Video: Teens Learn to Prepare for Emergencies

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) — A group of Starkville teenagers is learning first hand what it’s like to be a part of an emergency response team.

The Mississippi Youth Preparedness Initiative teaches them the necessary skills to prepare themselves and their families for catastrophic situations.  On Thursday, they had a chance put what those skills to the test during a disaster simulation exercise.

The teens had to put out a small trash fire, and map out out a security plan for a tornado that just struck their community.

“I thought it would be a really good experience, and you would understand about being prepared for disasters just to beware of the safety of yourself and others around you,” said Kathryn Walters, student in the MyPI summer program.

“Usually in disaster situations teens are usually the first ones to be told to kind of get out of the way, and that they’re contribution isn’t valued maybe as adults who are trained and who have sills,” said Ashley Perry, co-instructor of the MyPI summer program. “Now, they have skills they can bring to the table and help their neighbors.”

All summer long students have been learning and prepping themselves on what to do if an emergency situation arises in Starkville.

“I’ve learned how to be prepared completely, like how to put together a kit and how to have a list of contacts to contact to make sure you’re Okay, and to tell them you’re okay and make sure they’re okay,” said Walters.

“I’ve learned really how to really help other people, and then helping myself through helping other people,” said Grace May, student in the MyPI summer program.

May said she wants to someday work in the medical field, and She believes the skills she’s learned from the MyPI summer program has already given her a jump start.

“I’ve learned more about CPR and we’ve all become CPR certified through this and AD certified,” she said.

During the ten week program, students also learned how to put together a safety preparedness kit which they’ll give out to different families throughout Oktibbeha County.

“For the community, it’s amazing because if you think about it we have 11 kids,” said Perry. “If each one helps seven families including their own build a disaster preparedness kit, now we have 77 more families in Oktibbeha county that are a little bit more prepared.”

There are 11 students in the program,  and they’ll graduate from the prgroam next Thursday.

Categories: Local News

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