FEMA, K-State & Other Organizations Partnering to Prepare Students for Future Disasters

Release Number: 2014-002

Kansas City, Mo. –The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Region VII office will partner with Kansas State University (K-State), the American Red Cross, Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM) and other community agencies and organizations for two upcoming events to raise awareness and inspire emergency preparedness on and off campus.

The first event will be a LIVE, one hour virtual Twitter discussion about disaster preparedness.  During the second one, ReadyCampus, K-State students will participate in an exercise to familiarize themselves with some things they might expect from emergency management organizations during and after a disaster and learn how to best use social media for emergencies. The American Red Cross will also be there hosting a blood drive. Both events support the national campaign America’s PrepareAthon! (@PrepareAthon), which is designed to increase emergency preparedness and resiliency, http://www.ready.gov/prepare.

“ReadyCampus is a great program and HandsOn K-State is thrilled to host such an important event. We encourage students to take advantage of this unique opportunity to both help their communities--through the blood drive and donating time to build care kits for the Salvation Army-- and to prepare for disasters.” said Lynda Bachelor, project coordinator, K-State School of Leadership Studies.

“Both events should be a lot of fun for the students, but more than that—they’ll learn some important skills to take care of themselves and their friends and family when an emergency happens, and we know it will; it’s just a matter of when,” said Beth Freeman, FEMA Administrator, Region VII. “It’s our hope participating young adults will walk away from both events feeling a bit more confident they can handle whatever emergencies come their way.”

ReadyCampus Event ReadyCampus is a disaster preparedness event geared towards student involvement and will be held at the K-State Bosco Plaza on Tues., April 15, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. CDT. During the event students will learn about local, state and federal programs and resources available to them for emergency preparedness and discover opportunities for student involvement. There will be a walk-through of a mock POD (Point of Distribution) that, in the event of a disaster, could deliver food, medicine and other critical supplies to survivors. At ReadyCampus the POD will distribute materials and information from participating organizations and students will have an opportunity to donate their time to create emergency supply/care kits for people served by the Salvation Army.

Social media is becoming increasingly important for emergency management and the number of people using it during times of crisis is skyrocketing! During this event FEMA representatives will be on-hand teaching attendees the fastest and best ways to use sites like Twitter and Facebook to find critical disaster-related updates and connect with friends and loved ones during emergencies. For those less familiar with social media, they’ll provide tips to make it easy to immediately begin using it to prepare for any future emergencies.

“Done right, social media is the fastest way to get and give information on the planet and it’s free, that’s why it’s a game changer. We want our students to know how to best use it to manage emergencies. They’re going to get some great tips at ReadyCampus, even if they already use social media,” stated Bachelor.

Tweetchat On Weds., April 9, 2014, join @HandsOn_KState, @FEMARegion7, @KansasEmergency and other participants during a LIVE disaster preparedness and awareness discussion on Twitter from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. CDT. Tweetchat participants will learn how local, state and federal partners support communities before, during and after emergencies and which organizations and agencies do what, when. Everyone is encouraged to participate, using hashtag #ReadyKState. For those who don’t sign into Twitter, you may follow the conversation at https://twitter.com/search?src=typd&q=%23readykstate and email questions to FEMARegion7info@fema.dhs.gov, during the tweetchat.

ReadyCampus and tweetchat participants American Red Cross, @kscapredcross

Campus Student Security, KSU Emergency Management, Public Safety, @kstate

HandsOn Kansas State, @handson_kstate

KS Citizen Corps (Kansas Division of Emergency Management), @kscitizencorps

K-State Collegian, @kstatecollegian

K-State News, @kstatenews

K-State Ready Campus, @kstateready

Manhattan Fire Department, @manhattanfd

Riley County Emergency Management, @rileycoems

Riley County Police Department, @rileycountypd

Salvation Army, @salarmymokan

Please note, all social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Visit FEMA Region VII’s website, http://www.fema.gov/region-vii-ia-ks-mo-ne-0 and follow the region on Twitter, http://www.twitter.com/femaregion7. FEMA headquarters is on Twitter, http://www.twitter.com/fema, Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/fema and YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/fema.  Also follow Administrator Craig Fugate on Twitter, http://www.twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

For more information, contact: FEMA News Desk Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region VII Phone: (816) 283-7095

Lynda Bachelor Kansas State University, HandsOn Kansas State Phone: (785) 410-4599