Staff Reports

Represented by teams from 10 communities across the state, 70 student participants joined experts in emergency preparedness for the 2019 Texas Youth Preparedness Camp at Texas State University in San Marcos this summer.

Hosted by the Texas School Safety Center, the camp is designed to increase emergency preparedness in Texas communities by providing youth with emergency response, action planning and leadership skills that enhance their capacity to assist communities in creating a culture of preparedness.

Waskom High School students attending the camp included Hannah Speight, Anna Jackson, Emma Crisp, Olivia Cole, Josh Reeves and Trent Higgenbothem.

Throughout the week, students and their sponsors received the full 20-hour Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) basic training, developed a community action plan and acquired the leadership skills to address emergency preparedness when they return home by implementing their action plan.

Skills learned throughout the duration of the camp included light and rescue, fire safety and suppression, disaster medical triage and treatment, disaster psychology and situational awareness.

These skills were tested in a live drill that presents participants with a simulated a disaster scene. Working together under the Incident Command System, students were able to establish control of the situation; locate, triage and treat wounded victims; and safely extract victims to a secure location.

Waskom High School Student Council members attended the camp and developed a plan to bring a culture of emergency preparedness back to their community by educating both adults and students of all ages.

Project Ready or Not will strive to educate people on disaster preparedness in both school and the home.

The Youth Preparedness Camp is designed and delivered using a youth-led, adult-assisted process that allows students to be the decision makers with adults acting in a supportive role.

For more information, contact Karen Merritt at 903-687-3361 Ext 1306 or