The following is a release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency:
FEMA is asking Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programs and volunteers around the country to partner with their local Red Cross regions on the Home Fire Campaign, a whole-community initiative that aims to reduce home fire fatalities by 25 percent within the next five years.
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On average, seven people die and 36 more are injured every day as a result of home fires. They also cause more than $7 billion in property damage every year in the United States. But together, CERT and the American Red Cross can help to save lives and reduce the impact of home fires.
“We know smoke alarms cut the risk of death from a fire in half and that’s why the Red Cross is working with fire departments and community groups in some of the most fire-affected neighborhoods around the country to install smoke alarms and teach people about home fire safety.” ~ Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross.
We need your support, as preparedness leaders in your community, to reach individuals and families in high-risk and underserved neighborhoods who may be unaware of home fire risks and how to prepare for them. As part of this campaign, CERT volunteers can canvass local communities, support Red Cross volunteers as they install smoke alarms and replace batteries, and help individuals and families complete home evacuation plans. The Red Cross has particular need for any CERT volunteers who are bilingual and can help individuals who may not speak English fluently prepare.
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Here are a few ways that CERT programs and volunteers can participate in the Home Fire Campaign. Any efforts related to the campaign also count towards America’s PrepareAthon!, so please be sure to register any Home Fire Campaign activities:
- Contact your local Red Cross to find out if any Home Fire Campaign activities are scheduled in your community. Red Cross conducts Home Fire Campaign events several times a year, including during National Fire Prevention Week in October. If your local Red Cross region does not already have an event scheduled, talk to the Red Cross Regional Disaster Officer to learn more about leading your own install or outreach event. Smoke alarms, batteries, and fire safety materials may be available for partner-led events. To find your local region, visit http://www.redcross.org/find-
- Check in on neighbors, including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, and help them prepare. Reach out to individuals and families in your neighborhood and help them learn more about how they can prepare for home fires and other emergencies in ways that address their specific needs. You can also talk to neighbors about CERT and the important role you play in your community.
- Promote the Home Fire Campaign via social media. Raise awareness of home fire safety and the Home Fire Campaign by tweeting, posting on Facebook and sharing fire safety tips on blogs, websites, and in newsletters. Encourage CERT volunteers to promote the Home Fire Campaign by posting photos of themselves taking action to prepare their neighborhoods and communities for fires. Use #firesafety, #HomeFireCampaign, #GiveWhatFireTakes, @PrepareAthon, #PrepareAthon, and @RedCross.
FEMA will also be co-hosting a webinar with the Red Cross on Wednesday, September 9 at 3:00 PM ET which will showcase successful CERT-American Red Cross partnerships from throughout the country. Presenters from three different jurisdictions will share how they have worked together to prepare their communities. One of the three presentations will focus on how CERT and the American Red Cross have collaborated on the Home Fire Campaign in their neighborhoods. Here is the Adobe Connect Registration Web Link for the webinar – please register for the webinar in advance and be sure to test your Adobe Connect connection prior to the presentation.
Thank you for all the work you do to make America stronger, more resilient, and better prepared. If you have questions about the Home Fire Campaign, visit http://www.redcross.org/