In Case of Emergency, Read This Blog

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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

Ordering DHS, FEMA, & TSA ‘A La Carte’ — New Email Lists That Are Worth Signing Up For

June 6th, 2008 · 1 Comment

I know you all already get too much email (including, for some of you, the weekly summary of this blog). And the idea of getting any more, particularly from the Department of Homeland Security, may not sound on first blush very enticing

However, if you are interested in citizen preparedness — or for that matter any aspect of homeland security – I suggest you go to DHS at or FEMA at to check the list of more than 100 separate free subscriptions available covering almost every area the agencies are involved in. You can get press releases, speeches, congressional testimony, disaster declarations and even job openings — organized by subject, geography, agency, etc. (I also signed up for a few from the Transportation Security Administration.)

You can get the whole package or order them a la carte. From experience, I recommend the latter. However, I do suggest browsing all the offerings, because I guarantee you’ll find some list you’ll want to join. For me, it is a great way of keeping apprised of news and events in an unfiltered way.  Of course, the lack of any filter (ie. the media) has its benefits and drawbacks. But it is a new resource that is worth tapping for those interested in the subject.                 

One of the lists I signed up for is the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA) fire fighter fatality notification which comes after the ’in the line of duty’ death of any fire service personnel nationwide. It is a poignant reminder, on almost a weekly basis, of the commitment and sacrifice of our first responders.

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to interview FEMA policy head, Marko Bourne, a former fire fighter himself, pointed out to me that there were a number of lessons we could learn about public emergency preparedness from the way the nation approached public fire safety. One way, for example, is that whenever there was a fire related death in a community, the USFA makes sure to contact the local media to try to make it a ‘teaching opportunity’. It was a comment that I thought about this week when a couple of my fellow CERT members suggested the need for quick turnaround preparedness education after the crane collapse.

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Tags: Preparedness 2.0

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