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FEMA Announces 2015 Youth Preparedness Council Members

Release date: 
May 19, 2015
Release Number: 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to announce the members of the 2015-2016 National Youth Preparedness Council (Council).

Created in 2012, the Council brings together youth leaders from across the country that are interested in advocating on behalf of preparedness and making a difference in their communities. The Council supports FEMA’s commitment to involving youth in preparedness-related activities. It also provides an avenue to engage youth by taking into account their perspectives, feedback and opinions.  Council members will meet with FEMA staff members throughout their term to provide input on strategies, initiatives and projects.

Preparedness education empowers youth to keep themselves and others safe in an emergency; encourages them to share preparedness information with their families, schools and communities; and reduces anxiety about potential disasters.

The six new members of the Council were selected based on their dedication to public service, community involvement and potential to expand their impact as national advocates for youth preparedness. The members selected in 2015 are:

  • FEMA Region III: Angelo DeGraff (Maryland)
  • FEMA Region VI: Ty Zaunbrecher (Louisiana)
  • FEMA Region IX: Kiahna Lee Espia (Guam)
  • FEMA Region IX: Divakar Saini (California)
  • FEMA Region X: Hailey Starr (Washington)
  • FEMA Region X: Megan Stutzman (Oregon)

The returning Council members are:

  • Council Chairperson: Obie Jones (FEMA Region VI, Texas)
  • Vice Chairperson: Weston Lee (FEMA Region VIII, Utah)
  • FEMA Region I: Bridget Smith (Connecticut)
  • FEMA Region II: James Collins (New Jersey)
  • FEMA Region III: Sahara Duncan (Pennsylvania)
  • FEMA Region IV: Matthew Mayfield (Alabama)
  • FEMA Region IV: Jonathan Salazar (Florida)
  • FEMA Region V: Isaiah Garcia (Michigan)
  • FEMA Region VII: Austin Witt (Iowa)

Each Council member will participate in the Youth Preparedness Council Summit, where they will:

  • Share their ideas, opinions and questions about youth disaster preparedness with the leadership of national organizations working on this critical priority;
  • Determine their legacy project; and
  • Meet with FEMA Community Preparedness staff, who will be their ongoing support contacts and mentors.

To learn more about the FEMA Youth Preparedness Council, please visit:


FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.

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Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:05