FEMA Webinar to Examine Liability Issues in Emergency Involvement

FEMA's Community Preparedness Division announced a new webinar series, the first live installment of which is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m. EST. The series is designed to provide up-to-date information on community preparedness topics and resources available to citizens, community organizations, and Citizen Corps Councils, the agency said. The first installment will focus on the newly created Citizen Corps Volunteer Liability Guide and will feature a presentation followed by a question and answer period.

FEMA said it has learned from Citizen Corps Councils, volunteer program managers, and volunteers that liability is a significant concern and a potential barrier to volunteer involvement in emergency services. Liability -- the legal responsibility for one's acts or omissions -- includes diverse concerns: legally imposed payment of damages for personal injury or property damage; penalties for practicing a profession or trade without the required license or permit; compensation for lost income and medical expenses of an injured volunteer; and damages for breach of contract. To offer guidance in this area, FEMA funded the nonprofit Public Entity Risk Institute to develop the Citizen Corps Volunteer Liability Guide to provide an overview of liability and to suggest some approaches to addressing these concerns.

The Community Preparedness Webinar Series will feature new community preparedness topics several times each month and are free to the public. Each webinar will accommodate the first 500 visitors who enter the Web site at the time of the webinar. In addition to airing live, the webinar will be recorded and viewable after the event for those who cannot participate during it.

Those needing special accommodations or requiring additional assistance to view or listen to this webinar can receive additional resources by sending an e-mail to citizencorps@dhs.gov no later than 5 p.m. EST on Dec. 4. More details on the webinar and upcoming installments in the series are available at www.citizencorps.gov/webcasts.shtm.

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