March – December 2010 Themes for Community Outreach/Preparedness

First off, I apologize for the massive post... but... I think you will find it useful. I got this from Cathy Prudhomme, Community Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Governor's Office on Homeland Security. In summary, you will find below a list of all the major safety/outreach themes planned for the remainder of 2010 with links to the organizing agencies, to help you plan community outreach activities. Good stuff and Thanks, Cathy! For any questions regarding the list or for ideas on how to team up on these events for outreach in your communities, contact Cathy at

MARCH 2010

American Red Cross Month
March is American Red Cross Month, a month long celebration of Red Cross accomplishments and a look forward to future goals. The month-long commemoration was created in the 1940s when the Red Cross started a "Roll Call" drive to increase public support during wartime. After discussions with President Franklin Roosevelt, the honorary chairman of the Red Cross, an official call for support was issued, and he declared the whole month of March Red Cross Month. Each President since has issued a proclamation for the month.

March for Meals 2010
March For Meals is an annual national campaign to raise awareness of senior hunger and to encourage action on a local level. Senior nutrition programs across the United States promote March For Meals in their local communities through public events, partnerships with local businesses, volunteer recruitment and fundraising initiatives. The campaign takes place in the month of March because it was during this month that the law was enacted that included senior meal programs in the Older Americans Act. This is a great time to reach out to local Meals On Wheels Programs in your communities and work with them on incorporating community preparedness and resilience into their program.

The Great American Cleanup
The Great American Cleanup is the nation's largest annual community improvement program and is held every year from March 1st through May 31st. Safety increases in clean communities: crime is diminished; public health issues are mitigated – such as removing health hazards from drinking water and cleaning up dumpsites to reduce the risk of mosquitoes, rodents, and the threat of West Nile disease; and children can play more safely in parks and recreation areas. The Great American Cleanup is organized by Keep American Beautiful, a national nonprofit public education organization dedicated since 1953 to engaging individuals to take great responsibility for improving their local community environments. For half a century, Keep America Beautiful has been the nation's leading community improvement organization successfully implementing an effective, systematic strategy for educating on recycling and reducing litter, and changing individual attitudes about solid waste. Information on Keep America Beautiful is available online and information on the Great American Cleanup, including a Toolbox for Community Change is available.

National Women's History Month
March provides an opportunity to reach out to women in your community – through newspaper articles, local television news interviews, and speeches – highlighting the strides women in the area are making through work with Citizen Corps. Consider reaching out to area Girl Scouts and Campfire Girls with a message of community safety through these programs. The National Park Service page for Women's History Month can help you tie local activities to historical contributions of women throughout our history.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), about 1,000 tornadoes are reported across the United States in an average year – resulting in 80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries nationwide. Peak months differ according to region according to NOAA, with a peak season of March through May in southern states and peak months during the summer in northern states. If your community is at risk of being hit by tornadoes, use this month to prepare yourself, your family, and your neighbors. Consider hosting an event at a local school or community center to arm your neighbors with tornado disaster supply kits and tornado safety tips. (Visit NOAAs page on "tornados ... Nature's Most Violent Storms" for more information.) Invite local media and offer interviews with trained volunteers on hand.

March 14, 2010: Daylight Savings Time
It's time to "spring forward" with Daylight Savings Time. When you change your clocks this season, don't forget to change the batteries in your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide monitors. It's easy to overlook such seemingly minor tasks, but it could save your life. Distribute local fire statistics to local media and ask them to remind citizens in your community of the importance in changing their batteries. You may want to take this opportunity to encourage individuals to change the batteries in their flashlights and to replace the extra batteries in their disaster supply kits as well.

March 14 - 20, 2010: National Poison Prevention Week
According to the Poison Prevention Week Council, one million phone calls are placed to Poison Control Centers annually by adults seeking help when children have swallowed something harmful. And statistics from the same organization show that approximately 30 children die each year from accidental poisoning. With this in mind, approach your area Poison Control Center about partnering to raise awareness of the steps parents and caregivers in your community can take to keep harmful products out of children's reach. Additionally, you may want to consider partnering with a printing company to create and distribute magnets, posters and other materials with Poison Control and Citizen Corps contact information. The Center for Disease Control maintains information on household poisons and a checklist to ensure home are safer from accidental poisonings.

