National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month (NPM) is observed each September to promote disaster and emergency planning for families and communities. This year’s theme is Prepared, Not Scared. Each week of the month highlights a different topic of preparedness. Here are some suggestions from

Week 1: Save Early for Disaster Costs

  • Review your insurance coverage – most homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood damage
  • Visit
  • Snap photos of important documents and personal belongings
  • Download the Financial First Aid to see what documents you need in case of emergency (
  • Plan financially for disaster
  • Keep cash on hand in case of emergencies

Week 2: Make a Plan

  • Make an emergency plan and practice it
  • Sign up for alerts and warnings in your area
  • Include your kids in your planning
  • Learn how to turn off utilities in your home
  • Have 72 hours of food, water, and meds available

Week 3: Youth Preparedness

  • Teach kids what to do in an emergency
  • Prepare kids to communicate via text messages, 911. emergency contacts
  • Include children’s medication in your home emergency kit as will was stuffed animals, books or music

Week 4: Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness

  • Learn about the hazards most likely to affect your community
  • See what voluntary organizations are available in your area
  • Take classes in skills such as CPR/AED and first aid
  • If you have a disability, plan for accessible transportation
  • Locate a disability contact in your city’s emergency management office


You are invited to “Celebrating 50 Years of Training: Encourage, Empower and Elevate.”

NTP-2019 50th
For more than 50 years, the National Training Program (NTP) has given attendees the very best in skill-building content, covering all aspects of instructor-led training. I am so excited to invite you to the 50th NTP program “Celebrating 50 Years of Training: Encourage, Empower and Elevate.” The NTP facilitate the mission of FEW through providing professional growth opportunities to attendees along with a multitude of self-development tools. It’s not too late to register and be a part of this premier training event in Philadelphia July 22 – 26, 2019.

If you have never been to an NTP, I encourage you not to miss this program. Rarely are we provided transformational opportunities in life to elevate ourselves with phenomenal training, but this is your opportunity. Warren Bennis said, ” The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” This is your opportunity to get the training necessary to make a greater contribution to your teams. Training is not an option for Agencies to stay on top of trends, it’s mandatory.
At this NTP, we will have with us several enlightening speaker and special guest. The entire week will consist of dynamic keynote addresses including some from our most notable Agency leaders. In fact, you don’t want to miss our Opening Keynote, Ms. Barbara M. Littles, CEO of Purpose by Design Company who will invigorate your mind to become an insightful strategic negotiator in your career. Anything is possible. Our closing Diversity Luncheon keynotes are Mr. Bruce Stewart, the former Deputy Director Training, Compliance, and Strategic Initiatives in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Mr. Miguel J. Avilés-Pérez, Chief, Office of Diversity & Inclusion with the U.S. Coast Guard. They are strong advocate for our focus of Diversity as they are a wealth of knowledge and so passionate about creating diverse, inclusive working environments.

It will be an awesome week of training and awareness. In fact, for our special awareness initiative FEW will recognize heart disease. Millions of Americans live with heart disease, stroke or a cardiovascular condition. 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke. But, it can be prevented. At the NTP, we will provide tips and inspiring stories of success. FEW declares Tuesday, July 23, 2019 a day to wear red in honor of heart disease. Join us in solidarity and support of this effort to prevent heart disease.

The NTP is where we encourage, empower and elevate your career and innate skills. Take this opportunity to build upon the greatness within you. Visit our webpage to get started and registered.

Karen M. Rainey
National President

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

June is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Most people who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping, but with time and good self-care, they usually get better. If the symptoms get worse, last for months or even years, and interfere with your day-to-day functioning, you may have PTSD.

Getting effective treatment after PTSD symptoms develop can be critical to reduce symptoms and improve function.


Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may start within one month of a traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event. These symptoms cause significant problems in social or work situations and in relationships. They can also interfere with your ability to go about your normal daily tasks.

PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Symptoms can vary over time or vary from person to person.

