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Youth Preparedness Council

FEMA created the Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) in 2012 to bring together young leaders who are interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities, by completing disaster preparedness projects nationally and locally. The YPC supports FEMA’s commitment to involve America’s youth in preparedness-related activities. It also provides an avenue to engage young people by taking into account their perspectives, feedback, and opinions.

YPC members meet with FEMA staff throughout their term to provide input on strategies, initiatives, and projects. YPC members also attend the annual YPC Summit in Washington, DC, meet periodically with FEMA representatives, and work to complete a number of emergency preparedness projects.

2017 - 2018 Youth Preparedness Council

Photo of Ahjeetha Shankar
Ahjeetha Shankar
Region I
Connecticut

Ahjeetha is the vice president of her HOSA-Future Health Professionals club, for which she promotes CPR and first aid education.

Photo of James Hirsch
James Hirsch
Region VII
Missouri

As the son of a National Weather Service meteorologist, James is a lifelong consumer of preparedness messaging.

Photo of Jerome Dinakar
Jerome Dinakar
Region VIII
Colorado

Jerome serves his community through a variety of extracurricular activities, including as a junior Boulder Amateur Radio Club (BARC) operator, stud

Photo of Aahna Ghosh
Aahna Ghosh
Region II
New Jersey

Aahna serves as class secretary and is involved in multiple extracurricular activities, which won her the class superlative of PTA Best All-Around

Photo of Nicole Muñoz-Casalduc
Nicole Muñoz-Casalduc
Region II
Puerto Rico

Nicole is the president of her class at Academia del Perpetuo Socorro High School.

Photo of Nyla Howell
Nyla Howell
Region III
Maryland

Nyla has a strong passion for the study of natural disasters and emergency management.

Photo of Ruben Banks
Ruben Banks
Region IV
Mississippi

Ruben is a Civil Air Patrol cadet commander, squadron non-commissioned officer, communications officer, medic, and assistant ground team leader.

Photo of Marcos Rios
Marcos Rios
Region IV
Georgia

Marcos is class president of his high school and an active volunteer in his community of Kennesaw.

Photo of Preston Buszka
Preston Buszka
Region V
Michigan

Preston is on the Farmington & Farmington Hills Mayor’s Youth Council and is a liaison to the Farmington & Farmington Hills Emergency Prepa

Photo of Naomi Winston
Naomi Winston
Region VI
Louisiana

For the past two years, Naomi has served as the Louisiana representative for the Region VI YPC. She is a captain of the Lafourche Parish Sheriff Ex

Photo of Hannah Farris
Hannah Farris
Region VI
Texas

Hannah is currently a mentor on the Texas YPC and member of the FEMA Region VI YPC. Hannah advises teens around the state and helps them with their

Photo of Savannah Huff
Savannah Huff
Region VII
Missouri

Savannah is a survivor of the 2011 tornado that killed 161 people and destroyed one-third of Joplin—an experience that fueled her commitment to com

Photo of Alex Sun
Alexander Sun
Region VIII
Utah

Alex is co-founder and chair of the Youth Council for Envision Utah, a statewide nonprofit that encourages residents to think about important issue

Photo of Alissa Hsueh
Alissa Hsueh
Region IX
California

Born and raised in Japan and Taiwan, Alissa’s connection to these island countries and their earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters tau

Photo of Lathan Chatfield
Lathan Chatfield
Region X
Washington

Lathan’s father is an officer in the Washington State Guard, an all-volunteer component of the State Emergency Management Division, and this inspir