NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Over the past few weeks, teachers in local elementary schools have been educating students on disaster preparedness using Disaster Preparedness Activity Books provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in cooperation with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP).
More than 2,600 FEMA for Kids books have been distributed to local elementary schools in the three parishes affected by the February tornadoes: Jefferson, Orleans and St. Martin. The books are an active and fun way to provide students with the opportunity to learn about disasters and disaster preparedness.
The preparedness message is being incorporated into lesson plans across the region. Teachers and students at Westwego Elementary School have created a PowerPoint presentation for classes to use as they work in their activity books.
"Preparedness begins at the local level," said Neal Fudge, deputy state coordinating officer. "We want to encourage individuals to support disaster-readiness efforts in their communities."
Lee Champagne, federal coordinating officer, added that "it is never too early to begin learning about preparedness. The FEMA for Kids Web site and publications allow a non-threatening way for children to learn about disasters."
Anyone, including educators, librarians or individuals, can order free publications by calling 1-800-480-2520 . Children are also encouraged to visit the FEMA for Kids Web site, www.fema.go/kids , where they can play games, read stories and in the process learn about what causes disasters and how to prepare for them.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.