Mar 15 - 19, 2010: Flood Safety Awareness Week
Floods are consistently the most common, costly and deadly natural disaster Americans face each year – ninety percent of all natural disasters in the nation involve flooding. As part of Flood Safety Awareness Week, FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) partner with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Weather Service (NWS) to demonstrate flood risks across the country and provide important information about steps to protect citizens. In partnership with NOAA, the NFIP has developed a webpage featuring an interactive map depicting historical information about how floods have impacted millions of Americans in recent years. The site also provides tools and resources for understanding risk and knowing what to do: before a flood, during a flood, and after a flood. To learn more about Flood Safety Awareness Week and to utilize these resources, visit

APRIL 2010

National 9-1-1 Education Month
Citizen Corps Affiliate, E 9-1-1 Institute and the Coalition for 9-1-1 Education has dedicated April as 9-1-1 Education Month and is leading a national outreach effort to educate the public on the 9-1-1 system. The Coalition includes eight national organizations who jointly call upon educators, parents, public officials, and telecommunications industry leaders to join a national effort to educate the public on the importance of the 9-1-1 emergency call number system and its appropriate use during April.

National Financial Literacy Month
Finances are often an overlooked topic when it comes to disaster planning and preparedness. During National Financial Literacy Month, Councils may utilize the resources of one or several of the organizations below that are leading the way in promoting pre-disaster financial preparedness and in increasing financial literacy across the country. Operation Hope, a National Citizen Corps Affiliate, has developed a number of initiatives to provide financial literacy, financial preparedness, and financial emergency support. HOPE Coalition America provides free pre-disaster financial preparedness seminars and foreclosure prevention workshops for both individuals and organizations and provides financial experts to assist communities after a disaster strikes. Information and resources, including the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) and the Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide (PDPG), are available at The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Banks sponsor Go Direct, a campaign to motivate people who receive federal benefit checks to sign up for direct deposit. For those who depend on the mail for their Social Security benefits, a difficult situation can become worse if they are evacuated or lose their mail service – as 85,000 check recipients learned after Hurricane Katrina, and thousands more learned in 2008 during Hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike. Switching to electronic payment is one simple, significant way people can protect themselves before disaster strikes. It also eliminates the risk of stolen checks. More information, including the Go Direct Disaster Preparedness Toolkit, talking points, and web banners, is available at The U.S. Financial Literacy and Education Commission provides financial education resources for all Americans through its partnerships and website. is the U.S. government's website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether planning to buy a home, balancing a checkbook, investing in a 401k, or navigating these economic hard times, the resources on can help. Toolkits, brochures, frequently asked questions, and other resources to help Citizen Corps Councils and partners improve financial literacy in their community are available at The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) administers a national financial education campaign called Money Smart. This comprehensive financial education curriculum is designed to help individuals develop financial skills and positive banking relationships through a free training program available both online and on CD. More information on the Money Smart program is available at

April 18 - 24, 2010: National Volunteer Week
A proclamation or volunteer call to action by local leaders during National Volunteer Week provides the opportunity for media visibility for Citizen Corps activities in the area. Learn more about National Volunteer Week and approach reporters to keep them informed of the trainings and volunteer service activities taking place that week in your neighborhoods. Additionally, you might want to consider inviting your local investigative reporter to complete CERT training or shadow a Citizen Corps volunteer and report his or her experience to the community.

April 24 - May 1, 2010: National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW)
Partner with a local radio station or television station to broadcast Public Service Announcements on the importance of immunizing infants. Organize Medical Reserve Corps volunteers who can provide information and answer questions regarding immunizations to give interviews with local media. The Centers for Disease Control offer supporting materials for National Infant Immunization Week each year.

MAY 2010

American Stroke Month
The American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, promotes American Stroke Month each May. During American Stroke Month you can help reduce the impact of strokes on the people in your community. The American Stroke Month Community Awareness Kit can help you, your family, employers/employees, customers or patients become aware of stroke symptoms. Use the materials in this kit during May or anytime during the year to help spread the word about the dangers of stroke and what can be done to prevent and treat it.

Mental Health Month
Mental Health America created Mental Health Month to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of mental wellness for all. MHA’s website is a great resource to find materials and tools for learning more about the role of social connectedness in promoting and protecting mental health. During disasters, many individuals including first responders, victims and their loved-ones may experience trauma and tragedy which can be detrimental to their mental health.

National Older Americans Month
Older Americans in your community are in a unique position to help with Citizen Corps training and activities. With more time on their hands, and an interest in promoting safety, recent retirees are likely to become engaged in volunteer efforts. Provide Citizen Corps speakers at area assisted living facilities and senior centers, and encourage seniors to take an active role in promoting community safety. And be sure to partner with senior volunteer programs such as Senior Corps and RSVP. The Administration on Aging has information and materials for download to help you promote information on aging well and health and safety issues for older Americans.

