Save For an Emergency, Hurricane Clean Up, and Teach Kids with STEP

Individual and Community Preparedness eBrief

u s d h s f e m a

September 20, 2018

In this issue:

National Test of the Emergency Alert System Rescheduled for October 3, 2018

Due to the ongoing response to Hurricane Florence, the nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) will now be conducted on the backup date of October 3, 2018.

October 3 was the previously scheduled back-up date for the test, which was originally set for Thursday, September 20. A backup date is always planned in case of widespread severe weather or other significant events on the primary test date. The WEA portion of the test will start at 2:18 p.m. EDT on October 3, and the EAS portion will follow at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test, being held in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether technological improvements are needed.

For further information on the test, go to

back to top

Save For an Emergency During National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month Logo

Can your finances weather an emergency?


The final week of National Preparedness Month (NPM) 2018 begins on Sunday, September 23. Each week NPM focuses on a different action.


The theme for September 23-30 is, “Save For an Emergency.” 40 percent of all Americans do not have $400 in savings according to the Federal Reserve. Become financially prepared for an emergency by following these steps from the Ready Campaign:

Take action to prepare this September! You can find resources, including the NPM social media toolkit, at

back to top

Steps for Cleaning Up After a Hurricane

Coming Home After a Flood

After a hurricane, it is important to know how to clean up safely.


Listen to local authorities to determine when it is safe for you to return home. Do not return home until local officials indicate it is safe to do so. Stay vigilant and monitor radio or TV stations for local emergency management officials’ guidance.


Ensure water is safe to drink, cook, or clean with after flooding. Often local officials put a boil water order in place following a flood or hurricane.

Remember, never run a generator inside your home, and keep it away from windows, doors, and vents.


Tips from FEMA for clean-up after returning home:

  • Always wear protective clothing including long-sleeved shirts, long pants, rubber or plastic gloves and waterproof boots or shoes.
  • Before entering your home, look outside for damaged power lines, gas lines, and other exterior damage.
  • Take photos of your damage before you begin to clean up and save repair receipts.
  • Get rid of mold. Mold may have contaminated your home, which raises the health risk for those with asthma, allergies, and breathing conditions.
  • Open doors and windows so your house can air out before spending any length of time inside.
  • Turn off main electrical power and water systems and do not use gas appliances until a professional can ensure they are safe.
  • Check all ceilings and floors for signs of sagging or other potentially dangerous structural damage.
  • Throw out all foods, beverages, and medicines exposed to flood waters or mud, including canned goods and containers with food or liquid.
  • Throw out any items that absorb water and you cannot clean or disinfect (i.e. mattresses, carpeting, stuffed animals, etc.).
  • Beware of snakes, insects, and other animals that may be on your property or in your home.
  • Remove all drywall and insulation that has been in contact with floodwaters.
  • Clean all hard surfaces (flooring, countertops, appliances, sinks, etc.) thoroughly with hot water and soap or detergent.


To learn more about what to do after a flood or a hurricane, visit, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Flood Water After an Emergency or Disaster.

If you experienced a flood or other damages due to recent hurricane activity, please visit to register for federal assistance. 

back to top

Emergency Planning Curriculum for Elementary Schools


Teach emergency preparedness in your grade school with Student Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP).


STEP provides a ready-to-teach classroom-based course for fourth- and fifth-graders. The students will study disasters. They will learn how to build a supply kit and how to create a family emergency communication plan


STEP materials include:


You can order the STEP materials for free. Visit to learn more.

back to top

Important Dates to Remember

back to top

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