Main Content

PrepTalks: Youth - The Key to Building a Culture of Preparedness

Sarah Thompson’s PrepTalk, “Youth: The Key to Building a Culture of Preparedness,” highlights how children are great mobilizers, actors, and connectors within their communities for building a culture of preparedness. “Kids love to learn; they love to share what they learned,” Thompson says “That means they can be really good at bringing home preparedness messages.” Thompson uses her experience and sociological data to show how emergency managers can use the natural curiosity of children to build preparedness in their communities.


Thompson is director of U.S. Emergencies for Save the Children, where she leads emergency preparedness, recovery, and psychosocial programming. She is the author of the Prep Rally curriculum, an innovative program that has taught more than 100,000 children preparedness skills through play and has won the 2017 FEMA Community Preparedness Award.



Photo of Sarah ThompsonSarah Thompson is director of the Natural Hazards Center and professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder. She studies vulnerable populations in disaster and is author of Behind the Backlash: Muslim Americans after 9/11, co-editor of Displaced: Life in the Katrina Diaspora, and co-author of Children of Katrina. Lori helped develop school safety guidance for the nation, which resulted in the publication of FEMA P-1000, Safer, Stronger, Smarter: A Guide to Improving School Natural Hazard Safety.

Lori, who is president of the Research Committee on Disasters for the International Sociological Association, has conducted long-term investigations in the aftermath of several major disasters. She is currently leading a National Science Foundation project to establish Social Science Extreme Events Reconnaissance (SSEER) and Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Extreme Events Reconnaissance (ISEEER) networks for the disaster community. She is also leading an evaluation research project for Save the Children and co-leading a National Science Foundation effort on interdisciplinary disaster research methods. Lori earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2005.

Last Updated: 
08/17/2018 - 10:42