Texas Youth Preparedness Camp Trains Teens in Emergency Response

 Texas Youth Preparedness Camp Trains Teens in Emergency Response


(Houston, TX) - Teens from communities across the state joined emergency preparedness experts for the 2019 Texas Youth Preparedness Camp (TYPC) at Texas State University in San Marcos June 9-13, 2019. Hosted by the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC), the TYPC’s purpose is to increase emergency preparedness by providing youth with emergency response, action planning, and leadership skills that enhance their capacity to assist local communities in creating a culture of preparedness.

Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Coordinator Earl Smith participated as a mentor at this year’s camp. “This is a great opportunity for teens. The training empowers them as first responders for community emergencies and they also learn about leadership through team building exercises,” said Smith.

Throughout the week, students and their sponsors received the full 24-hour CERT basic training, developed a community action plan and acquired the leadership skills to address emergency preparedness when they return home by implementing their action plan.

Skills learned during the camp included light search and rescue, fire safety and suppression, disaster medical triage and treatment, disaster psychology, and situational awareness. These skills were tested in a live drill that presented participants with a simulated disaster scene. Working together under the Incident Command System, students were able to establish control of the situation; locate, triage and treat wounded victims; and safely extract victims to a secure location.

Smith mentored a group of high school students selected to be on the Texas Youth Preparedness Council.  At the camp, Smith helped participants develop emergency plans specific to the threats that could affect their communities.

The TxSSC Youth Preparedness Camp is designed and delivered using a youth-led, adult assisted process that allows students to be the decision makers with adults acting in a supportive role. For more information about this program visit   

Group photo of participants at the 2019 Texas Youth Preparedness Camp (TYPC) held at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, June 9-13, 2019