The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Thursday announced the winners of the 2013 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. The awards recognize individuals who have taken action to prepare their communities. This year, highlighted accomplishments were achieved between January 1, 2012 and June 5, 2013.
FEMA received nearly 200 applications from faith-based, non-profit, private sector, and community-based organizations, as well as individuals. Leadership from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and FEMA, with input from representatives of the whole community, selected this year’s winners from among applicants from 39 States and the District of Columbia.
The finalists each demonstrated remarkable innovation and creativity in preparing and supporting their communities. For example, the Texas School Safety Center developed a statewide approach to emphasize youth preparedness by establishing a youth preparedness summer camp that included emergency and community specific action planning in addition to leadership development. The volunteers of the Hoboken Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in New Jersey were essential in assisting the Hoboken Office of Emergency Management following Hurricane Sandy. The Illinois Citizen Corps Council leveraged local partners in their communities to help support their emergency preparedness programs.
Hoboken's CERT volunteers won an award as "Community Preparedness Heroes."
(It should be noted that many volunteers from Stevens, local schools, and the community in general also helped out without officially being CERT members. Some later became certified.)