Intrusive memories

Symptoms of intrusive memories may include:

  • Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
  • Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
  • Upsetting dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event
  • Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event


Symptoms of avoidance may include:

  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
  • Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event

Negative changes in thinking and mood

Symptoms of negative changes in thinking and mood may include:

  • Negative thoughts about yourself, other people or the world
  • Hopelessness about the future
  • Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event
  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships
  • Feeling detached from family and friends
  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Difficulty experiencing positive emotions
  • Feeling emotionally numb

Changes in physical and emotional reactions

Symptoms of changes in physical and emotional reactions (also called arousal symptoms) may include:

  • Being easily startled or frightened
  • Always being on guard for danger
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame

For children 6 years old and younger, signs and symptoms may also include:

  • Re-enacting the traumatic event or aspects of the traumatic event through play
  • Frightening dreams that may or may not include aspects of the traumatic event

Intensity of symptoms

PTSD symptoms can vary in intensity over time. You may have more PTSD symptoms when you’re stressed in general, or when you come across reminders of what you went through. For example, you may hear a car backfire and relive combat experiences. Or you may see a report on the news about a sexual assault and feel overcome by memories of your own assault.

When to see a doctor

If you have disturbing thoughts and feelings about a traumatic event for more than a month, if they’re severe, or if you feel you’re having trouble getting your life back under control, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. Getting treatment as soon as possible can help prevent PTSD symptoms from getting worse.

If you have suicidal thoughts

If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, get help right away through one or more of these resources:

  • Reach out to a close friend or loved one. Contact a minister, a spiritual leader or someone in your faith community.
  • Call a suicide hotline number — in the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor. Use that same number and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
  • Make an appointment with your doctor or a mental health professional.

When to get emergency help

If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

If you know someone who’s in danger of attempting suicide or has made a suicide attempt, make sure someone stays with that person to keep him or her safe. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Or, if you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room.


PTSD Symptoms and Causes

What is PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Honoring President George H. W. Bush (1924 – 2018)

 picture of George H.W. Bush
Federally Employed Women (FEW) mourns the loss of our 41st National President, George H. W. Bush.   It is with sorrowful hearts that FEW joins our nation for a “National Day of Mourning” in remembrance of a life full of service and sacrifice.   Former President George H. W. Bush died on November 30, 2018 at the age of 94 years of life.  He will be remembered for his courageous life of service in our military, Congress and ultimately the President of the United States of America.   Below is a direct link to read President Trump’s Proclamation.

Safe Toys and Gifts Month

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries in 2010 throughout the United States. 72% were to people less than 15 years of age. Additionally, in 2007 alone, toymakers recalled over 19 million toys worldwide because of safety concerns such as lead paint and small magnets.

When it comes to toys and gifts, the excitement and desire to get your children their favorite toys may cause shoppers to forget about safety factors associated with them. Before you make these purchases, it is critical to remember to consider the safety and age range of the toys.

Prevent Blindness America has declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month.  The group encourages everyone to consider if the toys they wish to give suits the age and individual skills and abilities of the individual child who will receive it, especially for infants and children under age three.

This holiday season (and beyond), please consider the following guidelines for choosing safe toys for all ages:

  • Inspect all toys before purchasing. Avoid those that shoot or include parts that fly off. The toy should have no sharp edges or points and should be sturdy enough to withstand impact without breaking, being crushed, or being pulled apart easily.
  • When purchasing toys for children with special needs try to:  Choose toys that may appeal to different senses such as sound, movement, and texture; consider interactive toys to allow the child to play with others; and think about the size of the toy and the position a child would need to be in to play with it. Consult the “AblePlay” website at for more information.
  • Be diligent about inspecting toys your child has received. Check them for age, skill level, and developmental appropriateness before allowing them to be played with.
  • Look for labels that assure you the toys have passed a safety inspection – “ATSM” means the toy has met the American Society for Testing and Materials standards.
  • Gifts of sports equipment should always be accompanied by protective gear (give a helmet with the skateboard)
  • Keep kids safe from lead in toys by:  Educating yourself about lead exposure from toys, symptoms of lead poisoning, and what kinds of toys have been recalled; being aware that old toys may be more likely to contain lead in the paint; having your children wash their hands frequently and calling your doctor if you suspect your child has been exposed to lead. Consult the last two websites listed below for more information.
  • Do NOT give toys with small parts (including magnets and “button” batteries which can cause serious injury or death if ingested) to young children as they tend to put things in their mouths, increasing the risk of choking. If the piece can fit inside a toilet paper roll, it is not appropriate for kids under age three.
  • Do NOT give toys with ropes and cords or heating elements
  • Do NOT give crayons and markers unless they are labeled “nontoxic”.


