UNL Extension Pilots Initiative on Youth Disaster Preparedness

From Tri-State Livestock News:

Nebraska Extension and Nebraska 4-H are piloting a national youth preparedness and educational outreach program designed to teach teens what to do in the event of disaster and emergency situations…

“Everyone can play a part in preparing for disasters and emergencies, especially teens,” said Ashley Mueller, disaster education coordinator for Nebraska Extension. “They bring unique perspectives and experiences when it comes to preparedness, and tapping into these can be very valuable to their families and communities.”

The initiative offers a flexible five to 10 week program. For the pilot, each state must graduate 125 teens by having them complete three components.

 In component A, teenagers complete the United States Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training focusing on disaster preparedness, fire safety and utility control, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, and terrorism.

Component B features certification in CPR and AED usage, along with awareness programs focusing on HAM radio, NOAA weather radio, smoke alarm maintenance, and smart phone application and social media in emergency preparedness. The component also includes a disaster simulation, and a focus on public safety, fire service and emergency management careers.

The final element of the program, component C, includes a comprehensive family and community service project called “Prep + 6,” in which each participant helps develop emergency supply kits and emergency communication plans for their family and six additional families or households. This component allows for significant enhancement in individual, family and community preparedness and resilience.