AUSTIN, Texas -- Almost 200 children at two Chambers County schools learned how to care for pets in a disaster, make emergency kits for their families, administer first aid and prepare in other ways for an emergency through a hands-on educational program offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The children at Anahuac Elementary School in Anahuac and East Chamber Elementary School in Winnie also received instruction in fire safety from the Anahuac and Winnie-Stowell volunteer fire departments, which brought fire trucks to the schools for the children to get a look at and even use a fire hose.
FEMA for Kids is a two-hour interactive classroom program that teaches children about emergency preparedness. It is being presented in Texas schools whose communities were damaged by Hurricane Ike. The program includes an art session that allows children to express themselves through art about their disaster experiences. During a recent presentation at one of the elementary schools, one child drew a picture of the only two homes left standing on his street after Hurricane Ike. The child said the homes belonged to his neighbors and that his own home was destroyed in the storm.
The high point of the program for the children, almost all of whom have pets, was learning how to take care of their animals when disasters threaten. The children were instructed that pets also need to be evacuated to ensure their safety and received tips on caring for them in emergencies. The children also played an online game called Ready Kids, produced by FEMA, about disaster preparedness.
"These kids really took to emergency preparedness planning, and we hope they'll share it with their friends and families," said Roxann Crawford, a FEMA disaster assistance employee who coordinated the school program.
For information about FEMA programs for children, visit Ready Kids Web at www.ready.gov/kids and FEMA's Web site for children at www.fema.gov/kids/. For information about FEMA, visit www.fema.gov/ike.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.