For more information:

National American Indian Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month graphic
What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.

One of the very proponents of an American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day for the “First Americans” and for three years they adopted such a day. In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kansas, formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens.

The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On December 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed.

The first American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September. In Illinois, for example, legislators enacted such a day in 1919. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day, but it continues to be a day we observe without any recognition as a national legal holiday.

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.



The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

An Overview       (

There are 573 federally recognized Indian Nations (variously called tribes, nations, bands, pueblos, communities and native villages) in the United States. Approximately 229 of these ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse nations are located in Alaska; the other federally recognized tribes are located in 35 other states. Additionally, there are state recognized tribes located throughout the United States recognized by their respective state governments.

A Culture of Tribal Governance
American Indians and Alaska Natives are members of the original Indigenous peoples of North America. Tribal nations have been recognized as sovereign since their first interaction with European settlers. The United States continues to recognize this unique political status and relationship.

A Political Relationship
Native peoples and governments have inherent rights and a political relationship with the U.S. government that does not derive from race or ethnicity. Tribal members are citizens of three sovereigns: their tribe, the United States, and the state in which they reside. They are also individuals in an international context with the rights afforded to any other individual.

Tribes as Nations
The governmental status of tribal nations is at the heart of nearly every issue that touches Indian Country. Self-government is essential if tribal communities are to continue to protect their unique cultures and identities. Tribes have the inherent power to govern all matters involving their members, as well as a range of issues in Indian Country.

The essence of tribal sovereignty is the ability to govern and to protect and enhance the health, safety, and welfare of tribal citizens within tribal territory. Tribal governments maintain the power to determine their own governance structures and enforce laws through police departments and tribal courts. The governments exercise these inherent rights through the development of their distinct forms of government, determining citizenship; establishing civil and criminal laws for their nations; taxing, licensing, regulating, and maintaining and exercising the power to exclude wrongdoers from tribal lands.

In addition, tribal governments are responsible for a broad range of governmental activities on tribal lands, including education, law enforcement, judicial systems, health care, environmental protection, natural resource management, and the development and maintenance of basic infrastructure such as housing, roads, bridges, sewers, public buildings, telecommunications, broadband and electrical services, and solid waste treatment and disposal.


Indian Country Demographics  (


  • Total American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) alone population: 2.9 million or about 0.9 percent of the US population.(r1)
  • Total AI/AN population alone or in combination with other races: 5.2 million or 1.7 percent of the US population.(r2)
  • About 32 percent of Natives are under the age of 18, compared to only 24% of the total population who are under the age of 18. The median age for American Indians and Alaska Natives on reservations is 26, compared to 37 for the entire nation.
  • The AIAN population from birth through age 24 makes up 42 percent of the total AIAN population; whereas the under 25 population for the United States is only 34 percent of the total population.
  • States with the highest proportion of American Indians and Alaska Natives: Alaska (19.5%), Oklahoma (12.9%), New Mexico (10.7%).



  • Native people die at higher rates than other Americans from
    • tuberculosis: 600% higher ? alcoholism: 510% higher ? diabetes: 189% higher
    • vehicle crashes: 229% higher ? injuries: 152% higher ? suicide: 62% higher
  • Indian youth have the highest rate of suicide among all ethnic groups in the US and is the second-leading cause of death for Native youth aged 15-24. (r4)


  • Between 1992 and 1997, the number of Native-owned businesses grew by 84 percent to a total of 197,300 businesses, and their receipts increased by 179 percent.
  • The number of American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned businesses totaled 237,386 in 2007, up 17.9 percent from 2002; total receipts of these businesses were $34.5 billion, up 28.3 percent from 2002. (r5)
  • American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned businesses accounted for 10.0 percent of businesses in Alaska, 6.3 percent in Oklahoma and 5.3 percent in New Mexico.
  • Between 1990 and 2000, income levels rose by 33 percent and the poverty rate dropped by 7 percent, with little difference between those tribes with gaming operations and those tribes without gaming. (r6)



