Nation’s Youth Gather in Washington for Community Preparedness Roundtable

Members of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Youth Preparedness Council recently held their inaugural meeting in Washington, D.C., to discuss steps to strengthen the nation’s resiliency against all types of disasters.

“This has been an opportunity for members of the Youth Preparedness Council to share their ideas, experiences, solutions and questions on youth disaster preparedness with FEMA, other federal agencies and national organizations,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “Engaging youth is critical to including the whole community in national preparedness. The Youth Preparedness Council is contributing to set a national agenda for how young people play a role in emergency management.”

The Council members participated in roundtable discussions and plenary sessions on the first day of their two-day visit to the nation’s capital. The Council will also meet with Administrator Fugate and discuss steps to strengthen the nation’s overall resiliency. In addition to developing their annual work plan to address youth preparedness during national disasters, the Council is meeting with other federal and private sector partners committed to supporting their work.

“As chairperson of FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council, I’m excited to have the opportunity to help lend youth’s voice and ideas to emergency management during disasters,” said Rebekka McCaleb of Sterling, Colorado.

Rebekka was joined by exceptional youth council members who together comprise the Youth Preparedness Council. Tuesday, council members will visit Capitol Hill and learn how disaster management legislation moves through the legislative process.

The Youth Preparedness Council is comprised of 13 youth leaders (13 – 17 years of age) from each of FEMA’s ten regions:

  • FEMA Region I: Rachel Little (Massachusetts)
  • FEMA Region II: Gabriela Rodriguez Boria (Puerto Rico)
  • FEMA Region III: Donald “Diesel” Embrey (Virginia)
  • FEMA Region IV: Benjamin Cooke (Tennessee)
  • FEMA Region V: Jason Reed (Indiana)
  • FEMA Region VI: Dorian Tre’Vaughn Gregory (Louisiana)
  • FEMA Region VI: Jonathan DeLong (Texas)
  • FEMA Region VII: Nimansha Jain (Nebraska)
  • FEMA Region VIII: Ashley Houston (Utah)
  • FEMA Region IX: Divya Saini (California)
  • FEMA Region IX: Tiffany Espensen (California)
  • FEMA Region IX: Christian Chowen (Hawaii)
  • FEMA Region X: Cayman Kirkhart (Idaho)

Council members are eligible to serve on the Council for two years.

To learn more about FEMA’s youth preparedness efforts please visit:

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