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) and the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN). 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 the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), MyPI National launched a Phase 2 Expansion that added 11 new partners to bring funded partnerships to 19. Beginning in 2018, Georgia, North Carolina, Arkansas, South Dakota, Nevada, Montana, Arizona, Colorado, Alabama, and Oregon will all install MyPI programs. Additionally, MyPI National added its first US Territory with the inclusion of MyPI Guam. The MyPI National Coordination Team has a Phase 3 Expansion plan in place and is currently seeking future funding opportunities to expand to 33 states, 3 territories, and Washington, DC.
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. Recently, MyPI National also received this Affirmer designation.
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. Delivery outlets for the additional partnering states are varied as they continue to develop their state level MyPIs (ex. MyPI Nebraska, MyPI Hawaii, MyPI Tennessee, etc.).
For additional information regarding MyPI National, please contact MyPI National Program Coordinator, Dr. C. Ryan Akers at email@example.com. For specific information regarding the current state deliveries, please explore the “Contact Us” tab of this website for respective State Point of Contact information.