Involve youth in your community in Wildfire Community Preparedness Day activities by applying today for a funding opportunity for a wildfire preparedness activity no later than March, 3rd with funding provided by State Farm. Getting young people in a neighborhood, organization or community involved in activities to promote wildfire preparedness can help them gain a sense of being a valued part of the community. According to a fact sheet completed by the University of Nevada, Reno and their Cooperative Extension Service, youth volunteers can contribute great value not only immediately with the work completed but also with long-range value in their personal development as contributing members to society.
Developing and implementing Wildfire Community Preparedness Day projects for youth can be rewarding if you follow some guidelines:
- Make sure that you have not only a hold harmless permission form signed by the youth involved but also by their parents and guardians.
- If you are working on someone else’s property, make sure that you check the property over for potential hazards. Also, have a signed hold harmless form from the homeowner whose property you are working on.
- Make sure that you have explained how to properly use tools and that garden tools are in good, safe condition and check out NFPA’s safety tip sheet suggestions. Check for broken handles and dull blades. There are labor law guidelines that prohibit youth from using a variety of power tools. Make sure that you know what tools they are allowed to use at their age, as well as the amount of time they are allowed to complete volunteer work.
- Ensure that all participants are properly attired with work boots, long sleeves, and long pants. Provide work gloves and goggles if needed.
- Ensure that you provide plenty of water.
- Space youth workers at least 10 feet apart in all directions, while they are working.
- Give lots of encouragement and throw in some positive feedback at the end for a practically perfect day.
The NFPA also provides additional educational resources for youth about wildfire to help reinforce the importance of the activity they have completed. So get off of the sofa and help your neighborhood’s youth make a difference in the wildfire safety of their community at the same time as they are getting some fresh air and exercise and apply for your opportunity to be awarded funding!