2017-11-09 / Opinions

VIEW from Lansing

State Police offers emergency preparedness program to Michigan’s fifth-grade students

LANSING - The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is offering elementary schools across Michigan the opportunity to enroll their fifth-graders in a national emergency preparedness program that teaches students how to prepare for tornadoes, storms, flooding and other emergencies.

The Student Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP) program provides teachers with a complete curriculum and emergency preparedness materials at no cost to the school. Materials include instructor guides, student handouts and starter emergency supply kits for each student.

“Fifth-graders who participate in the STEP program gain important and potentially lifesaving knowledge about emergency preparedness,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “Students can then share that knowledge at home with family and friends, making their communities better prepared for an emergency or disaster.”

The basic lesson includes one hour of instruction, but instructors have the option to expand the lessons to include eight hours of material. STEP curriculum can be taught by teachers, school officials, first responders or volunteers.

Interested schools should fill out the Application and Acceptance form at www.michigan.gov/step and submit it via mail, email or fax by Nov. 10.

Last year, teachers from 150 schools statewide signed up to participate in the STEP program and taught the curriculum to more than 9,800 students. This year, Michigan’s emergency management professionals hope to educate at least 10,000 fifth-graders statewide.

STEP is sponsored by the MSP/EMHSD and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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