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Michigan Develops First Emergency Preparedness Curriculum for Schools

Contact: Angela Minicuci (517) 241-2112

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 28, 2011

LANSING - The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) in partnership with the Michigan State Police and Michigan Department of Education recently released the Emergency Preparedness Curriculum to teach children in first through 12th grade about common hazards and disasters, and to help them develop emergency preparedness skills and safety habits.

"The Emergency Preparedness Curriculum is designed to build resiliency within our communities by empowering children with the knowledge and skills to make smart decisions before, during and after an emergency," said Olga Dazzo, Director of the MDCH. "As our children and families become better prepared, Michigan will be better able to recover from a tornado, big snow storm or disease epidemic."

The emergency preparedness curriculum was released to all public and private schools for the 2011-12 school year and has been integrated into the Michigan Model for Health currently being taught in more than 90 percent of Michigan's public schools, 200 private schools and 39 other states, which utilize the Michigan Model for Health in their school systems. The Michigan Model for Health is a nationally acclaimed program that has been providing comprehensive health education to school-aged children since 1984.

The emergency preparedness program incorporates a variety of teaching techniques and learning activities to build positive lifestyle behaviors and skills like preventing and identifying dangerous situations, developing post-disaster coping skills, and how to prepare a family preparedness plan and kit.

"This program is very timely," said Dr. Jacqueline Scott, Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness within the MDCH. "Not only will it help to build a culture of preparedness within our communities, but the lesson plans also deal with school violence and reporting procedures. Teaching students how to recognize when something is potentially dangerous or hazardous, and to report this, is a huge step in developing an overall safer environment."

The Emergency Preparedness project began in 2007 and is funded through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The curriculum was developed by educators, school administrators and counselors, social workers, police officers, public health workers, school health coordinators and others throughout the State of Michigan. The lessons are aligned with the National Health Education Standards and the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations.

For more information about the Michigan Model for Health and Emergency Preparedness Curriculum, visit the Educational Materials Center. For more information about the emergency preparedness curriculum, visit www.michigan.gov/ophp, to access supplemental educator and administrator training modules on the School Disaster Preparedness and Response Curriculum.

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