Beginning in late 2016, eight states partnered together and made a commitment to deliver an innovative and engaging disaster preparedness curriculum and leadership experience to teenagers within Nebraska, Hawaii, Tennessee, Washington, Virginia, New Jersey, Illinois, and Mississippi. This project was made possible through a federal grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Short for My Preparedness Initiative, MyPI provides a challenging youth preparedness and leadership development opportunity in which teenagers are empowered to take ownership of their preparedness and to assist their families and surrounding communities with the same, all with the goal of enhancing individual, family, and community preparedness and resilience, and at the same creating a new standard for youth preparedness across the nation.
In 2017, through funding from NIFA, MyPI National launched a Phase 2 Expansion that added 11 new partners to bring funded partnerships to 19. In 2018, Georgia, North Carolina, Arkansas, South Dakota, Nevada, Montana, Arizona, Colorado, Alabama, and Oregon all installed MyPI programs. Additionally, MyPI National added its first US Territory with the inclusion of MyPI Guam, which will be installed in January, 2020 along with other Phase 3 programs. The MyPI National Coordination Team has Phase 3 Expansion partners in Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Alaska, New Mexico, Delaware, Iowa, South Carolina, Florida, California, Louisiana, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the US Virgin Islands. MyPI National is currently planning a Phase 4 Expansion with the goal of bringing the total programmatic imprint to 40 states and potentially a 4th territory.
Known at the national level as “MyPI National,” the program replicates the comprehensive model created and delivered in Mississippi since 2013. In 2014, the Mississippi Youth Preparedness Initiative was named FEMA’s national award winner for Outstanding Youth Preparedness program. It also received an Honorable Mention recognition for “Preparing the Whole Community.” Just one year later, MyPI Mississippi was named one of the first official Affirmers of the new National Strategy for Youth Preparedness Education, a directive and document produced by the United State Department of Education, the American Red Cross, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As such, MyPI Mississippi is an engaged and recognized component of a nationally supported, progressive approach to preparing youth for emergencies and disasters. MyPI National also received this Affirmer designation. In 2017, MyPI National won the FEMA ICPD award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness and in 2018, MyPI National was recognized with another national award, the 2018 National CERT Award for “Preparing the Whole Community.” In 2019, MyPI Georgia was recognized by the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents with its national award for Citizenry in 4-H Youth Development. This achievement marked the fourth national award in five years for MyPI programs.
Host agencies and delivery outlets for MyPI vary across the nation with respective land-grant universities hosting in some locations and state emergency management in others. While MyPI Mississippi is currently being taught in formal school settings through Allied Health classes, Law and Public Safety classes, and as part of Vo-Tech programs, it is also taught outside of school settings for organized youth programs, community agencies, etc. Partnerships with local emergency management, first responder communities, and education officials are strongly encouraged and sought in all MyPI programs as the host agencies continue to develop their state level MyPIs (ex. MyPI Nebraska, MyPI Hawaii, MyPI Colorado, MyPI Alaska, etc.).
For additional information regarding MyPI National, please contact MyPI National Program Coordinator, Dr. C. Ryan Akers at firstname.lastname@example.org. For specific information regarding the current state/territory deliveries, please explore the “Contact Us” tab of this website for respective State Program Manager information.