  • The rate of aggravated assault among American Indians and Alaska Natives is roughly twice that of the country as a whole (600.2 per 100,000 versus 323.6 per 100,000). (r7)
  • 1 out of 10 American Indians (12 and older) become victims of violent crime annually. (r8)
  • In 2001 half the tribes in the lower 48 states employed at least one full-time sworn officer with general arrest powers. (r9)
  • About 59 percent of tribes have a tribal judicial system. (r10)
  • More than 25 Indian tribes govern lands that are either adjacent to borders or directly accessible by boat from the border. These tribal lands encompass over 260 miles of international borders – a distance 100 miles longer than California’s border with Mexico.


  • Indian tribes boast nearly a quarter of the nation’s on-shore oil and gas reserves and developable resources and one-third of the West’s low-sulfur coal. Yet, in total, it represents less than five percent of current national energy production.
  • The Department of the Interior estimates that undeveloped reserves of coal, natural gas, and oil on tribal lands could generate nearly $1 trillion in revenues for tribes and surrounding communities.
  • Tribal wind and solar energy potential can provide respectively, 14 percent and 4.5 times the nation’s energy needs.


  • Native Americans are becoming homeowners at an increasing rate, 39 percent more from 1997 to 2001.
  • Indian Reservation Roads (IRR) comprise over 104,000 miles of public roads and are owned by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Indian tribes, states and counties.
  • More than 65 percent of the system is unimproved earth and gravel, and approximately 24 percent of IRR bridges are classified as deficient.
  • While the number of fatal crashes in the nation declined 2.2 percent over the past 25 years, the number of fatal motor vehicle crashes per year on Indian reservations increased 52.5 percent.


  • There are 302 forested Indian reservations which encompass 17.9 million acres of Indian forest lands – 7.7 million acres of timberlands and 10.2 million acres of woodlands.
  • 199 reservations contain timberlands and 185 reservations contain woodlands.


  • The number of American Indian and Alaska Native students enrolled in colleges and universities and the number of postsecondary degrees awarded has more than doubled in the past 30 years. (r11)
  • Only five percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives have received graduate or professional degrees, compared to 10 percent for the total population, and only nine percent of American Indians have earned bachelor’s degrees compared to 19 percent for the US population. (r11)


Page References

  • S. Census, 2010 Census Redistricting File
  • S. Census, 2010 Census Redistricting File
  • S. Census, 2000; Energy Information Administration, Energy Use and Renewable Energy Development Potential on Indian Lands, 2000; 2006 GAO 06-189 Report , Challenges to Assessing and Improving Telecommunications For Native Americans on Tribal Lands
  • SAMHSA, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2003
  • S. Census, 2007 Survey of Business Owners
  • Kalt, J. & Taylor, J. (2005). American Indians on Reservations: A Databook of Socioeconomic Change Between the 1990 and 2000 Censuses. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.
  • Rennison, C. (2001). Violent Victimization and Race, 1993-98. U.S. DOJ, Bureau of Justice Statistics, March, (NCJ 176354).
  • 2004 report, American Indians and Crime, A BJS Statistical Profile, 1992-2002
  • S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2002 Census of Tribal Justice Agencies
  1. US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2002 Census of Tribal Justice Agencies
  2. DeVoe, J.F. and Darling-Churchill. K.E. (2008). Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics. (NCES 2008-084).

Don’t Be A Well Behaved Woman: VOTE

In 1976, in an obscure scholarly article, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, an American historian of early America and the history of women and a professor at Harvard University, wrote, “Well behaved women seldom make history.”

Ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote–a right known as woman suffrage. At the time the U.S. was founded, its female citizens did not share the same rights as men, including the right to vote.  The legal right of women to vote was established over the course of several decades in the U.S. beginning in the 1800s.  In order to achieve the right of women to vote in the U.S., many brave (and yes, brazen) women were jailed, suffered, bled, and died before the “fairer sex” across the U.S. could have their own agency–distinct from that of their husbands, fathers and brothers.

