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Summer Course Certifies Youth in Disaster Preparedness

CARTERVILLE – Every teen should learn two important life-saving skill sets: understanding how to identify a threat and prepare for it should it become real. Williamson County 4-H is helping teens reach this goal through a summer course on disaster preparedness that begins in June.

My Preparedness Initia­tive (MyPI) is an award-winning youth preparedness and educational outreach program for teens. The innovative, hands-on program developed by Mississippi State University Extension fosters emergency preparedness, civic responsibility, and leadership in teens. During the summer course, teens will build life-saving skills and give back to their communities through a community service project. Teens will be empowered in the face of an emergency by learning about disaster preparedness, fire safety & suppression, treatment of injuries, search & rescue, disaster psychology, and more.

Williamson County 4-H Program Coordinator Ramona Girtman is excited to bring the MyPI program to southern Illinois.

“We can’t control when a disaster strikes, but we can control how we prepare and respond to a disaster,” said Girtman. “Empowering teens with the skills learned through MyPI helps them and their families in the face of a disaster and the community as a whole when recovering from such a tragedy.”

The summer program is open to youth ages 14-18. It will be held at John A. Logan College on Mondays from 3 – 5 p.m. from June 6 to August 1 (no session on July 4). The cost is $25, and scholarships are available. To learn more about the program or to register, contact Ramona Girtman at (618) 993-3304 or or visit by June 1.

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in programming, please contact Ramona Girtman at Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.