Posted by: Paulette Aniskoff, Director, Individual and Community Preparedness
This week members of the FEMA Youth Preparedness Council attended their inaugural meeting in Washington, DC to discuss steps to strengthen the nation’s resiliency against all types of disasters.
Council members had the opportunity to share their ideas, experiences, solutions and questions on youth disaster preparedness with FEMA leadership including Administrator Craig Fugate, Deputy Administrator Richard Serino, and Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness Tim Manning, other federal agencies and national organizations.
When meeting with the council, Administrator Fugate explicitly charged the Council with holding the agency accountable to the unique needs and interests of youth in emergencies. The Administrator encouraged the members to continue their community-based preparedness efforts but also pressed them to be candid about where and how FEMA can improve.
The Council brought special insight to how FEMA and others can continue to use social media technology both to engage youth in preparedness activities and to organize youth volunteers during the response and recovery phases of a disaster.
The Council will continue their work of contributing to the national agenda for how young people play a role in emergency management through their regional work and specific projects that they will commit to execute during the coming year. Projects ranged from expanding Teen Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) within their region and conducting a preparedness day fair in their community to creating a celebrity-driven preparedness campaign.
Youth Council members were recently selected through a nomination process for their work engaging communities in local preparedness. The council consists of 13 members ranging in age from 13 to 17 and a chairperson.
To learn more about FEMA’s youth preparedness efforts please visit: http://www.citizencorps.gov/getstarted/youth/youthindex.shtm.
To learn more about each council member visit: http://www.citizencorps.gov/getstarted/youth/youthpreparednesscouncil.shtm.