These women were not well behaved.  They raised a fuss.  And, in doing so, these women liberated their daughters.  We are their daughters and heirs.  And, it’s up to us to carry on their evolution towards equality.

While in the last hundred years, women in the U.S. have made progress, women still have a long way to go to obtain equal rights.  I don’t need to list the statistics.  You already know them well.

Women still are paid less than men.

Women still face inequity in education, employment, and healthcare.

Women still operate in a body politic where we have to be devoid of human emotion to be taken seriously.

Women still function in a society where if we express normal emotion to even the remotest slight, we are described as being emotional, irrational, or hysterical.

Women still live in a society where our silence is deemed consent.  In other words, women in the U.S. still live in a patriarchy committed to “keeping us in our place.”

But, for we women, our mothers–those brave, brazen women of the past–told us that “our place” is anywhere we please.  That takes me back to The 19th Amendment: the right of women to vote.

I’ve read it in the newspapers.  I’ve heard it on the T.V.  They say 2018 is going to be “The Year of the Woman.”  Perhaps . . . but only if we make it so.  This year, more women (and men who support women’s rights) are running for office–at the local, state and national levels.  We are seeing women across the racial, ethnic, religious and political spectrum, out in the streets–raising a fuss, protesting, speaking real truth to power, and asserting their agency as a force to be reckoned with.

They are changing the national discourse.

But, those brave, brazen women need my help and your help.  VOTE.  Today’s suffragists have laid the groundwork for what truly could be something for the history books.  But all of their hard work means nothing if we don’t show up at the polls.

Susan B. Anthony was arrested for voting in the presidential election of 1872. The judge directed the jury to deliver a guilty verdict.  When he asked Anthony, who had not been permitted to speak during the trial, if she had anything to say, she responded with what one historian has called “the most famous speech in the history of the agitation for woman suffrage”.  She called “this high-handed outrage upon my citizen’s rights”, saying, “… you have trampled underfoot every vital principle of our government. My natural rights, my civil rights, my political rights, my judicial rights, are all alike ignored.”

Anthony was not a well behaved woman.  You and I don’t have to endure the indignity that Anthony did.  We are not called on to pay the price that she did.  But, we are called on to continue her fight so that one day our daughters, granddaughters, and every female U.S. citizen will achieve equality.

November 6th is Election Day.  VOTE.

Go out and make history.

Fire Prevention Week – October 7-13, 2018

fire prevention week graphic

The latest statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show that if you have a reported fire in your home, you are more likely to die today than you were a few decades ago. This startling statistic is behind this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere.™” Fire Prevention Week takes place October 7-13, 2018.

Through three simple calls-to-action, this year’s theme identifies basic but essential ways people can reduce their risk to fire and be prepared in the event of one:

  • Look for places fire can start
  • Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm
  • Learn two ways out of each room

“People take safety for granted and are not aware of the risk of fire,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “Paying attention to your surroundings, looking for available exits in the event of a fire or other emergency, and taking the smoke alarm seriously if it sounds can make a potentially life-saving difference in a fire or other emergency situation.”

This year’s Fire Prevention Week messages apply to virtually all locations. However, NFPA continues to focus on home fire safety, as the majority of U.S. fire deaths (four out of five) occur at home each year. In fact, the fire death rate (per 1000 home fires reported to the fire department) was 10 percent higher in 2016 than in 1980.

“While we’ve made significant progress in preventing home fires from happening, these statistics show that there’s still much more work to do when it comes to teaching people how to protect themselves in the event of one, and why advance planning is so critically important,” said Carli.

“Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere.” works to remind the public that fires can and do still happen – at home, as well as other locations – and that there are basic but vitally important steps people can take to remain safe.

As the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, NFPA works with local fire departments throughout North America to promote the campaign in their communities and reaches out to the public directly to encourage everyone to take action to be safe.

Fire Facts

Home Fires

  • U.S. fire departments respond to an average of one home fire every 86 seconds.
  • Between 2011 and 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 358,500 home structure fires per year. These fires caused 12,300 civilian injuries, 2,510 civilian deaths, and $6.7 billion in direct damage.
  • On average, seven people per day die in U.S. home fires.
  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home-fire injuries.
  • For decades, smoking has been the leading cause of home-fire deaths.
  • Heating equipment was involved in one in every five home-fire deaths.

