicago CERT (IL)     

Community Preparedness Heroes

  • Peter Forman (NY)
  • Michelle Hanneken (IL)
  • Michael Weil (LA)
  • Kelle Landavazo (OR)
  • Kellie Bentz (NY)

2011

The White House Honors Winners of the 2011 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards

 On Thursday, January 19th, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in partnership with the White House honored the 2011 Individual and Community Preparedness Award winners in Washington, D.C. as Champions of Change. These local leaders were recognized for their outstanding achievements in better preparing their communities for disaster events and for helping to build a more resilient nation.

More than 150 White House attendees, including Secretary Janet Napolitano, Special Assistant to the President of Homeland Security, Richard Reed and numerous online viewers gathered to listen to the honorees share their innovative and successful approaches to community preparedness. From the invaluable resources John Solomon published on public preparedness to Venus Majeski's passionate commitment to integrating individuals with functional and access needs into disaster readiness activities, each honoree represented the extraordinary impact they and their organizations have had in building a Culture of Preparedness.

Over the past year, our nation has experienced more billion dollar disasters than ever before and millions of Americans in nearly every state and territory have been affected. Being prepared for these and other events and knowing what to do if a disaster strikes your home, business or the school your children attend, is critical to saving lives. It is this kind of work at a local level our award recipients are leading to ensure our communities are safer, stronger and more resilient.

For instance:

  • The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians developed a "Send Word Now" system which provides SMS text, email and voice alerts to tribal members during emergencies.
  • The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago trained more than 55,000 youth and their families in over 20 different low income neighborhoods.
  • The Earthquake Country Alliance increased individual and community awareness about earthquake preparedness through its Great California ShakeOut, an annual statewide earthquake drill involving millions of participants.
  • The New York City Citizen Corps program collaborated with more than 60 community organizations, government agencies, private sector organizations, and volunteer programs to build a stronger, more durable city.

Leadership from the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), and FEMA selected winners from among applicants in 36 States, as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Applications reflected the full breadth of the Whole Community, with submissions from faith-based, tribal, non-profit, private sector, and community-based organizations, as well as individuals.

Learn more about these remarkable individuals and organizations working on the front lines of their states, cities and communities to build a stronger, more durable nation. As Secretary Napolitano stated, "We commend the innovative practices and achievements these individuals bring to the field of emergency management in order to make our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared."

Outstanding State Citizen Corps Council Initiatives

Arkansas State Citizen Corps (AR)

Arkansas has 21 registered Citizen Corps Councils and 11 registered Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs). During 2011, Arkansas improved their social media presence; developed and implemented the Ready Arkansas: A State of Preparedness program; trained new CERT instructors and increased participation of volunteers and community outreach.  As a program, Ar@adem.arkansas CCP has begun integrating programs, like the Arkansas Citizen Volunteer Advisory Council (ACVAC), into an umbrella program to be better identifiable and consolidate efforts.  They were instrumental in setting long-term goals for the Ready Arkansas Network.  During the federally declared disasters in Arkansas in 2011, information previously collected for the Arkansas Voluntary Organizations Assisting in Disaster (ARVOAD), aided in the quick response to flooding, tornadoes and winter storms.  Arkansas CCP now tracks volunteer hours to enable our volunteers to be eligible for Presidential Service Awards.  Volunteers track their hours at http://bit.ly/CCPVolunteer_Hours.  This information is reviewed quarterly to check for qualifying volunteers.

Outstanding Local Citizen Corps Council Initiatives

New York City Citizen Corps (NY)

The New York City Citizen Corps Council (NYC CCC) engages the disaster volunteer community through its annual Disaster Volunteer Conference, Volunteer Development Program, and National Preparedness Month. NYC CCC has collaborated with more than 60 community organizations, government, private sector, and volunteer programs. In Fall 2010, the NYC CCC’s Special Needs Task Force co-hosted the Emergency Preparedness Strategies for People with Special Needs Symposium, bringing together more than 130 consumers, caregivers, and home care providers. To engage community-based organizations who work with immigrants, the NYC CCC began the Immigrant Task Force Speaker Series in January 2011.

Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team Initiatives

NBC Universal CERT (CA)

The NBC Universal CERT program consists of 250 employee volunteers who have completed the standard CERT training. This group is led by one full-time Emergency Manager and a group of volunteers who act as a CERT advisory council to lead the program. During the  award period NBC Universal CERT team developed the following:  improved the check-in process and accountability of CERT members by building a CERT focused staging and accountability system to efficiently check-in, stage, and deploy CERT members ; developed a Rapid Intervention Team for CERT members; assisted in conducting a preparedness fair involving various community partners; supplemented  the City’s CERT team for Burbank’s 2010 ShakeOut drill; and participated in an exercise conducted at the on-site child care center to test the efficacy of a pediatric curriculum.

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness

American Red Cross of Greater Chicago (IL)

During the award period the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago Chapter’s Preparedness Safety Program provided preparedness programs that reached and trained more than 55,000 youth and their families in over 20 different low income neighborhoods.  The Kid Safety Program taught student fire safety and prevention; water safety and drowning prevention; and proper hygiene and disease prevention techniques. Examples of community-kid preparedness efforts including improvements in “Community Safety Days,” “Team Firestopper,” and other prevention and safety programs aimed at children.

Preparing the Whole Community

San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians (CA)

The San Manuel reservation lies at the intersection of several fault lines along the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains. The CERT and the Tribal Emergency Response Team (CERT/TERT) utilizes a comprehensive Wi-Fi system supported by an information technology department has created unique and robust alert systems to inform the community immediately of an emergency.  The Tribe has implemented a “Send Word Now” system which provides SMS text, email and voice alerts to community members on a communication platform of choice. All of the CERT/TERT instructors are subject matter experts who provide training at no cost to participants. This year disaster response capabilities were increased by strategically placing mobile disaster support kits that provide instant access to hand tools and additional resources that may be needed on site in an emergency. The CERT/TERT is also in the process of providing in-home emergency survival kits for each Tribal residence along with back-up power sources for each home and business.

Promising Partnerships

Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) (FL)

The Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) is a non-profit organization and is a public-private partnership that has expanded the membership of the Citizen Corps Councils it supports to a membership of over 450 organizations representing over 100,000 individuals from the multiple sectors reflecting the whole community.  During the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, BRACE recruited, registered, oriented, deployed and coordinated over 950 volunteers within 30 hours of activation. BRACE ultimately coordinated the service of over 1,900 volunteers that provided in excess of 10,000 hours of volunteer service during the months long activation for the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. BRACE also convened the leadership of public and private organizations from 12 different sectors of the community to plan a comprehensive recovery effort that considered the impacts of the Oil Spill on the economy, ecology, physical and emotional health, and other response and recovery priorities.

Engagement with Faith-Based Communities

David L. Maack (WI)

David Maack works with the faith-based community and partnered with the City of Racine Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare to present a forum on preparedness for our churches and faith-based organizations.  46 individuals representing churches attended the seminar.  A concerted effort was also made to reach inner city churches. Goals included reaching an underrepresented community and fostering a culture of preparedness within the faith-based community.  Mr. Maack was a plenary session keynote speaker at a Faithful Readiness conference sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security.

Innovative Training and Education Programs

Washington State Emergency Management (Map Your Neighborhood) (WA)

The Washington State Emergency Management Division’s Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) program prepares neighborhoods to survive emergencies and disaster situations, saving lives, reducing the severity of injuries and trauma, and reducing property damage. MYN is currently active in thirty-four states, including Washington. MYN, designed to improve disaster readiness at the neighborhood level (generally 15-20 homes in urban areas or 5-7 in rural areas – MYN can also be implemented in condos and apartment complexes), teaches neighbors to rely on each other during the hours or days before fire, medical, police, or utility responders may be able to reach them.MYN begins with a single individual inviting the neighborhood to his or her home for a 90-minute meeting, facilitated by the MYN program DVD. In 2010-2011 MYN WA State obtained 55 new partners, and was implemented in six new states, and two new countries. MYN also won FEMA’s Challenge.gov Award this year.

