Preparing for Wildfires

May 6, 2016

Preparing for Wildfires

A wildfire is an unplanned, unwanted fire burning in a natural area, such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. There’s a misconception that wildfires only happen in western and the Great Plains states. While wildfires are more common in certain states, they can occur anywhere in the country.

Read more on how you can prepare for a wildfire

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Packing Food for Your Disaster Supply Kit

When putting together your emergency food supplies:

  • Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Choose foods your family will eat.
  • Remember any special dietary needs.
  • Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.
  • Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.

Disasters can take a toll on your mental, emotional, and physical health. It’s important to the extent possible to eat a healthy diet not only to cope with the stress from the disaster, but also maintain your strength. Some food items could include:

  • Protein or fruit bars;
  • Nuts;
  • Crackers;
  • Peanut butter; and
  • Dried fruit.

These types of foods are listed because they require minimal food preparation and no cooking.  

Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils.

Check out the America’s PrepareAthon! website on how to assemble and update your emergency supplies, including food, medication, and other items. 

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Defense Department Seeks Preparedness Partnerships

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) hosted a week-long workshop on ways it can work with local, state, and federal governments to provide assistance for emergencies.

“The Department of Defense brings capabilities that no other federal agency has, and it’s important for us to be able to work together, so that we can link capability to need,” said Deanne Criswell, director of operational coordination at FEMA.

DoD officials led discussions on best practices and how to identify areas of improvement, while stressing the importance of DoD in building relationships within the disaster relief community.

For more information, check out the article “Defense Support of Civil Authorities Stressed at EPLO Workshop.”

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FEMA Seeks Comments on the Refreshed National Incident Management System

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is seeking input into the National Incident Management System (NIMS) refresh. Files can be found on the FEMA website. The 30-day National Engagement Period for NIMS will conclude at 5:00 pm EDT May 9, 2016. 

FEMA supports the mission of strengthening the security and resilience of the nation by working to improve the ability of all to manage incidents, events and emergencies.

NIMS provides a consistent and common approach and vocabulary to enable the whole community to work together seamlessly and manage all threats and hazards. NIMS applies to all incidents, regardless of cause, size, location or complexity.  

The draft NIMS:

  •  Reiterates the concepts and principles of the original 2004 version and the updated 2008 version;
  • Reflects and incorporates lessons learned from exercises and real world incidents and policy updates, such as the National Preparedness System and the 2013 NIMS Intelligence/Investigation Function Guidance and Field Operations Guide;
  • Reflects progress in resource typing and mutual aid and builds a foundation for the development of a national qualification system;
  • Clarifies that NIMS is more than just the Incident Command System (ICS) and that it applies to all stakeholders with roles in incident management across all five mission areas (Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response and Recovery);
  •  Provides guidance on a common structure and activation levels for operations and coordination centers, including Emergency Operations Centers (EOC), through new Center Management System (CMS) guidance; 
    --(Note that while we will continue to track NIMS implementation, the adoption of CMS is not mandatory as part of preparedness grants);
  • Explains the relationship among ICS, CMS, and Multiagency Coordination Groups; and
  • Enhances guidance on information management processes to improve data collection plans, social media integration and the use of geographic information systems.

To review the draft of the refreshed NIMS and for additional webinar information, visit: To provide comments on the draft, complete the feedback form and submit it to

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Dates for Your Calendar

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Disclaimer: The reader recognizes that the federal government provides links and informational data on various disaster preparedness resources and events and does not endorse any non-federal events, entities, organizations, services or products. Please let us know about other events and services for individual and community preparedness that could be included in future newsletters by contacting