BETHANY, Missouri – Multiple agencies from a four-county region are working to launch a new program that will train youth on how to prepare for a disaster event. The Missouri Youth Preparedness Initiative, or MyPI, is a national award winning program that will be offered for free to interested youth next year.  Knowing that youth and families are busy these days, we are seeking input from the community on how to best maximize participation in this program.  If you are a youth or parent interested in this program, please go to Missouri Youth Preparedness Initative to answer a short survey about the best days and times to offer the program.

The inaugural program will be offered in Bethany, but is open to youth ages 13–19 from surrounding communities in Daviess, Gentry, Harrison, and Worth counties. MyPI consists of approximately 8-10 sessions that simultaneously cover three components of disaster preparedness.

The first component instructs youth in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, program. This program teaches participants how to respond in a disaster event, and includes: disaster preparedness, fire safety, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, CERT organization, disaster psychology, and terrorism.

The second component teaches additional emergency related topics, including CPR/AED certification, HAM radio operation, weather spotter, active shooter, smoke alarm installation and maintenance, smart phone and social media apps, weather radio awareness, career track, and disaster simulation.

The final component, Prep+6, will be assigned the first day of the program and requires participants to prepare an emergency supply kit and a disaster communications plan for their immediate family, as well as for six other families. 

Participants that successfully complete the MyPI program will receive a pre-filled backpack with all the supplies shown in the attached photograph. 

Local partners working to provide this program in the region include City of Bethany Fire Department, Harrison County Community Hospital, Harrison County Health Department, North Central Career Center, NTA EMS Rescue, the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, and MU Extension in Daviess, Gentry, Harrison and Worth counties. 

For more information about the MyPI program, contact Jackie Spainhower, County Engagement Specialist, at the Harrison County Extension Center at: 660-425-6434 or email