Involve Youth in Disaster Management

Guest post by Lynette Black

Teen CERT team members review their plan of action during an exercise
Teen CERT team members review their plan of action during an exercise

The 4-H Youth Development program reaches youth through several avenues. Focused areas of disaster management can be included in the education youth are receiving during each experience. Following are some ideas.

Camping Program

The Camping program is a popular way for youth to participate in a 4-H experience. Focus lessons on first-aid, safety, living without electricity, recognizing weather and impending signs of disasters and surviving disasters.

Focus counselor training on the camp’s emergency plans and stress management.

Traditional 4-H Club Program

Club work: focus on project areas (i.e. food and food preservation focus on emergency food supply and water safety, clothing and textiles focus on appropriate emergency clothing, outdoor education focus on camping and survival skills, small animals projects focus on backyard homesteading techniques and animal health care and diseases, livestock focus on animal health care and diseases). For all project areas cover steps to stay safe during a disaster.

County fair: educate on animal disease issues and human disease issues as well as evacuation planning and plan of action in case of disaster.

Afterschool programs: Focus on science (i.e. what causes earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes), geology (volcanoes, landslides), weather (extreme heat, cold, thunderstorms), and staying safe during a disaster.

Babysitting training: Focus on first-aid, family emergency plans and stress management.

There are many ways to incorporate disaster preparedness in 4-H programming. For more information please contact Lynette Black, 4-H Youth Development Faculty, Oregon State University.

Regards, Virginia Morgan, EDEN Chair