Friday, April 9, 2021

JMG News

 

BIWEEKLY UPDATE | APRIL 2021

NATIONAL GARDENING DAY
RAISED BED
APPAREL & AWARDS
NATIONAL GARDENING DAY IS APRIL 14TH!
On Wednesday, we would love to see how you are celebrating National Gardening Day with your group! Be sure to tag us in your posts!

We will be spending time in the garden with Skip Richter, Texas A&M Extension Service Horticulture Agent. Be sure to check in on our social media and hear from him!

Since gardening is at the front of your mind, check out these tips from Skip on preparing your garden and preventing weeds from growing!
WANT TO BUILD A RAISED BED?
There has never been a better time! Build today, and you can still garden this spring. Check out resources on our website and the video below to learn more.
NEED JMG GEAR OR AWARDS?
Check out our catalog - be sure to order early if you are passing out t-shirts at award ceremonies or doing summer programs!

If you need assistance with your order, reach out to Kelsey Dabney, our representative at CC Creations, at k.dabney@CCCreationsUSA.com.

One last note... if you are looking for JMG pins or awards, those are available through the bookstore link below!
Junior Master Gardener Program | juniormastergardener@gmail.com
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Individual & Community Preparedness Newsletter

 

Individual and community preparedness newsletter, skyline

April is National Financial Capability Month

Picture of family at dinner table

Just as the daffodils and tulips in spring signal new beginnings, April is a great time to renew your efforts to become financially resilient. Being financially resilient can help you bounce back from unexpected emergencies, such as pandemic-related money challenges and being prepared for and recovering from natural disasters.

Throughout April, FEMA, in partnership with the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC), is celebrating National Financial Capability Month. 

Here are some tips to get you on the right path:

  1. Gather all your financial information at your fingertips so it’s ready when you need it. Take time to organize and safeguard financial documents now in waterproof, airtight, and fireproof containers. The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) has handy forms and checklists that will help you organize your financial information. New animations about the EFFAK like the one in this article can help you get started. 
  1. Make sure you have the right insurance to protect your home so that you can repair your home and other property, if it is damaged during a disaster. Review your policy to ensure the amount and types of coverage meet the requirements for all possible hazards. Homeowners insurance does not typically cover flooding, so check if your home is in a flood zone to see if you may need flood insurance. If so, check out the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to find out how you can be covered. 
  1. Be wary of identity theft scams, especially those surrounding COVID-19 and tax filing. Do not click on links in texts or emails from people you don’t know. Scammers can create fake links to websites and may try to take advantage of financial fears by calling with remote work opportunities, debt consolidation offers, and student loan repayment plans. The Federal Trade Commission offers additional help in identifying scams.

Visit ready.gov/financial-preparedness for more information and resources.

FEMA’s Paul Huang on Financial Resilience

Man standing with arms crossed in front with U.S. flag on his left.

After the historic flooding in Louisiana in 2016, FEMA’s Paul Huang deployed to help with recovery efforts. He recalls an elderly couple whose grandchildren were helping clean out their home after three feet of flood water destroyed everything they owned. During the storm, the couple was rescued by rowboat.

But Huang, now FEMA’s Acting Associate Administrator of Resilience, recalls they were thankful they had flood insurance to cover the damage. Their neighbors, who had canceled their policy after paying off their mortgage, weren’t so fortunate.

Huang notes that as a result of flooding from Hurricane Harvey, the devastating Category 4 hurricane that made landfall in Texas and Louisiana in 2017, those without flood insurance got an average of $4,000 from FEMA’s Individual Assistance, while those with flood insurance received an average of $110,000. Huang previously served as Assistant Administrator for the Federal Insurance Directorate, supporting the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

This experience captures the power of financial resilience for Huang.

“We are investing in measures to ensure that when something shocks our system — natural disaster, pandemic, etc. — we are protected and don’t fall as deep as we would without having those resilience measures in place.”

What are the steps to becoming financially resilient? Huang says it starts with setting up a budget, which he remembers learning from his parents. He believes financial preparedness should start early, from the time kids receive their first allowance or paycheck from a summer job.

Schools need to step in as well. Huang notes a recent conversation with a member of FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council (YPC). He told Huang that while he is taught advanced biology, there’s no course that teaches the fundamentals of saving money or balancing a checkbook.

The pandemic has underscored the importance of financial resilience, according to Huang.

“The consequence of financial resilience hasn’t changed, but has only become more apparent over the last year. With that in mind, it’s critical to consider how to bring more equity in the distribution of financial resilience.”

Those are issues on which FEMA and other government agencies are working, says Huang. As part of the solution, he notes FEMA’s role in the supplemental unemployment payments during the pandemic, as well as funding for states, tribes and local governments. Huang also started FEMA’s Asian American Pacific Islander-Employee Resource Group to help advocate for more diversity and inclusion in the Agency, as well as in the communities it serves.

Looking toward the future, Huang sees opportunities for innovation in financial resilience. He notes an example of banks using data to help guide automatic deposits of customers’ funds directly to savings or investments.

Greater focus on human behavior should be another priority, he says. Huang notes that many people spend hundreds of dollars a year on lottery tickets, where the chance of winning a large lottery like Powerball is about one in 300 million. By contrast, there is a one in four chance during a 30-year mortgage that your home will be flooded if you live in a high-risk flood area. Still, only three out of 10 homes in those areas buy flood insurance.

“What that tells us is that, generally, people want to spend their money on things that bring them hope. They don’t necessarily want to think about spending to protect themselves from the possibly negative things. It’s human nature,” he says. “We can learn more about these human biases and how to sell financial resilience as valuable, worthwhile, and a ‘norm’ to do.”

Ready to start planning your financial future? Visit www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness to access free tools, tips, and resources on financial resilience.

FEMA Releases the 2019 National Household Data on OpenFEMA

Picture of magnifying glass with the words, "Amount Saved for an Emergency" magnified.

In April 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released the full data for the 2019 National Household Survey (NHS) on OpenFEMA. There are now complete datasets available for 2017-2019 NHS iterations on OpenFEMA. FEMA encourages researchers, academics, emergency management personnel, and all members of the public to download and use the NHS.

Two Years of Financial Resilience Surveying

FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) advises that every property is vulnerable to flooding, and that most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Just one inch of water can cause more than $25,000 in damage to a home. In these events, flood insurance can be the difference between recovery and financial devastation. Read more…

Youth in Action: Meet YPC's Madeline Ortiz

Youth student holding a #YouthPrep sign with left pointer finger pointing to sign

While to many people being prepared means making a plan and having an emergency kit, FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) member Madeline Ortiz knows it’s also about making responsible financial decisions. 

Like many teens, Madeline dreams of buying a car. She is working three part-time jobs—working at a farmer’s market, a clothing warehouse, and a kombucha brewery— to earn money and save.

Madeline, who lives in Alaska, usually saves her entire paycheck, but sometimes she puts some into her checking account for small purchases. She hopes she’ll have enough to buy her car by the end of the summer.

She has advice for fellow teens to get a head start on preparing for their financial future. Read more…


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 

FEMA-prepare@fema.dhs.gov.