The next generation of emergency management leaders is out there. They have the ideas, leadership and initiative needed to make a difference. Every year, FEMA recruits these individuals as part of its Youth Preparedness Council and helps to empower them to prepare their communities for disasters.
The council was created in 2012 to bring together youth leaders interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities with national and local preparedness projects. Members voice their opinions, experiences, ideas, solutions and questions on youth disaster preparedness with the leadership of FEMA and national organizations working on youth preparedness. They also participate in the annual Youth Preparedness Council Summit.
Past participants have presented at national conferences, created youth preparedness outreach products and designed and executed community preparedness fairs. They have also developed events and products relevant to the current pandemic, such as hosting youth-focused webinars with health experts and writing a storybook for young children about COVID-19. Some council members have started their own local emergency preparedness initiatives and worked with emergency management professionals from federal, state and local agencies to encourage the public, particularly youth, to take life-saving preparedness actions. In the past, council members have had the opportunity to meet with the White House, the FEMA Administrator, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease and Prevention and other federal agencies to give their perspective and participation to other national-level projects.
Participants are expected to provide a youth perspective on emergency preparedness and promote national emergency preparedness in their communities. In addition to attending the Youth Preparedness Council Summit, council members will potentially participate in national, regional, state and local preparedness meetings and present their work. Members will meet with FEMA on a regular basis via conference call to provide ongoing input on strategies, initiatives and projects throughout the duration of their two-year term.
Any individual grades 8th through 11th who is engaged in individual and community preparedness may apply to serve on the Youth Preparedness Council. Individuals interested in applying to the council must submit a completed application and a letter of recommendation. Specific information about completing and submitting the application and attachments can be found on the FEMA website.
All applications and supporting materials must be received no later than 11:59 PT on March 7 to be eligible.