Be a Hero! Get Involved in Preparedness: Emergency Preparedness Website for Youth
Emergencies and disasters can happen at any time and often without any warning. Disaster planning, response, and recovery efforts must take into account the unique needs that youth have. Additionally, young people bring many unique strengths to emergency preparedness:
- Youth are positive influencers. Educators and social researchers agree that young people can effectively bring the message of preparedness home to their families.
- Youth can become leaders. By participating in youth preparedness programs, young people are empowered to become leaders at home and in their schools and communities.
- Youth who are prepared are more confident during emergencies and disasters. Social science research and anecdotal evidence support the idea that young people who have learned about emergency preparedness experience less anxiety during an actual emergency or disaster.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has dedicated a portion of the Ready.gov website for youth preparedness. Using the theme, “Be a Hero,” Ready.gov provides preparedness tools tailored for youth, parent, and educator audiences as well as a National Strategy for Youth Preparedness:
- For Youth — Being a Hero is Fun — two games that test know-how in a wide range of emergencies and teach youth how to build the perfect emergency kit.
- For Parents — Get Your Kids On Your Team — tools to build a family emergency kit, discuss disaster communication plans, role-play what to do in a disaster, and practice home fire drills.
- For Educators — Knowledge Empowers — multidisciplinary lessons that teach what to do before, during, and after an emergency while fostering critical 21st-century skills such as problem solving, teamwork, creativity, leadership, and communication.
- National Strategy for Youth Preparedness — Empowering, Educating and Building Resilience — concrete steps everyone can take toward creating a nation of prepared youth.