As has been discussed often on this blog, I believe that a key to creating a real culture of preparedness throughout the nation is getting the topic taught in schools. Not only would it prepare a generation for the future, but sometimes the best way to convince parents in the present is through their kids. Yet imbedding preparedness into schools is very challenging in large part because our educational system is so decentralized. It isn’t something that can be implemented by national fiat but instead has to be done in a bottom-up, almost district-by-district manner.
In an attempt to walk my talk, I decided to begin my own grass-roots effort in my daughter’s second grade class. As you can see in the photo below, I dressed in my full CERT regalia and brought my equipment and personal go-bag for a readiness ’show and tell’. I used the Ready Kids New York children’s preparedness guides, created by New York City’s Office of Emergency Management, which I handed out to each of the students.
I found that the kids were interested and even excited by the topic of emergency preparedness (it obviously wasn’t the speaker). They did not seem at all scared by the subject, but found it was a natural fit with the fire safety education that is very much part of their normal school life. Afterwards, I was happy to hear from some of the parents that their kids came home and made their own go-bags and asked whether they had family emergency plans. Best of all, I didn’t embarrass my daughter.
This is as good a topic as any to be the subject of my 250th post to the blog — a milestone I would have reached earlier had I not gotten ill and had to put the blog on a hiatus. I thank readers for sticking with me, your interest in the blog and your continued input.