Nevada communities need rapid access to information during an emergency. In an effort to enhance community preparedness, safety and available resources and by using GPS and GIS mapping, Extension’s 4-H youth and adult leaders in Churchill County are working with community emergency managers to address evacuation and shelter mapping.

According to the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, communities need rapid access to information during an emergency. This is increasingly more evident in light of recent disasters such as hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Community Readiness Networks are being developed across the U.S. that create collaborative efforts between youth and community officials, agencies and organizations. Extension has joined other Western States in creating 4-H Technology Teams that help in the development and training of local responders.

Through the use of GPS and GIS mapping, youth will work with responders in educating communities on how to access dynamic websites and other information technology to become better prepared in the face of a myriad of disaster situations. In the process, 4-H teams develop leadership skills, conduct needs assessments, participate in Community Emergency Response Team training and educate citizens about 96-hour backpacks and other safety procedures.

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