May 3 - 9, 2010: Public Service Recognition Week
Celebrated since 1985 the first Monday through Sunday in May, Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) is a time set aside to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees and ensure that our government is the best in the world. Throughout the nation and around the world, public employees use the week to educate citizens about the work that they do and why they have chosen public service careers, as well as the many ways government services make life better for all of us. The United States Office of Personnel Management has more information about PRSW.

May 6 - 12, 2010: National Nurses Week
National Nurses Week is devoted to highlighting the diverse ways in which registered nurses, the largest health care profession, are working to improve health care. From bedside nursing in hospitals and long-term care facilities to the halls of research institutions, state legislatures, and Congress, and disaster response, the depth and breadth of the nursing profession is meeting the expanding health care needs of American society. Use this as an opportunity to highlight your Medical Reserve Corps and recruit additional members. Host outreach efforts on public health issues in your community so that community members meet nurses in your community and have the chance to thank them for their contributions to the wellness of the community. Have the media spotlight a nursing team or individual nurse in your community.

May 8, 2010: National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day
While our pets hold a special place in our hearts, unfortunately they often don't hold a place in our disaster preparedness plans. Encourage members of your community to consider their pets when preparing for the approaching hurricane, tornado, and wildfire seasons and other disasters. And work with shelters in your area to identify pet friendly shelters for pet owners. Provide veterinarians and kennels with tips on disaster preparedness to share with pet owners. Additionally, consider partnering with a local pet store to hold an event offering "pet disaster kit shopping lists" and giveaways such as I.D tags. DHS has a brochure on pet preparedness (PDF file) and a website for kids on preparing pets.

May 9 - 15, 2010: National Police Week
May 15 has been National Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week containing May 15 has been National Police Week, since President John F. Kennedy signed this observance into law on October 1, 1962. President Clinton later signed a law stipulating that the flag of the United States on all Government buildings be displayed at half-staff on May 15, National Peace Officers' Memorial Day. Use this week to highlight the work of law enforcements officers in your community and your Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) program. Host outreach efforts on crime prevention and home protective measures so that community members meet law enforcement officers informally and have the chance to thank them for their contributions to the safety of the community. Have the media spotlight a law enforcement team, individual officer, or VIPS volunteer in your community.

May 16 - 22, 2010: National EMS Week
Take the opportunity during National EMS Week to honor first responders – nurses, police and emergency medical service personnel – in your area this month. Set up a round of assemblies at area schools, churches, and community centers during these weeks to honor first responders and better educate all residents about the critical services they provide. Consider inviting local reporters to cover these hometown "roundtables" and include testimonials of citizens who volunteer to support first responders in your community. Include recruitment efforts for your Citizen Corps volunteer programs.

May 16 - 22, 2010: National Public Works Week
National Public Works Week (NPWW) is a celebration of the tens of thousands of men and women in North America who provide and maintain the infrastructure and services collectively known as public works. Instituted as a public education campaign by the American Public Works Association (APWA) in 1960, NPWW calls attention to the importance of public works in community life. The week seeks to enhance the prestige of the often unsung heroes of our society – the professionals who serve the public good every day with quiet dedication. The American Public Works Association (APWA) encourages public works agencies and professionals to take the opportunity to make their stories known in their communities. Over the years the observances have taken many forms, including parades, displays of public works equipment, high school essay contests, open houses, programs for civic organizations and media events. More information, including a How-To Guide, is available online.

May 24 - 30, 2010: Hurricane Preparedness Week
History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster. The goal of Hurricane Preparedness Week is to inform the public about the hurricane hazards and provide knowledge which can be used to take ACTION. This information can be used to save lives at work, home, while on the road, or on the water. Visit NOAA's website for more information and resources:

May 31, 2010: National Dam Safety Awareness Day
Of over 80,000 dams across the country, 9,000 have been designated by their state as "high hazard dams." Dam safety can affect people and property across borders and an incident in one area can affect commerce, navigation and power generation in another. People who live downstream need to be aware of the risks associated with dams, and understand their local government's evacuation plans. With 95 percent of all dams owned by states, local government, industry or individuals, states have primary responsibility for protecting their populations from dam failure. The focus of National Dam Safety Awareness Day is to empower our citizenry as primary stakeholders in safe dams, and to sustain the public's interest in becoming active partners in local emergency action plans. Resources and outreach materials are available via FEMA's National Dam Safety Program at and the Association of State Dam Safety Officials at

JUNE 2010

Home Safety Month – Home Safety Council
Every year, the Home Safety Council promotes Home Safety Month, an initiative that focuses on heightening awareness to help the public become better informed and better equipped to prevent injuries in the home. According to research some 20 million medical visits were required for treatment of home injuries last year. The Home Safety Council encourages the public to take some simple steps to minimize their risk from potential injuries, or even death, from the leading causes of unintentional home injuries: fires/burns, slips/falls and poisonings. The public is invited to access free information and resources available on, including an online quiz to assess your home safety aptitude and a Home Safety Month checklist to help safeguard your loved ones from home injuries.

