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Texas School Safety Center joins national youth preparedness effort

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
July 16, 2014

The Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) at Texas State University has partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Red Cross and the U.S. Department of Education to promote youth preparedness strategies.

TxSSC Youth Preparedness Coordinator Joe McKenna was among invitees from across the country to attend FEMA’s unveiling of a groundbreaking youth preparedness initiative. Approximately 40 partners attended the National Strategy for Your Preparedness Education: Empowering, Educating and Building Resilience unveiling in Washington, D.C., on July 1. The launch introduced strategies designed to empower youth to engage their families and communities in disaster readiness, response and recovery and to be better prepared citizens of today and tomorrow.

“While many of the Texas School Safety Center’s activities already support youth preparedness, this partnership further elevates the importance of youth preparedness in Texas,” McKenna said. “Through leadership development and community action planning, young people acquire the skills and confidence they need to champion preparedness projects in their communities.”

TxSSC was the recipient of the 2013 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness. In addition, McKenna was named a White House Champion of Change for his work in the area of individual and community preparedness.

The strategy unveiling highlighted the fact that disasters and emergencies can occur at any time and often without warning and that children’s needs must be recognized while also acknowledging their unique abilities to act as messengers for important safety information.

"The challenge we all share is to engage and empower our youth to become prepared citizens and to help them build skills to engage their families, their peers and the communities in disaster readiness," said Victoria Calder, director of the TxSSC. "This is part of our commitment at the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University to help schools and communities prepare for a safe and healthy tomorrow."

The Texas School Safety Center serves as a resource for school districts, parents and community leaders to create safe and secure learning environments. To learn more about Texas School Safety Center visit the website at