Fifteen students complete Youth Preparedness Program

Published 11:03 am Thursday, June 2, 2022

The Harlan County Youth Preparedness Program recently saw 15 high school students graduating from the program, which teaches participants how to respond to emergency situations.

Jeremy Williams, Harlan County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources, explained more about the program in a phone interview with the Enterprise.

“The youth preparedness program was a 16-session program teaching youth about how to be prepared for multiple situations,” Williams said. “It could be weather, disasters, we even talked about pandemics during the program.”

According to Williams, the program went beyond preparing the students themselves to handle emergency situations.

“In the program, students must prepare themselves and their families for any disaster that might take place,” Williams said. “Then, they also go out and talk with family and friends and choose six families and have them prepare as well. So basically, out of the 15 students that finished the course, 105 families became prepared for any type of situation.”

Williams explained some of the program specifics.

“We typically look at a three-day plan with water, food, necessities, a first aid kit, things like that,” Williams said. “They were taught about fire safety and weather awareness. They were even taught about different jobs that are out there in public safety such as firefighter, EMS, that sort of thing. It’s a well-rounded program.”

This was the first installment of the program, but Williams says they are looking into doing additional editions in the future. The program took place over 16 once a week sessions, although due to circumstances over the last few years there were some delays.

“This program was a carryover due to the pandemic,” Williams said. “We were two years late on getting these students graduated due to the pandemic.”

Williams said some of the students have taken further steps into the arena of emergency preparedness, with one student becoming a certified EMT and another joining a fire department.

For any information on upcoming classes, keep an eye on the Harlan County Cooperative Extension Service’s Facebook page.