MyPI (My Preparedness Initiative)


MyPI (My Preparedness Initiative) National is a four-time, national award-winning youth preparedness and youth leadership program that was created and is managed at the national level through Mississippi State University Extension.  Dr. C. Ryan Akers serves as the National Project Director and welcomes association and partnership with Law and Public Safety courses and instructors, Allied Health Science courses and instructors, as well as other Career and Technical education specialists across the nation, in states where MyPI currently operates and in those that do not currently have a program.  The foundation of the MyPI curriculum is the CERT curriculum developed by DHS/FEMA which is taught in the above courses. 

The MyPI model (described below) provides a challenging, comprehensive, and engaging youth preparedness and leadership development opportunity in which teenagers are empowered to take ownership of their preparedness and to assist their families and surrounding communities with the same, all with the goal of enhancing individual, family, and community preparedness and resilience, and at the same time, creating a new standard for youth preparedness across the nation.

MyPI National is a partnership of 37 states and 3 US territories, delivering an innovative, engaging, and comprehensive curriculum for teenagers that will enable profound impact on emergency preparedness for households and communities in addition to youth leadership characteristics across the nation. The Phase 1 pilot, Phase 2 expansion, Phase 3 expansion, and Phase 4 expansion has been funded by the National Institute for Food and Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health.  MyPI National, the instructional training/certification unit, replicates the model created in 2011 and delivered in Mississippi since 2013.  In 2014, the Mississippi Youth Preparedness Initiative, the forerunner of the current model, was named FEMA’s national award winner for Outstanding Youth Preparedness program.  It also received an Honorable Mention recognition for whole community preparedness.  In 2015, MyPI Mississippi was named one of the first entities to be named an official Affirmer of the new National Strategy for Youth Preparedness Education.  As such, MyPI is an engaged and recognized component of a nationally supported, progressive approach to preparing youth for emergencies and disasters.  In 2017, MyPI National was awarded FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness national award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness and also another Honorable Mention designation for whole community preparedness.  In 2018, MyPI National was awarded the National CERT Conference award for “Preparing the Whole Community”.  That year, MyPI National became a recognized Affirmer of the national strategy.  And finally, in 2019, MyPI Georgia, a program installed by the national program, was awarded the National Association of 4-H Extension Agents’ national award for Citizenship in 4-H Youth Development, the model’s 4th national award.  Again, this achievement marked the fourth national award in five years for MyPI programming.  In 2020, capitalizing on continued growth and momentum of the program, a consulting arm, MyPI International, was created to work with international colleagues.

For teens in all partnering states and territories, MyPI offers a comprehensive and engaging three-component curriculum with a flexible timeline.  In Component A, teenagers will complete the United States Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency-certified CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training and corresponding modules focusing on Disaster Preparedness, Fire Safety and Utility Control, Disaster Medical Operations, Light Search and Rescue, CERT Organization, Disaster Psychology, and Terrorism and CERT as well as all Hazard-related Annexes.  In Component B, the Add-On Catalog features certification in CPR and AED usage, along with a technology track comprised of awareness programs focusing on HAM radio, NOAA weather radio, smoke alarm maintenance, and smart phone apps and social media in emergency preparedness.  The Add-On Catalog also includes a school safety component, a disaster simulation, an extreme weather program, a public health awareness and risk mitigation program, an extreme bleeding component, and a career track that focuses on public safety, fire service, and emergency management careers.  The final element of the program, Component C, includes a comprehensive family and community service project entitled “PREP + 6” in which each participant helps develop emergency supply kits and emergency communication plans for their household AND 6 additional households.  This component allows for significant enhancement in individual, family, and community preparedness and resilience, not to mention fostering youth leadership skills and characteristics. To graduate from the program, students must complete all components.

MyPI is flexible in terms of where it can be delivered. The award-winning program is often taught in formal school settings through Allied Health Science classes, Law and Public Safety classes, and as part of career-tech programs. It is also taught outside of school settings for organized youth programs, community agencies, camps, etc.  Host agencies and delivery outlets for MyPI vary across the nation with respective land-grant universities hosting in some locations and state emergency management in others.  Partnerships with local emergency management, first responder communities, and education officials are strongly encouraged and sought in all MyPI programs as the host agencies continue to develop their state level MyPIs. 

For additional information regarding MyPI National, including where the program is currently offered, please contact MyPI National Program Coordinator, Dr. C. Ryan Akers at

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