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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

  1. NWS Offers Several Severe Weather Safety Resources

  2. NPS Contest Targets Students to Reimagine National Parks

  3. Can't Get Enough of Join them on Facebook

  4. Space Museum Unveils Blog Packed with Flight History

Online Resources Help Prepare for Back to School

Most Hoosier families know about the importance of getting preschoolers ready to start school.   Economically disadvantaged families and children can rely on the Head Start and Early Head Start programs. The Head Start program offers a special focus on preschoolers for the development of early reading and math skills to be successful in school. The Early Head Start program serves children from birth to 3 years of age.

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Family Resources provides information about these and other programs that assist Indiana families during tough economic times. Head Start programs are essential in promoting school readiness by strengthening the development of young children with educational, health, and social services to enrolled children and families. Parents also become further engaged in children’s learning and help them achieve literacy and other important goals to become academically successful. Click here to find out if your county offers a Head Start program. Families interested in Head Start will need to meet certain eligibility requirements to participate. It’s never too early to think about the education of the children in your community.

Space Museum Unveils Blog Packed with Flight History

While it’s no Night at the Museum, patrons interested in a real behind-the-scenes look at museums will be interested in AirSpace, the blog of the National Air and Space Museum. Part of the Smithsonian, this museum is one of the more popular places in DC. Visitors can view landmarks of the history of flight, information about space flight, and photos from space. Nothing beats going to the museum itself, but AirSpace is a great way to experience it from home. The latest blog post details the museum’s new exhibit, “How the shuttle got its wings.” The post includes photos, a description of the exhibit, and the reasons for the importance of the display. Other posts are on topics such as the 1903 Wright Flyer and the Lunar landscape, a painting by Chesley Bonestall. This website is good for patrons interested in space and/or museum curation.



Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth O’Donnell
Federal Documents Librarian

Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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NWS Offers Several Severe Weather Safety Resources

National Weather Service: Severe Weather SafetyWith the height of summer weather upon us, please take caution while you’re out in the elements. The National Weather Service provides a directory of websites featuring weather safety from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and a list of free online publications and brochures on protection from inclement summer weather. The National Severe Storms Laboratory website features a Severe Weather Primer and a Severe Weather Safety section.

In general, you can follow this advice from the Norman, OK forecast office:

  • KNOW THE HAZARDS - Be aware of the hazards that you might face during a weather event.

  • KNOW WHEN TO EXPECT DANGEROUS WEATHER - Monitor forecasts and information from experts at your local National Weather Service Forecast Office.

  • PAY ATTENTION - to all watches, advisories, and warnings affecting you.

  • HAVE A PLAN TO STAY SAFE - Think about it before it happens and be ready to act to survive.

On August 19, World Humanitarian Day, the World Health Organization (WHO), War Trauma Foundation (WTF), and World Vision International (WVI) released a new publication, Psychological first aid: Guide for fieldworkers, available in different languages. According to the August 16 news release, “Humanitarian emergencies - such as earthquakes, extreme drought, or war - not only affect people’s physical health but also their psychological and social health and well-being… Psychological first aid covers both social and psychological support and involves the provision of humane, supportive, and practical help to people suffering from serious crisis events.” more information, contact Dr M. Taghi Yasamy, Medical Officer, WHO, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse,

NPS Contest Targets Students to Reimagine National Parks

Parks for the People ContestLibrarians who serve communities with college students may be interested in the Parks for the People contest from the National Park Service and the Van Alan Institute. Entrants will compete to redesign the visitor centers at a select number of national parks. According to NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, “the iconic national park visitor centers born in the 1950s and envisioned as the park gateway may not serve that purpose for today’s visitors.” The goal of the project is to redefine the visitor center, using new technologies and management/operations concepts to best reach out to the modern national park visitor. The competition begins this fall, with multidisciplinary university teams from around the country proposing models for redesigned national parks. There are seven parks teams can choose from, all located in different areas and with different central focuses. The competition begins this fall and entrants will be narrowed down to seven teams in December. The winners will be announced next summer; their work will appear on the NPS website; and select students will be eligible for paid internships. For more information, check out this press release from the NPS. The complete guidelines can be found on the Van Alan Institute’s website here.

Can't Get Enough of Join them on Facebook in Facebook! is your one-stop shop to find all the information about the government benefits and services you need. But you don't have to come to the site to get all that great information. You can find on your favorite social media sites, making it easy to learn about government benefits and services no matter where you spend your time online.

"Like" on Facebook or follow on Twitter and you'll get timely information right in your newsfeed. Whether it's to announce the latest recall or warn of a scam or phishing attack, you'll be the first to know. You can also ask us a question about government benefits and services and get a quick response.

Bookmark the new blog to get interesting and fun government information. The blog offers helpful consumer tips, news alerts, and updates on government programs and services, like how to avoid hidden fees on your phone bills and how to keep food safe during power outages. You'll also find videos and infographics to help make understanding government benefits and services easier.

Subscribe to the U.S. Government YouTube channel and you can watch videos of the last shuttle launch or see President Obama's latest address. You'll find videos that offer health and safety tips as well as news from the White House and government agencies. Learn how to make your home more energy efficient or catch up on the latest news.

And if you're on the go, you can visit from your mobile device and you'll be linked up with the most popular services from the site. You can e-mail your questions, find contact information for your elected officials, and get connected with the benefits and services you're looking for. Make sure you also check out the mobile apps gallery, where you can find apps that will help you choose the healthiest foods on the go, find out just how long the line is at the airport or alert you to the latest recalls.

By connecting with on your favorite social media channels, you'll stay up to date on the government information, benefits and services that can help make life easier.

This article is brought to you courtesy of The Federal Citizen Information Center, connecting people with government benefits, services, and information through its family of websites, including,, and; by phone at 1-800-FED-INFO (1-800-333-4636); and with publications by mail from Pueblo, Colorado. FCIC is part of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies.

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