National Emergency Preparedness Program Offered to Michigan's Fifth-Grade Students

Contact: Mr. Ron Leix, MSP/EMHSD Public Information Officer, 517-336-6464
Agency: State Police

October 21, 2015

The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is offering elementary schools across the state an opportunity to enroll their fifth-graders in the Student Tools for Emergency Planning program. Known as STEP, this classroom curriculum enables teachers to prepare students for various emergencies, including tornadoes, flooding and storms.

“Fifth-graders who participate in the STEP program will learn important and potentially life-saving 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 then take that knowledge home and share it with family and friends, making their communities better prepared for an emergency or disaster.”

The STEP program provides teachers with emergency preparedness materials at no cost to the school, including instructor guides, copies of student handouts and starter emergency supply kits for each student.  The basic lesson includes one hour of instruction, but teachers have the option of expanding 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. 6, 2015.

Last year, teachers from 103 schools statewide signed-up to participate in the STEP program and taught the curriculum to more than 6,400 students. This year, Michigan’s emergency management professionals hope to educate at least 8,000 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.

The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division is responsible for coordinating state and federal resources to assist local government in response and relief activities in the event of an emergency or disaster, as well as coordinating homeland security initiatives and various federal grants.