National Safety Month – National Safety Council
Every year, the National Safety Council promotes National Safety Month, an initiative that focuses on heightening awareness of important safety issues. The National Safety Council and its local chapters provide information, education, and training programs focused driving safety, emergency care, and occupational safety. Public and private organizations are also encouraged to sponsor National Safety Month efforts. For more information, visit the NSC National Safety Month website.

June 1, 2010: Hurricane Season Begins
In many areas, serious storms may threaten communities from June through November. With this in mind, reach out to your local meteorologist to partner to distribute Hurricane Preparation Tips. And work with schools in your area to include hurricane education and tracking skills in class. The American Red Cross course Masters of Disaster and the National Fire Protection Association Risk Watch: Natural Disasters websites are excellent resources for school aged children. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) maintains a website of frequently asked questions about hurricanes and cyclones. You may also promote hurricane awareness by call-in radio shows hosting trivia questions and providing preparedness giveaways for correct answers (battery powered radios and flashlights). Organize Citizen Corps volunteers to go door-to-door in low-income areas to be sure that they are prepared. Be sure to also focus on special needs populations to be sure they are adequately prepared and connected to neighborhood support – especially for evacuations.

June 14, 2010: Flag Day
From Flag Day to Independence Day, the summer is filled with patriotic activities. Use this "patriotic season" as momentum to take American patriotism a step further, and promote your Citizen Corps Council and your initiatives. Working with local businesses, hold a Flag Day rally and celebrate with flag giveaways and Citizen Corps branded promotional items, using this as an opportunity to introduce upcoming Citizen Corps events in the community and to ask your community to "Pledge to prepare, train, volunteer!" Consider having your Mayor issue a proclamation on community preparedness and have community leaders author op-ed pieces in local publications. If schools are still in session, have teachers explain the significance of the flag and its symbolism and emphasize the importance of civic responsibility. More suggestions are listed are in our document "Flag Day / Citizen Corps Day Local Event Suggestions."

June 20 - 26, 2010: Lightning Safety Awareness Week
Lightning Safety Awareness Week is held the last full week of June each year. Each year in the U.S., there are about 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes- each one of these a potential killer. During the last 30 years, lightning has killed an average of 73 people per year in the U.S. This is more than the 68 that are killed by tornadoes or the average of 16 killed by hurricanes. Because lightning only claims one or two victims at a time, and because it does not cause the mass destruction left in the wake of hurricanes or tornadoes, lightning generally receives much less attention than the more destructive storm-related killers. Lightning also injures 300 people a year; however, undocumented injuries caused by lightning are likely much higher. While many people think they are aware of the dangers of lightning, the vast majority are not. Lack of understanding with regard to the dangers of lightning continues to be a significant problem in the U.S. Many people do not act to protect their lives, their property and the lives of others in a timely manner simply because they do not understand all the dangers associated with thunderstorms and lightning. This lack of knowledge can also lead to very tragic consequences. Education and awareness are key to reducing the number of people struck by lightning. People need to become aware of what behavior puts them a greater risk of being stuck by lightning and know what they can do to reduce that risk. Adults in charge of outdoor activities and events, particularly those that involve children, should have and follow a specific lightning safety plan to minimize danger to participants and spectators. Visit NOAA’s website at to download pictures, posters, public service announcements, and video clips to assist in your outreach efforts on this important topic.

June 26 - 27, 2010: ARRL Field Day
Every fourth full weekend in June, Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) "ham" operators around the country participate in a Field Day exercise to test and develop their skills to meet the challenges of emergency preparedness and emergency communications. During Field Day, hams test their skills in setting up and operating radio communication equipment where electrical power is limited or unavailable to simulate the conditions that can occur during a hurricane, tornado or other emergency, including man-made disasters. Operators set up radio transmitting and receiving equipment in local parks, at shopping malls, and other community locations using generators, battery, or solar power. This is a great opportunity to promote the good works of ARRL and to underscore the importance of emergency communications for all citizens, including NOAA public alert radios and having battery operated radios in disaster supply kits. To find out more about ARRL operations in your state, contact your ARRL State Section Manager. ARRL also produces a Field Day package to help hams participate.

JULY 2010

Critical Days of Summer
The “Critical Days of Summer” campaign is an effort to keep families and neighbors safe during summer activities. Studies show that more deadly accidents and mishaps occur during the busy summer months than any other time of year. The campaign focuses on summer safety in four areas: traffic safety, boating safety, drowning prevention, and heat stress prevention. Motorcycle and automobile mishaps are one of the greatest killers in the U.S. Encourage your community to reduce driving speeds, wear seatbelts regardless of seating position, avoid distracted and impaired driving, and learn how to properly use a child seat. Likewise, do not mix alcohol and swimming, and ensure family members are not overextending themselves in the water. The number one mishap prevention tool for drowning is a personal flotation device. Heat kills by taxing the human body beyond its abilities. In a normal year, heat and winter cold are the top natural hazard killers in the U.S. For safety and prevention resources and more information you can share with your community, visit the United States Power Squadrons website to take an on-line or in-person boating safety course, National Safety Council’s Distracted Driving webpage,, NOAA’s National Weather Service Heat Wave webpage, FEMA’s Extreme Heat webpage, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Impaired Driving webpage, Motorcycle Safety webpage, Seatbelt Safety webpage, and Child Passenger Safety webpage.

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

July 4, 2010: Independence Day
As families and neighbors head outdoors to backyard barbecues, campouts, and fireworks displays for the 4th of July celebrations, share the message of cooking fire and fireworks safety in your community. Visit, the National Council on Fireworks Safety, and National Citizen Corps Affiliate, the National Fire Protection Association for tips on how to safely enjoy cooking outdoors, campfires, and fireworks. Consider asking your local television station to conduct an interview with a firefighter or Fire Corps volunteer to share this information. Additionally, you may distribute fire and fireworks safety information at summer celebrations around the community. Engage CERT members and other Citizen Corps volunteers to participate in 4th of July parades; consider having a Citizen Corps float and be sure to hand out preparedness information along the parade route.

July 25, 2010: Parents' Day
Have a Citizen Corps volunteer speak at a PTA meeting to talk about roles parents and their children can play in keeping the home and the community safe. Invite local media to participate. Organize family oriented volunteer opportunities. Honor and acknowledge parents in the community who have focused on educating and training their family on preparedness and response skills.

July 26, 2010: Anniversary of the Signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Many people with disabilities are at greater risk during an emergency. Use this anniversary as an opportunity to organize activities specifically to ensure that people in your community with disabilities are prepared with disaster supply kits, a family communication plan, working smoke detectors, and a way to be connected to others to help them during an incident. And use this day to highlight examples of how people with disabilities can participate in Citizen Corps training and volunteer programs – include a recruitment drive specifically for people with disabilities. Invite local leaders, disabled members of your community, and other citizens to participate in a roundtable discussion about what steps can be taken to address the needs of this segment of your community. Invite local members of the media to participate.

AUGUST 2010 

Heat Wave
August can be stiflingly hot in many parts of the United States. Organize Citizen Corps activities to distribute information to ensure that citizens stay healthy during high temperatures, especially targeting low income areas where residents may not have air conditioning or adequate fans. You might also want to visit area retirement homes and educate residents on the importance of hydration and keeping cool. Organize fan donations from local business and have Citizen Corps volunteers distribute fans to needy residents. Provide local newspapers, television stations and radio stations with relevant information.

Water Conservation
Drought often accompanies the summer's high temperatures in many regions of the country. Contact local television and radio meteorologists and encourage them to discuss the importance of water conservation. Consider coordinating with one or more media outlets to organize a local contest to promote water conservation habits – for example, a "dirtiest car" contest would encourage citizens to refrain from washing their car during periods of drought.

August 3, 2010: Annual National Night Out
Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, National Night Out (NNO) celebrates police-community partnerships aimed at preventing crime and drug use. Consider planning an event in neighborhoods throughout your community that unites citizens and law enforcement officers. Distribute information about what Citizen Corps is accomplishing locally and what citizens can do to help local law enforcement efforts. Formally register your community at and receive an organizational kit with how-to materials.


