Charlestown School to Offer Student Emergency Preparedness Program

BOSTON , Mass. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is initiating a pilot program for New England 4th grade students to teach basic emergency preparedness skills. The Student Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP) program will be offered by participating schools within the region. Warren-Prescott School in Charlestown will be among the first to provide the STEP program to its pupils.

"Sharpening emergency preparedness skills is an important project for our students and staff," said Dr. Domenic Amara, principal of Warren-Prescott Elementary School. "We work very hard at this skill to ensure all of our students know what to do in case of an incident. We are pleased to participate in this training as the lessons learned in school will also help our students in their homes as they share the preparedness tips with their families."

Heading up the program for the Warren-Prescott School will be Patricia Simpson, RN. “Miss Simpson is a community leader who strongly supports emergency preparedness in Charlestown,” said Amara.

In addition to the key lesson plan, students in the selected schools will also receive items to make their own ‘starter’ kit; including a water bottle, snack bar, emergency whistle, Mylar blanket, and carrying bag. STEP will be taught during the 2008-2009 academic year.

A joint effort between state emergency management agencies and FEMA, the program offers a ready-to-teach preparedness lesson that empowers students to encourage their families to make home emergency kits and communications plans.

There are a variety of reasons a family might have to evacuate its home – a fire, a chemicals spill, winter storms, hurricanes or flooding. There may be limited time to react when an evacuation is ordered. Having an emergency kit at the ready is one thing families can do to protect themselves.

A communications plan results when a family agrees on an alternate meeting place outside the home, and designates a person to call (often in a different state) if the family is separated in an emergency. Each member of the family carries a card with those important facts, as well as work and school numbers.

More information on family emergency kits and communications plans may be found at:

Published on: 2008-04-21

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