Escape Planning

  • According to an NFPA survey, only one in every three American households has actually developed and practiced a home fire-escape plan.
  • While 71% of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 47% of them have practiced it.
  • One-third of American households who made an estimate thought they would have at least six minutes before a fire in their home became threatening. The time available is often less. And only eight% said their first thought upon hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out.

Smoke Alarms

  • Smoke alarms provide an early warning of a fire, giving people additional time to escape.
  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a reported home fire in half.
  • Three in every five home-fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).
  • When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead. Dead batteries caused one-quarter (24%)of the smoke alarm failures.
  • Interconnected smoke alarms throughout the home increase safety. When one sounds, they all sound. It is especially important to have interconnected alarms if you sleep with the door closed.


  • Between 2011 and 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to a per year average of 170,200 home structure fires that involved cooking equipment. These fires caused a per year average of 510 civilian deaths, 5470 civilian injuries, and $1.2 billion in direct property damage.
  • From 2011 to 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 466 home cooking fires per day.
  • Cooking is tied for the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
  • Unattended cooking is the leading factor contributing to these fires. Frying poses the greatest risk of fire.
  • Ranges, or cooktops, accounted for the majority (62%) of home cooking-fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 13%.
  • More than half of all cooking-fire injuries occurred when people tried to fight the fire themselves.
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, Easter, and Christmas.


  • From 2009 to 2013, U.S. fire departments responded to 56,000 home structure fires that involved heating equipment. These fires caused 470 civilian fire deaths, 1,490 civilian injuries, and $1 billion in direct property damage.
  • The leading factor contributing to home-heating fires (30%) was a failure to clean. This usually involved creosote buildup- in chimneys.
  • Most home-heating fire deaths (84%) involved stationary or portable space heaters.
  • Nearly half (49%) of all home-heating fires occurred in December, January, and February.

Home Fire Sprinklers

  • Fire sprinklers reduce the risk of dying in a home fire by 80% and reduce the risk of property loss by 70%.
  • Fire sprinkler installation in new homes is cost effective, averaging 1-2% of a home’s total construction cost.
  • Only the sprinkler closest to the fire activates, preventing the spread of deadly toxic smoke and fire.
  • Home fire sprinklers protect lives by keeping fires small. Sprinklers can reduce the heat, flames, and smoke produced in a fire, allowing people more time to escape.
  • Home fire sprinklers activate on an individual basis. Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water on the fire and not the rest of the home.
  • A home fire sprinkler can control or put out a fire with a fraction of the water that would be used by fire department hoses.
  • Accidental sprinkler discharges are rare.
  • Home fire sprinklers can be installed in new or existing homes. If you are remodeling or building your home, install home fire sprinklers.
  • Home fire sprinklers work along with smoke alarms to save lives.


National Fire Protection Association Announces Theme for Fire Prevention Week October 7-13, 2018

Fire Prevention Week Fire Facts

Federally Employed Women Recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Disability Employment Awareness Month graphic

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and all members are encouraged to participate in the observance.  The 2018 theme is, “America’s Workforce: Empowering All.”

Workplaces welcoming the talents of all people, including people with disabilities, are a critical part of our efforts to build an inclusive community and strong economy. In this spirit, Federally Employed Women (FEW) recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month this October to raise awareness about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of people with disabilities.  Activities during this month will reinforce the value and talent people with disabilities add to our workplaces and communities and affirm FEW’s commitment to an inclusive organization.

The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.  National Disability Employment Awareness Month began in 1945, when Congress declared the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.”  In 1962, the word “physically” was dropped to acknowledge individuals with all types of disabilities.  Then in 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Held annually, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is led by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, but its true spirit lies in the many observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year.

For specific ideas about how FEW members can support National Disability Employment Awareness Month, you can visit or email the FEW Special Assistant for People with Disabilities at  Suggestions range from simple, such as putting up a poster, to comprehensive, such as implementing a disability education program.  Regardless, all play an important part in fostering a more inclusive workforce, one where every person is recognized for his or her abilities — every day of every month.

Karen Rainey, President