Outstanding Drill, Exercise, or Event

The Great Central United States ShakeOut (TN)

At 10:15 AM. on April 28, 2011, communities throughout the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) Member States (Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee) and Associate States of Georgia, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, took part in the largest earthquake preparedness effort in central U.S. history, the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut.  The ShakeOut was designed as a way for the general public to learn about earthquakes and take specific actions to prepare themselves before the next damaging earthquake strikes.  It was promoted through a central website, where people were encouraged to register and pledge their participation to take part in the drill.  Participants were asked to use resources on the website (drill manuals and broadcasts, scenarios, and safety information) to help develop their drills.   Other ShakeOut promotional collateral (videos, web banners, flyers, etc.) were made available on the website as well. 

Awareness to Action

Earthquake Country Alliance (ShakeOut) (CA)

The ECA is composed currently of three regional alliances: the Southern California Earthquake Alliance, the Bay Area Earthquake Alliance, and the Redwood Coast Tsunami Working Group. Many organizations work together with ECA including SCEC, CalEMA, USGS, California Earthquake Authority, FEMA, American Red Cross, State Farm, and many city and county government agencies across California. The ECA’s cornerstone activity is The Great California ShakeOut, an annual statewide earthquake drill that began in 2008 and which involves millions of participants each year all across California. The ShakeOut has now been replicated in many states and in other countries. SCEC hosts the website, registration system, and provides consultation for each of these drills, to maintain consistency in the brand and work towards unified earthquake preparedness. ECA distributes Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country and other publications, and maintains and supports the EPIcenter network of museums and other informal learning venues. The ECA also publishes a number of region-specific earthquake and tsunami preparedness handbooks, as well as maintaining a website (www.earthquakecountry.org).

Innovative Use of Technology

Citizen Corps of St. Clair County (MI)

The Citizen Corps of St. Clair County launched a new Public Preparedness Campaign called "Be Ready St. Clair County" that focuses on FEMA's Ready message of "Get a Kit. Make a Plan. Be Prepared." St. Clair created an interactive website for the campaign, www.BeReadyStClairCounty.org, where residents can click “My Kit,” “My Plan,” and “My Info” to help prepare themselves and their families.  The site also contains preparedness videos and fact sheets on area risks and how to be prepared.  During its most active month the website reached nearly 5000 page views.  Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages were also created.  The Facebook group has over 700 members, and is most active during severe weather events in which residents share information with one another by reporting on storm activity, follow watches and warnings, and post storm-related pictures and videos.  A series of preparedness PSAs were also recorded by various officials and community members and aired on six radio stations over 1,600 times during the award period. Video PSAs airing before movies at local theatres were seen by approximately 330,000 people. St. Clair County also launched its first annual video and ad contest.

Outstanding Achievement in Public Health

Cobb County Public Health Preparedness and Response (GA)

Cobb County Safety Village is an eight-acre safety training environment where elementary school students learn about public health, safety, and emergency preparedness through interactive learning modules and activities. The village features reduced-scale buildings on street replicas that include sidewalks, traffic signals, and other local structures and landmarks. In 2011 Cobb Public Health designed a six-part education project with the goal of creating and implementing hands-on interactive safety and preparedness training for children that aligns with local, state, and federal preparedness guidelines. The project, funded by a $78,000 grant from the CDC, was specifically designed for presentation in the miniature public health building in the safety village. Over 20,000 local students are expected to complete this training during 2011.

Community Preparedness Heroes

Brenda Gormley (TX)

Brenda Gormley has been volunteering as the Denton County, Texas, CERT Coordinator and has grown the Denton County CERT program to include over 500 members. She has trained and established specialized teams to respond to local and regional search and rescue, damage assessment and rehab needs, coordinated cross-training with the Denton County MRC and other Citizen Corps programs, and facilitated the merger of Denton County VOAD and the Denton County Citizen Corps Council. Brenda has also been instrumental in the success of the youth preparedness initiative in Denton County through Teen CERT. In addition to her other CERT duties, she personally instructs two Teen CERT classes per semester in Denton County, and at one time during 2010, three. Brenda is the secretary of the Denton County Citizen Corps Council, serves as the Citizen Corps representative on the Urban Area Security Initiative Working Group and as the Citizen Corps representative on the Non-Profit Security Grant scoring committee.

Tod Pritchard (WI)

Tod Pritchard joined Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) as the State Preparedness Coordinator in August 2010. He reinvigorated the statewide preparedness campaign, "ReadyWisconsin" by updating our website, coordinating various weather campaigns, as well as September Preparedness Month, and helping launch a student preparedness initiative in Wisconsin. The campaigns he coordinated include the 2010 Wisconsin Winter Awareness Campaign (with NASCAR driver and Wisconsin native Matt Kenseth) and STEP (Student Tools for Emergency Planning) in Wisconsin. The program teaches fifth grade students to learn to be ready for disasters and emergencies. Tod is currently coordinating September Preparedness Month 2011.

Carolyn Bluhm (CO)

For six years Carolyn Bluhm, from the Denver Office of Emergency Management, has provided CERT and community preparedness trainings to diverse populations. She has gone out of her way to train community members and organizations in multiple diverse communities including low-income Hispanic neighborhoods, multi-ethnic Muslim populations, multi-tribal urban Native Americans, African American and Asian American communities. She provides these communities with training primarily on evenings and weekends, when the most people could attend. She volunteers much of her own time to address the training and technical assistance needs of the communities with whom she works. Due to her efforts at a local church a fully Spanish-bilingual CERT team was created with over 60 people. She also helped the Colorado Muslim Society to establish a CERT and emergency operations team bi-lingual in Arabic, and a number of other languages such as Farsi, Urdu, and Somali. She trained CERT trainers in both communities so that they can perpetuate the trainings on their own.

Venus Majeski (NJ)

Venus Majeski is the Director of Development and Community Relations for the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities/Cerebral Palsy Association of Middlesex County in New Jersey.  She is the lead for the Alianza Emergency Preparedness Project Plus (AEPPplus). Through this project, staff members meet individually with people with disabilities and their families to develop Self-Directed Emergency Preparedness Plans (S-DEPP).  In addition to keeping the plan in their “Go Bags” with other typical emergency items, such as batteries and a flashlight, the plan is also loaded onto a USB drive and connected to a wrist band that a person who has difficulty speaking or remembering important personal information can wear and share with an emergency shelter worker. Through AEPPplus, Venus and her colleagues also work to produce real relationships between the individuals, families, and communities and traditional disaster readiness and recovery actors, including first responders, the Red Cross, and Salvation Army so that people with disabilities are not only being served, but come to the table in positions of community leadership. The project focuses special attention to reaching out to minorities, especially the Hispanic/Latino community.

First Annual Recipient of the John D. Solomon Preparedness Award

John D. Solomon, Creator of In Case of Emergency, Read Blog (NY)

Abby Solomon, on behalf of John D. Solomon

John’s blog, In Case of Emergency, Read Blog: A Citizen’s Eye View Of Public Preparedness was launched in March 2008 as research for a book he was writing on emergency preparedness from the vantage point of a father-husband-and-son interested in helping safeguard his family and community. His body of work until his untimely death in November2010 was striking in its reporting, analysis, engagement and impact, in preparing the public, informing professionals, and effecting change in the public and private sectors. John reported from conferences he’d helped to organize as well as those he had not; posting interviews and being interviewed; devising legislation to incentivize the sale of emergency supplies via “tax holidays”; evaluating how government and non-profit disaster relief organizations were using social media tools; celebrating others’ initiatives by calling them to the attention of policy makers; conducting contests to foster citizen preparedness; and videotaping leaders in the preparedness community for their tips on readiness for his series “What Should I Tell the Public?” including one with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, which they filmed just two months before John’s death. At his passing, Administrator Fugate stated that John “set the standard for what it meant to be part of our nation's emergency management team.”

