GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico — Teenagers from grades 8 to 11 can apply to participate in FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council 2020, where they can develop leadership skills, share important preparedness information with their peers and give back to their communities. The application period is open through March 1, 2020.
Last year, Puerto Rico had two representatives. One of them was Kaitlyn Guzmán Rodríguez, a 17-year-old student from Arroyo who helped her community in various ways after Hurricane María.
“The experience has been extremely enriching,” said the student from Saint Patrick’s Bilingual School in Guayama during her participation in FEMA’s radio show Dando Palique. “I have learned a lot about how I can protect myself and contribute to my community. I consider it very important, especially in our current situation, in which we see the importance of being prepared for any emergency.”
She encourages all young people to apply for the Council because it’s a “great opportunity to help others and raise awareness on the importance of being prepared.”
As part of her duties at the Council, Guzmán Rodríguez worked on a project that would amend the Good Samaritan Act in Puerto Rico, presenting an amendment to the statute that exonerates physicians and other health professionals from civil liabilities when providing volunteer and pro bono services. The proposed amendment will extend the protection to any citizen.
Youth Preparedness Council members are encouraged to represent their schools and communities, and share their perspectives and feedback and opinions with FEMA. They also have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. for the annual summit.
FEMA created the Youth Preparedness Council in 2012 to organize young leaders enthusiastic about making a difference in their communities through the development of national and local preparedness projects.
Bilingual (Spanish and English) students between the ages of 14 and 17 who are interested in joining the Council may find additional information at www.ready.gov/youth-preparedness-council. Applications are available on community.fema.gov/applytoYPC/s/login/. For more details, please send email to FEMA-R2-YPC@fema.dhs.gov.
For more on Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane María, visit fema.gov/disaster/4339 and facebook.com/FEMAPuertoRico. Also, tune in to our radio show Dando Palique which airs Saturdays at 9 a.m. on 870AM, 92.1FM and 107.7FM and Sundays at 9 a.m. on 1520AM, 99.9FM,106.9FM and 105.1FM.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362) 711/VRS - Video Relay Service). Multilingual operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish). TTY call 800-462-7585.
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