We’re back! Back to school that is, and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, or Cal OES, wants to be a part of the school buzz too. How do the worlds of schools and Cal OES cross paths? It happens in a lot of different ways, but today, let’s talk about how we engage schools through Cal OES’s Preparedness Ambassadors Program.
Preparedness Ambassadors, a program based on fourth grade education standards, was created for students to develop and promote disaster preparedness guidelines for their homes, schools, and local communities. Why fourth grade? There are more than 450,000 fourth graders in California, and studies show that fourth grade is the “golden year” for curiosity. Living through disasters like wildfires, floods, and earthquakes has become normal for Californians, and it’s important to educate the public, especially at a younger age, to perpetuate emergency preparedness for generations to come.
In case you’re not familiar with the Preparedness Ambassadors program, here’s a quick overview:
- Students learn about wildfires, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, power outages/shutoffs, volcanoes, and tornadoes.
- The Program meets educational standards like the California Health Education Content Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, Environmental Principles and Concepts, and English Language Arts Standards.
- Real world disasters are highlighted focusing on California when possible.
- The Program is flexible and inclusive – it encourages compassion, supports students with special needs, is sensitive toward the diversity of family units and can be adapted to the class and/or the geographical area of the school.
- Some student activities include reviewing the Cal OES Family Readiness Guide with the family/household, developing posters for the community, or asking local businesses how they can help during a disaster.
- At the end of the program, students receive certificates of completion and are congratulated on becoming a Preparedness Ambassadors.
- All classroom curriculum can be downloaded straight from our website: Cal OES Preparedness Ambassadors Program.
- There’s no cost or registration required to utilize this program.
- Free Classroom Materials– small stickers, bumper stickers, bookmarks, drawstring backpacks, and magnets are available to help the class promote the program.
We look forward to meeting the future Preparedness Ambassadors of California this year!
If you’re interested in starting the program in your classroom, please contact Danielle Chapman, at Danielle.Chapman-Huizar@CalOES.ca.gov.