2010

FEMA Announces National Achievement Award Winners

Awards celebrate achievements in community preparedness

Released September 1, 2010

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2010 National Citizen Corps Achievement Awards!

Presented in ten categories, these awards recognize innovative practices and achievements of communities and individuals across the nation that make our neighborhoods safer, stronger, and better prepared to manage any emergency situation. These award winners illustrate how citizens can take action and do their part to be prepared. The public is a valuable resource in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disasters. Every day around the country, citizens like these take part in community emergency planning, foster successful public-private partnerships, prioritize collaboration, demonstrate creative and innovative local problem solving, implement sound programs that can be modeled for use by other communities, and show how individuals can take action to make a difference in their community.

And the winners are...

Outstanding State Citizen Corps Initiatives Award

Outstanding State Citizen Corps Initiatives Award:  North Dakota Citizen Corps Council

Outstanding Citizen Corps Council Award – Serving a Population over 750,000:  Fresno Citizen Corps Council (CA)

Outstanding Citizen Corps Council Award – Serving a Population under 750,000:  Washoe County Citizen Homeland Security Council (NV)

Collaborative Preparedness Planning Award:  Citizen Corps Council of Pierce County (WA)

Preparing the Public Award:  East Baton Rouge Parish Citizen Corps Council (LA)

Preparing Community Organizations Award:  Cedar Park Citizen Corps Council (TX)

Volunteer Integration Award:  District of Columbia Citizen Corps Council

Newcomer Award

Outstanding Council Serving a Rural Area:  Citizen Corps Council of North Idaho (ID); New Lenox Citizen Corps (IL)

Individual Achievement Awards:  David Ball, Riverside, CA; Timika Hoffman-Zoller, Chicago, IL; Mary Jean Erschen, Lodi, WI

Award finalists

Outstanding State Citizen Corps Initiatives Award
North Dakota Citizen Corps Council
California State Citizen Corps Council
Arkansas State Citizen Corps Council
Michigan Citizen Community Emergency Response Coordinating Council

Outstanding Citizen Corps Council Award – Serving a Population over 750,000
Fresno Citizen Corps Council (CA)
New York City Citizen Corps Council (NY)
Harris County Citizen Corps Council (TX)
Arizona Central Region Citizen Corps Council (AZ)

Outstanding Citizen Corps Council Award – Serving a Population under 750,000
Washoe County Citizen Homeland Security Council (NV)
San Ramon Valley Emergency Preparedness Citizen Corps Council (CA)
New Castle County Citizen Corps Council (DE)
Escambia County Citizen Corps Council (FL)

Collaborative Preparedness Planning Award
Citizen Corps Council of Pierce County (WA)
Palatine Citizen Corps Council (IL)
Howard County Community Emergency Response Network (MD)
Nassau County Citizen Corps Council (NY)

Preparing the Public Award
Douglas County Citizen Corps Council (KS)
Albuquerque Citizen Corps Council (NM)
Greater Kirkland Citizen Corps Council (WA)
East Baton Rouge Parish Citizen Corps Council (LA)

Preparing Community Organizations Award
Cedar Park Citizen Corps Council (TX)
Matanuska-Susitna Borough Citizen Corps Council (AK)
Independence/Eastern Jackson County Citizen Corps (MO)
Duval County/Jacksonville Citizen Corps Council (FL)

Volunteer Integration Award
District of Columbia Citizen Corps Council (DC)
Prince George’s County Citizen Corps Council (MD)
Alamo Regional Citizen Corps Council (TX)
Anaheim Citizen Corps Council (CA)

The award winners were selected by a panel of emergency management leaders representing all levels of government, including FEMA, National Emergency Managers Association, and the International Association of Emergency Managers.

  • North Dakota Citizen Corps Council
  • Fresno Citizen Corps Council (CA)
  • Washoe County Citizen Homeland Security Council (NV)
  • Citizen Corps Council of Pierce County (WA)
  • East Baton Rouge Parish Citizen Corps Council (LA)
  • Cedar Park Citizen Corps Council (TX)
  • District of Columbia Citizen Corps Council (DC)
  • Citizen Corps Council of North Idaho (ID)
  • New Lenox Citizen Corps (IL)
  • David Ball - Riverside, California
  • Timika Hoffman-Zoller - Chicago, Illinois
  • Mary Jean Erschen - Lodi, Wisconsin

2009

2009 National Citizen Corps Achievement Awards

The National Citizen Corps Achievement Awards:Celebrating Resilient Communities recognize innovative practices and achievements of Citizen Corps Councils across the nation that are making our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to manage any emergency situation.

Winning Citizen Corps Councils exemplify excellence in community emergency planning, foster successful public-private partnerships, prioritize collaboration, demonstrate creative and innovative local problem solving, and implement sound programs that can be modeled for use by other communities.

Deputy Administrator of FEMA's National Preparedness Directorate Timothy Manning, NEMA Incoming President David Maxwell, and IAEM President Russ Decker announced the award winners in each category at a ceremony during the 2009 National Conference on Community Preparedness (NCCP).

2009 National Citizen Corps Achievement Award Winners

  • Outstanding State/Territory Citizen Corps Initiatives Award: New Jersey State Citizen Corps Council
  • Outstanding Tribal Citizen Corps Council Award: United Tribes Technical College Citizen Corps Council (ND)
  • Outstanding Citizen Corps Council Award (pop. under 1.5 mil): Denton County Citizen Corps Council (TX)
  • Outstanding Citizen Corps Council Award (pop. over 1.5 mil): Sacramento Region Citizen Corps Council (CA)
  • Collaborative Preparedness Planning Award: Cottonwood Heights Citizen Corps (UT)
  • Preparing the Public Award: Farmington Hills / Farmington Citizen Corps Council (MI)
  • Preparing Community Organizations Award: Duval County / Jacksonville Citizen Corps (FL)
  • Volunteer Integration Award: Harris County Citizen Corps Council (TX)

 

2009 National Citizen Corps Achievement Awards Honorable Mentions

Outstanding State/Territory Citizen Corps Initiatives Award

  • Arizona State Citizen Corps Council
  • Illinois Citizen Corps Council
  • Ohio Citizen Corps Council

Outstanding Citizen Corps Council Award (Serving a population under 1.5 million)

  • Fresno Citizen Corps Council (CA)
  • Citizen Corps Monterey County (CA)
  • San Ramon Valley Emergency Preparedness Citizen Corps Council (CA)

Outstanding Citizen Corps Council Award (Serving a population over 1.5 million)

  • Arizona Central Region Citizen Corps Council (AZ)
  • New York City Citizen Corps Council (NY)
  • Southeast Florida Regional Citizen Corps Task Force (FL) [Broward County Citizen Corps Council, Miami-Dade Citizen Corps Council, Monroe County Citizen Corps Council, Palm Beach County Citizen Corps Council]

Collaborative Preparedness Planning Award

  • Contra Costa County Citizen Corps (CA)
  • Douglas County Citizen Corps Council (KS)
  • San Francisco Citizen Corps Council (CA)

Preparing the Public Award

  • Bradford County Citizen Corps Council (PA)
  • Escambia County Citizen Corps Council (FL)
  • Nassau County Citizen Corps Council (NY)

Preparing Community Organizations Award

  • Adams County Citizen Corps Council (IL)
  • Independence / Eastern Jackson County Citizen Corps (MO)
  • Detroit / Wayne County Citizen Corps (MI)

Volunteer Integration Award

  • Cuyahoga County Citizen Corps (OH)
  • Northwest Fire's Citizen Corps Council (AZ)
  • Rowlett Citizen Corps Council (TX)

 

Last updated: 09/15/2014 - 11:37 AM