PASADENA, Calif. -- A new classroom project to teach emergency preparedness to elementary school children was unveiled in the Los Angeles Unified School District today.? The course was presented to fourth graders at Frank Del Olmo Elementary School by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The message FEMA brought to school is "Be aware-prepare."? The kids got it and now they can take the message back to their homes and neighborhoods.
"These students really took on the subject of emergency preparedness planning, and they will be energetic as they talk with their parents and friends to help everyone work on preparedness," said Terrie
Zuiderhoek, deputy head of FEMA's wildfire recovery office in Southern California. "I remember how important this subject was to me and my friends when we were growing up, and I could see in the classroom today just how much these kids are also into this."
Zuiderhoek introduced the two-hour curriculum to Principal Eugene Hernandez, Assistant Principal Tony Cortez, fourth grade teachers and dozens of enthusiastic youngsters.
Not only did the students work online, they got a physical and mental workout as well.? Local firefighters taught the class to stop, drop and roll in case of fire and to duck and cover in an earthquake. Other instructors showed how to make a family emergency plan, what items go into an emergency supply kit, and how to care for pets during stressful times. The kids jumped in and learned quickly.
"This is a valuable program for youngsters of all ages," said Zuiderhoek. "The more work we do to become prepared, the more informed we will be-and the better prepared-when big disruptions happen."
The curriculum is available to schools throughout California. For more information or to arrange a FEMA-for-kids emergency preparedness event call FEMA Region IX headquarters in Oakland at 510-627-7079.
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.