Disaster Prep Academy

OVERVIEW
Disaster Prep Academy is a Wednesday summer school during the month of June, from 11AM to 2PM. June is the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season and affords an opportune time to underscore the intersection between community preparedness and wetlands restoration.

The 2013 class at Disaster Prep Academy includes five youth (age 16 to 23) who are formerly incarcerated, enrolled in High School or pursuing their GED. DPA is co-lead in partnership with Limitless Vistas, Inc., utilizing curriculum from Columbia University-developed emergency preparedness competencies.  

FRAMEWORK
Louisiana loses a football field of wetlands every hour. Wetlands are a “horizontal levee” between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. Our community is exceedingly vulnerable due to severe land erosion and mismanagement.The Multiple Lines of Defense Strategy notes: coastal wetlands, which provide a natural buffer to storms, must be used to compliment robust levees and individual preparedness.

The federal RESTORE Act and State Coastal Master Plan seek to implement comprehensive coastal wetlands restoration, which will create jobs and sustain culture. For example, the 2011 Impact Study from the Louisiana Workforce Commission notes that the state is positioned to spend up to 750 million annually on future coastal restoration projects, creating between 5,000 to 10,000 jobs with an average salary of 56k. Now is our time to increase coastal competency within urban communities and equip youth with the necessary tools to compete in the emerging safety and sustainability industry.

CURRICULUM
Each week, students will be supported, empowered and educated to pass an exam on the following relevant subjects of resiliency studies, disaster preparedness and wetlands restoration.

June 5, 12, 19 and 26:
– Fundamentals of Emergency Preparedness
– Elements of Leadership: Decision-Making Under Emergency Conditions
– Climate Change: Public Health Preparedness and Response
– Dealing with Disaster Related Trauma in Children
– Methods of Risk Assessment in Planning for Disasters
– Coastal Restoration: Sea Level Rise and Flood Risk

These courses utilize the Columbia University-developed emergency preparedness competencies to educate our students about the preparation for and response to disasters and other public health emergencies, requiring learners to demonstrate individual competencies as a community leader.

Students will successfully complete the coursework and receive a Columbia University certificate – an educational credential that will help distinguish their academic portfolio and enhance their contributions to society.

Team Happy Foundation founded Disaster Prep Academy to transform the safety and sustainability industry by harnessing the skills and diversity of New Orleans youth.

Team Happy Foundation and Limitless Vistas, Inc. complete the first class of Disaster Prep Academy!
060513: Team Happy Foundation and Limitless Vistas, Inc. complete the first class of Disaster Prep Academy!

DPAred

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