In many disasters, bystanders are on the scene before trained responders. The MSU Extension Service works to give teens the information and hands-on training they need to help their families, friends, and neighbors in times of need through the Mississippi Youth Preparedness Initiative, or MyPI.
The program emphasizes disaster preparedness through educational workshops and exercises, such as developing or enhancing a family disaster-preparedness kit.
Extension instructors have added CPR training, defibrillator training, and a technology track where teens will learn about smoke alarms, weather radios, ham radios, smartphone apps, and social media. Other topics include disaster preparedness, fire safety, medical considerations, Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) organization, terrorism, disaster psychology, and light search and rescue.
The program is based on curricula approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and builds on existing CERT programs.