Back to School Activities
This month, consider visiting local schools and talking to students about how they can help in emergency preparation and to ensure students and parents understand the school's emergency plan. Use this opportunity to recruit young people to take an active role in helping the community. With elementary school children, hold an official Citizen Corps junior volunteer event with giveaways such as Citizen Corps branded pencils and notebooks, and share information about preparing family emergency plans. For high schools, consider reaching out to administrators to form a student service club within the school designed to work with the local council on volunteer efforts. Work with the school to offer age appropriate training for first aid all the up to CERT training for older kids. Help organize Junior Citizen Corps in student government and mirror the community-wide efforts of preparedness (including evacuation and sheltering drills), training, and volunteer programs to support law enforcement, fire services, and public health/emergency medical services.

National Preparedness Month 2010
Coordinated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and co-chaired by Citizen Corps and the Ready Campaign, National Preparedness Month (NPM) encourages state, tribal, and local governments, Citizen Corps Councils and partners, non-profits, and the private sector to focus on individual and family preparedness at home, at work, and at school. Each year, hundreds of organizations show their support by joining the NPM Coalition and planning a wide range of preparedness events. Past activities have included:
preparedness booths at the state capitol or state fairs; proclamations, press conferences or town hall meetings on preparedness issues; statewide public service announcements and awareness campaigns; large scale emergency first aid and safety trainings; student training camps; pandemic flu planning sessions; group projects to put together and distribute emergency preparedness kits for others; emergency exercises and drills; and
targeted outreach to vulnerable populations.  For additional NPM ideas, visit the Citizen Corps NPM Archives. For more information on this year's NPM theme, visit:

Wildfire Mitigation
A long, dry summer can leave many U.S. regions susceptible to wildfires. It's important to remind your community how easily a fire can start and how quickly it can spread. Consider distributing information about the typical ways wildfires start and the ways to prevent them to local media, offering interviews with Citizen Corps. Invite local firefighters to visit area schools to discuss these issues with students. Encourage families to safeguard their homes, develop an emergency evacuation plan, and stress the importance of ensuring safety over protecting property. Visit Firewise for more information on how to reduce damage in wildland/urban interface areas. The Firewise Communities/USA recognition program enables communities in all parts of the United States to achieve a high level of protection against wildland/urban interface fire as well as sustainable ecosystem balance.

September 6, 2010: Labor Day
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Labor Day holiday is a national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. In recognition of these contributions, reach out to local businesses with thanks and information about keeping employees safe through developing emergency plans and kits, providing on-site training opportunities, and practicing evacuations and sheltering in place. Also ensure that businesses review OSHA requirements and have first aid kits and Automatic Emergency Defibrillators (AEDs) available throughout the building. Additionally, consider sharing information on general office safety. For more information, please visit CDC's page on Workplace Safety & Health. And don't forget to reach out to local reporters to share the idea of promoting workplace safety this holiday.

September 11, 2010: National Day of Service and Remembrance
On April 21, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act which establishes September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Under the law, the anniversary of 9/11 will be observed in ways similar to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, although it is intentionally not a federal holiday. This is a day to honor the victims and volunteers of 9/11. Councils and partners can work with members of your community to determine the most appropriate way to commemorate this day. Encourage citizen's who volunteer to register their service on the My Good Deed wesbite. My Good Deed is a national movement launched in 2003 to establish 9/11 as a national day of kindness, service and reflection. Throughout the month of September, Americans will coordinate in somber remembrance of the terrorist attacks of 2001. As a result, citizens will be thinking more about keeping their communities safe. Reinforce the value and importance of protecting communities by asking local retail stores to hand out information on disaster preparedness and asking your local news to broadcast the information. Consider having a community vigil or ceremony where leaders in the community and Citizen Corps volunteers can speak about the importance of being prepared, and offer citizens ways to volunteer and assist their community. Visit the Citizen Corps 9/11 Day of Service webpage for more ideas and information on what others are doing to recognize this day.

September 12 - 18, 2010: National Assisted Living Week
The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) established National Assisted Living Week to provide a unique opportunity to bring together residents, families, employees, volunteers, and the surrounding community to celebrate residents and recognize the unique needs of those living within assisted living residences. NCAL represents nearly 2,500 non-profit and proprietary facilities dedicated to continuous improvement in the delivery of professional compassionate care and services for the elderly and disabled. Planning guides and outreach ideas for Councils and partners are located on or

September 15 - October 15, 2010: National Hispanic Heritage Month
Distribute Spanish-language preparedness materials during the month from September 15 to October 15 at places of worship, community centers and senior centers. Invite a leader in the Hispanic community to speak about the importance of preparedness at schools and community forums.

September 17, 2010: Citizenship Day
Citizenship Day focuses on the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizens both native-born and naturalized. Use Citizenship Day to focus on the contributions of immigrants to this country and to tap into the importance of civic responsibility. Prepare public messages to convey the personal responsibilities we all have as citizens to prepare, train, and volunteer!

