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CSUE4-H Partners with Innovative National Award-Winning Youth Preparedness Initiative, Mypi National

Monday, May 20, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Wade Ingle, Colorado State University Extension 4-
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This past fall, at The Ranch in Loveland, the initial delegation of instructors within the Colorado 4-H Youth Preparedness Initiative, MyPI Colorado, completed a comprehensive certification and training workshop led by the MyPI National Coordination Team, making Colorado the sixteenth state to train instructors under the national project umbrella. According to Wade Ingle, the MyPI Colorado Program Manager and CSU Extension Specialist for 4-H STEM and K-12 programing, “MyPI is a youth development program that provides Colorado teens the opportunity to develop life skills such as leadership, civic duty, record keeping, and program planning/design through the implementation of a natural disaster preparedness plan within their community. MyPI teaches youth to take an active role in the sustainability of the well-being of their families, neighbors, and communities through youth and caring adults working together to help others. MyPI Colorado will provide our youth the opportunity to explore and become excited about the STEM-related careers of first responders and emergency managers. Additionally, the program will build new connections between Colorado’s communities and 4-H.” Added Ingle, “The MyPI program will impact communities at the local level. I am confident that the skills gained through this program will create both youth and adult leaders at the local level, thus building stronger communities throughout Colorado.” 

Over the next 11 months, MyPI Colorado, a program through CSU Extension 4-H, will be offering this innovative and engaging youth preparedness program to teens who will assist families and communities across the state.

“One of the underlying missions of MyPI National is to reboot youth preparedness across this country, to capitalize on the energy of our youth, and to set the new standard for how we engage our teens in sustained preparedness endeavors as we move forward in the face of a variety of threats and hazards that we continue to see on seemingly a daily basis, regardless of geographic location. From the large urban areas to the smaller rural towns, emergencies and disasters do not discriminate. We have seen fantastic success for several years in Mississippi and have now begun to see the same impact within our partners under the MyPI National umbrella. As our MyPI National team works with MyPI Colorado instructors over the next 11 months, we will continue the process of fostering relationships and networks that will hopefully ensure the success of this program for years to come, which is yet another very achievable outcome and one that this great state and its citizens, families, and communities deserve,” said Dr. C. Ryan Akers, MyPI National Project Director and MyPI Mississippi Program Coordinator. 

The MyPI model offers a flexible 5 to 10 week, three component program. In Component A, teenagers will complete the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency-certified 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.

In Component B, the Add-On Catalog features certification opportunities 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. The Add-On Catalog also includes a disaster simulation, and a Career Track that focuses on public safety, fire service, and emergency management careers. The final element of the program, Component C, includes a comprehensive family and community service project entitled PREP + 6 in which each participant helps develop emergency supply kits and emergency communication plans for their family AND 6 additional families or households. This component allows for significant enhancement in individual, family, and community preparedness and resilience. To graduate from the program, students must complete all components.

Mike Gavin, Emergency Manager in Fort Collins, indicated that the program is primed to benefit communities. According to Gavin, “This program reaches a variety of target audiences. It begins with the individuals and impacts the families, which makes the community better prepared and more resilient. The skills developed in the program will save lives. With an educated and skilled youth with regards to disaster preparedness, we can expect less need for responses during emergencies. MyPI will assist in preparing our citizens to be better prepared, helping them become assets as opposed to victims.” Added Gavin, “As an emergency management professional, I am a strong advocate for this program because it involves our future generations stepping up, becoming active, and leading a very important platform to save lives and property through preparedness versus response.” 

During its pilot year in Colorado, Colorado State Extension 4-H offices representing twenty counties will implement the program. For additional information regarding MyPI Colorado, including areas of the state that the program will be delivered initially, please visit the MyPI Colorado website at http://mypicolorado.org or contact Wade Ingle, MyPI Colorado Program Manager at wade.ingle@colostate.edu. For more information regarding MyPI National, please visit the MyPI National website at http://mypinational.extension.msstate.edu or contact Dr. Ryan Akers, MyPI National Project Director at cra20@msstate.edu or 662.325.5914. You may also reference both projects on social media platforms. Facebook profiles can be found by searching “My PI Colorado” and “My PI National” respectively, and Twitter feeds can be found by searching “@MyPI_CO” and “@MyPI_National”. 

Fostering Emergency Preparedness & Recovery Through Proactive Youth Outreach

MyPI engages Colorado teens in the process of individual, family, and community  reparation for disasters through a flexible three-component program taught by

CERT Curriculum: Teens learn to be safe before and during a disaster, and to help families and community after a disaster.

Add-on Catalog: CPR & AED certification, disaster simulation, first responder career track, awareness programs in: HAM & NOAA Weather Radio, smoke alarm safety, NWS extreme weather, social media & smartphone app in emergency preparedness.

Prep plus 6: Teens work with their family PLUS 6 other families to develop their emergency kits and communication plans.

National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals


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