Disaster preparedness should be taught as part of the school curriculum for children of all ages. I remember being taught about 911, "Stop, Drop, and Roll" and "Only YOU can prevent Forest Fires" in grade school. My homework was to find my household fire extinguisher, check the batteries in the smoke detector, and create a fire escape plan with my parents. These lessons were incorporated in lessons on science and spatial reasoning (making a map of the house). There is so much money spent on curriculum design and yet preparedness is not taught in the classroom. Since FEMA HQ is right across the street from the Department of Education, why not develop that relationship to get developmentally-appropriate preparedness lessons to the teachers and the students?
I would recommend building in flexibility so the states teach geographically-relevant preparedness tips - he all-Hazards "Drill Days" are a waste of time for teachers and students. If FEMA would make the commitment to education for a long-term program with the Dept of Ed, and let the program grow with teacher/student input, it could really help in future disasters. This could be is an incredibly effective connection from the government to the kids and thus to adults who may need a reminder to check those detector batteries and create evacuation plans.
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