As part of the 2017 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual and Community Preparedness Awards, the Mississippi State University Extension Program received the Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness award for the My Preparedness Initiative (MyPI) program.
MyPI is a national strategy to engage teens and cultivate community leaders.
The program, funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Extension Disaster Education Network grants, launched in late 2016 with eight states partnering to deliver disaster preparedness curriculum and leadership experience to teenagers in Nebraska, Hawaii, Tennessee, Washington, Virginia, New Jersey, Illinois and Mississippi.
According to the program website, the MyPI model is flexible offering 5 to 10 weeks of youth preparedness training over three components:
In Component A, teenagers complete the United States Department of Homeland Security/FEMA-certified Teen CERT training and corresponding modules focusing on Disaster Preparedness, Fire Safety and Utility Control, Disaster Medical Operations, Light Search and Rescue, CERT Organization, Disaster Psychology and Terrorism and CERT.
Component B features certification in CPR and AED usage, along with a technology track comprised of awareness programs focusing on HAM Radio, NOAA Weather Radio, Smoke Alarm Maintenance and Smart Phone App and Social Media in Emergency Preparedness as well as a disaster simulation and introduction to careers in public safety, fire service and emergency management.
Component C is a comprehensive family and community service project called Prep + 6 where each teen participant helps develop emergency supply kits and emergency communication plans for their family and six additional families or households.