September 19 - 25, 2010: National Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week
Download information about proper child passenger safety, offered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and consider providing printed copies of the Proper Child Safety Seat Use Chart for distribution to relevant retail outlets such as gas stations, grocery stores, and malls. Think about encouraging your area radio station to provide information on child safety restraints, citing Citizen Corps points of contact for more information. Safe Kids Worldwide also provides useful outreach information on this issue.

September 19 - 25, 2010: Deaf Awareness Week
Contact local support groups and sign language groups to make sure that they are adequately prepared in case of an emergency, have equal access to training opportunities, and participate in volunteer programs. Invite them to share their needs and find a way to support this group in your community. The National Association of the Deaf has useful information and a community event planning guide on their website.


National Crime Prevention Month
More than twenty-five million Americans are victims of crime each year. October is Crime Prevention Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the practice of crime prevention while promoting awareness of important issues such as victimization, volunteerism, and creating safer, more caring communities. The month-long recognition highlights successful crime prevention efforts on the local, state, and national levels. Visit the “What You Can Do” webpage of the National Crime Prevention Council to find out how your community can support this month’s efforts to combat crime. Also, participate in Celebrating Safe Communities to kick-off Crime Prevention Month on October 1-3, 2010

National Diversity Awareness Month
October is Diversity Awareness Month. Consider meeting with area minority leaders – in businesses, schools, churches, and local organizations – to discuss their role in promoting community preparedness and Citizen Corps. You can also organize public speaking opportunities or radio interviews for leaders in your community to promote increased participation in preparedness from across the diverse sectors of your community. Visit the website for the National Resource Center on Advancing Emergency Preparedness for Culturally Diverse Communities for additional ideas, training materials, and resources.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
This October marks the fifth annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The Department of Homeland Security's National Cybersecurity Division (NCSD) is once again actively engaging public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to increase overall awareness and minimize vulnerabilities. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a campaign designed to educate all citizens and key public and private sector partners on cyber threats and how to safeguard themselves at home, work and school. Visit the DHS Cybersecurity Awareness Month webpage to learn more about how you can help contribute to your community’s cybersecurity awareness.

October 1 - 3, 2010: Celebrate Safe Communities
The National Sheriffs' Association (NSA), the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) are teaming up on Celebrate Safe Communities (CSC), an exciting initiative designed to help local law enforcement agencies and their community partners kick off events for Crime Prevention Month! Visit the NCPC webpage to see CSC In Action and learn how to get involved.

October 1 - 3, 2010: 29th National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend
This year, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Fire Administration will recognize the 29th annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend on October 1-3, 2010. Plaques with the names of more than 3,300 firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty will surround the memorial in Emmitsburg, MD, which was established in 1981. Visit the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend website for more information on this important event to honor America’s heroes.

October 3 - 9, 2010: Fire Prevention Week
Fire Prevention Week 2010, sponsored by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), focuses on burn awareness and prevention, as well as keeping homes safe from the leading causes of home fires. Visit the NFPA's Fire Prevention Week website to see more about what fire and life saving educators will be doing to promote fire safety this week, and learn how fire prevention focused outreach and education can be conducted in your community.

October 17 - 23, 2010: America's Safe Schools Week
Join your local school district and the National School Safety Center in observing America’s Safe Schools Week. The goal for this campaign is to motivate key education and law enforcement policymakers, as well as students, parents and community residents, to vigorously advocate school safety. Work with your local educators, policymakers and community at large to support local school safety efforts. To find out more visit the National School Safety Center.

October 18 -22, 2010: National School Bus Safety Week
The National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) promotes National School Bus Safety Week the third week in October. During this week, the NAPT hosts the National School Bus Safety Poster Contest, which allows students to artistically represent a safety theme and have a chance to win a prize. This nationwide contest for students in grades K-8 is a great way to get youth involved in preparedness and safety education in their own education institutions. This year’s theme, "Avoid Harm, Obey the Stop Arm", and the winning poster can be seen on the National School Bus Safety Week website.

October 24 - 30, 2010: National Red Ribbon Week
The mission of the Red Ribbon Campaign is to present a unified and visible commitment towards the creation of a DRUG-FREE AMERICA. The National Red Ribbon Week, sponsored by the National Family Partnership (NFP), is an ideal way for individuals and communities to unite and take a visible stand against substance abuse. The NFP helps citizens across the nation come together to keep children, families and communities safe, healthy and drug-free, through parent training, networking and sponsoring the Red Ribbon Campaign. Visit the NFP’s National Red Ribbon Week website for more information and resources.

