SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Greene County 4-H is partnering with the Greene County Office of Emergency Management to help youth and families get prepared for emergencies, and to get more youth interested in public safety careers.

Teaching youth about emergency preparedness is important for several reasons according to Willa Williams, the new 4-H youth specialist in Greene County and also the Missouri 4-H youth preparedness program manager.

“First, in Greene County, we have a shortage of health and public safety professionals and we want more youth to consider becoming our next nurses, firefighters, or EMTs,” said Williams. “Ready in the Middle and (MyPI) My Youth Preparedness Initiative are our Missouri 4-H programs that connect youth to future careers and help them become prepared for emergencies.”

Research shows there are other benefits according to Williams.

“By preparing youth for emergencies, they are more confident during an emergency, they become leaders in their schools and communities, and they are positive influences for their friends and families,” said Williams.


Many of us have the essentials of an emergency supply kit but it’s scattered throughout the house, so assembling your emergency kit in one area is an important disaster preparedness skill.

What should we have in our kit? I kit could include things like a flashlight with extra batteries, trash bags, hand wipes and cleaner, dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape, first aid kit, wrench or pliers to shut off utilities if needed, battery powered radio, whistle, and a charged cell phone.

“Optional items depend on your family needs, but also remember to have some food, water, and any medications that are important,” said Williams. “Also, remember to have items for the kids, your pets, and an emergency contact list.”


You can email Darren White at or visit him at the Office of Emergency Management for more information getting trained. Willa Williams can be contacted by email at or visit her Greene County MU Extension office inside the Springfield Botanical Center.