FEMA Honors Achievement in Community Preparedness

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2014 Individual and Community Preparedness Award Winners Announced

WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced the winners of the 2014 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards, recognizing the outstanding efforts of individuals, programs and organizations throughout the country working to prepare their communities for emergencies.

“Strong emergency management requires teamwork, community engagement, innovation and strong relationships at all levels before disasters occur,” FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said. “This year, we recognize individuals and organizations that exemplify this approach, and I congratulate them on their dedication to make our nation stronger and safer.”

This year’s honorees developed and implemented innovative tools, programs and resources, which provided opportunities for a wide variety of stakeholders to make their communities better prepared and more resilient. Some examples include:

  • The Mississippi State University Extension Service launched the Mississippi Youth Preparedness Initiative (MyPI), a grassroots effort to train and educate approximately 3,500 teens annually about emergency preparedness.  Participating youth also completed service projects to prepare families in their communities for disaster.
  • The Delaware State Citizen Corps Council, Partnerships in Assistive Technologies, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management supported the development of smartphone apps to enhance communications between professional responders and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
  • The Smyrna Emergency Management Agency in Georgia became the nation’s first municipality to participate in America’s PrepareAthon!, conducting a community-wide tornado drill involving 200 businesses.
  • The New York City Office of Emergency Management’s Ready New York for Seniors Program conducted approximately 200 presentations to more than 8,000 older Americans living in the city.

This year’s winners of FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Awards are:

  • Outstanding State Citizen Corps Council Initiatives: Delaware State Citizen Corps Council (DE)  
  • Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Initiatives: MOCERT1 (Southwestern Missouri Regional CERT) (MO)
  • Outstanding Local Citizen Corps Council Initiatives: Albany County Citizen Corps (NY)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness: The Mississippi Youth Preparedness Initiative (MyPI) (MS)
  • Community Preparedness Heroes: Lieutenant Brian K. Rand (MA) and the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP) (CO)
  • Awareness to Action: Do 1 Thing (MI)
  • Technological Innovation: Partnerships in Assistive Technologies (PATHs, Inc.) (WV)
  • Survivor Empowerment and Integration: Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management (MA)
  • Fourth Annual Recipients of the John D. Solomon Whole Community Preparedness Award: Smyrna Emergency Management Agency (GA) and New York City Office of Emergency Management:  Ready New York for Seniors (NY)

FEMA received more than 230 applications for the Individual and Community Preparedness Awards from public, private, tribal and nonprofit organizations as well as from individuals. Leadership from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the American Red Cross, Target and FEMA selected winners from among applicants from 43 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The eleven recipients of FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Awards will be recognized at a ceremony being held during National Preparedness Month in Washington, D.C. During the ceremony, recipients will share their perspectives, insights, experiences, success stories and lessons learned with fellow emergency management leaders.

More information on this year’s award recipients, along with details on the honorable mentions, is available at www.ready.gov/citizen-corps/citizen-corps-awards.

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