October 24, 2010: Make a Difference Day
Each year, the Points of Light Institute/Hands on Network sponsors Make A Difference Day. This year marks the 19th year for Make A Difference Day, which will be celebrated on the fourth Saturday of October. Last year, more than three million people served on the 2009 Make A Difference Day. The day connects people with opportunities to serve, increases the strength of communities and promotes civic engagement. Anyone can participate in this national day to help others. Visit the Make a Difference DAYtaBANK to find an opportunity in your community or engage your Citizen Corps Council or partners in continuing their service to the community through a project.


National American Indian Heritage Month
To learn more about this heritage month, visit the U.S. Department of the Interior's Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service websites. A great way to honor the month is to meet with local Native American Tribal leaders to discuss ways to increase Native American involvement in local community preparedness and safety efforts, such as becoming involved in training programs like CERT. Recently, FEMA recognized the efforts of Native American working to prepare their community through the National Citizen Corps Achievement Awards program. To learn more about the winner of the 2009 Outstanding Tribal Citizen Corps Council Award, the United Tribes Technical College Citizen Corps Council, visit the Citizen Corps 2009 Awards webpage.

Season of Suppers Campaign
For pets and their parents alike, hunger can become a mutual affliction. Pet parents have been known to forego their own dinner so their furry companions can eat. That is why the Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) and the Banfield Charitable Trust have teamed up to help ensure that pets and their people both get what they need this holiday season. Pets of many MOWAA recipients are in need of nutritious food and the Season of Suppers campaign helps local Meals on Wheels programs start or sustain pet food distribution programs to feed the pets of their homebound clients. The 2010 Season of Suppers Campaign runs November 1 through December 31. For more information, visit:

Daylight Savings Time Ends
October 31st, 2010, is the official end of daylight savings time. With the turning back of the clocks this month, citizens will now have an extra hour to tackle emergency preparedness initiatives. Find creative ways to inform your community that they can take several steps to becoming more prepared for disasters during this "extra" hour. Preparedness related activities that take less than one hour include: packing a go-kit for each member of your family; changing the batteries in your smoke detector; creating a communications plan with your family; learning about your Readiness Quotient; or, talking to a friend or neighbor about what hazards you face in your community.

Veterans Day
November 11, 2010, is Veteran's Day. Veterans have played a critical role in our history; make sure to reach out to veterans and ask them to get involved in building a future filled with resilient, prepared communities. To see how your community can connect with the National Citizen Corps Affiliates that represent veterans, visit the web sites of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary.

November 25th, 2010 Thanksgiving Day
This year, Thanksgiving falls on November 25th, 2010. Thanksgiving kicks-off the holiday season and reminds us of the importance of coming together with our families and communities. Take advantage of this time to spread the message of family and community preparedness. Encourage your family members to work with their neighbors to create preparedness plans and to become involved in community safety initiatives. For information on making a family preparedness plan visit and to learn how to get involved in local community preparedness, visit the Citizen Corps website.


December 3, 2010 International Day of Disabled Persons
On Friday, December 3rd, 2010, the annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. Around 10 percent of the world’s population, or 650 million people, live with disabilities. For more information and to download resources, visit

Season of Suppers Campaign
For pets and their parents alike, hunger can become a mutual affliction. Pet parents have been known to forego their own dinner so their furry companions can eat. That is why the Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) and the Banfield Charitable Trust have teamed up to help ensure that pets and their people both get what they need this holiday season. Pets of many MOWAA recipients are in need of nutritious food and the Season of Suppers campaign helps local Meals on Wheels programs start or sustain pet food distribution programs to feed the pets of their homebound clients. The 2010 Season of Suppers Campaign runs November 1 through December 31. For more information, visit:

Winter Storm Awareness
Inclement weather is a danger to many regions in the U.S. during winter months. In December, reach out to citizens to provide information for local storm preparation. Consider asking area retailers to post "watch your step" signs near potentially slippery entrances and exits. Also have them mark shelves with emergency preparedness stickers highlighting what people need to buy for emergencies. Recruit volunteers to help shovel snow for elderly residents and check up on them to make sure they have adequate supplies.

December 31, 2010: New Year's Eve and Resolve to be Ready Campaign
Make your New Year's resolution to be prepared and feature prominent community members who "Resolve to be Ready" in the coming year. Update your family communication plan, make sure you have "go" kits for your pets as well as family members, and change the batteries in your smoke detectors. And recognize volunteers who assist with sobriety checks or designated driver programs to help ensure everyone makes it safely to the next year!