Saturday, April 19, 2014

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FEMA Offers Free Disaster Preparation Presentations To Schools

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TWC News: FEMA Offers Free Disaster Preparation Presentations To Schools
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They're in town to help with the recovery effort, but some FEMA employees are also taking time to teach kids how to prepare for future disasters. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.

The kids at P.S. 131 have had hurricanes on their minds even though Borough Park didn't get the worst of the storm. Hurricane Sandy still disrupted their lives and left them with lots of questions.

"I'm actually afraid of hurricanes," one student said.

"I think about it a lot because people lose their houses and it's really sad," another student said.

Haydee Rentis, the principal and guidance counselor, decided to bring in FEMA, hoping some kids would be able to ease their minds by learning how to prepare.

"Knowing that they were seriously affected by Hurricane Sandy, I needed to equip them and help them understand what to do during a hurricane and help them handle some of the stuff," Rentis said.

FEMA is offering the free presentation to any school in the area.

"The goal is to inform them about the various disasters and how to be prepared for each one," FEMA worker Nina Coleman said.

They teach kids about the agency's role, tell them how to make a plan and show them what they should bring with them in an emergency supply kit.

"We try to keep it kid friendly," Homer Nabors from FEMA said. "We're trying not to scare the kids but just to inform them."

From what students said, it seems to have worked.

"We're more prepared," a student said. "We won't be scared anymore."

But when students had a chance to ask questions, what they really wanted to know had more to do with the science behind disasters rather than how to prepare for them. What causes a hurricane? How is it different than a tropical storm? What happens to the fish?

The FEMA presenters were often stumped -- and so teachers decided they'd try to organize a second presentation with a meteorologist. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP