STEP - Student Tools for Emergency Planning, Office of Emergency Management

STEP Pilot Program in Fairfax County

STEP- Student Tools for Emergency Planning

What is STEP?

STEP (Student Tools for Emergency Planning) is an emergency preparedness education project developed by FEMA and the American Red Cross and in 2008 was piloted in six New England states. Students at the 4th and 6th grade levels will be armed with strategies for dealing with various types of emergencies and will share this awareness with family members.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will learn general knowledge about disasters common to their area.
  • Students will learn to assemble emergency kits with their families.
  • Students will learn to form communication plans with their families.

By Teachers, For Teachers

STEP materials include instructor guides, DVDs, copies of student handouts, refrigerator magnets and student starter kits for all schools participating. Everything is ready to use – at no cost to the school. The STEP lesson materials are designed by teachers, for teachers. The one-hour base lesson has streamlined objectives in order to be a manageable time commitment in the classroom. If you have more time, additional activity ideas and materials are available.

STEP is Moving Forward

In the New England pilot, STEP expanded quickly from reaching 4,400 students in the first year to 19,000 students in the 2009-2010 school year. Currently, over 50,000 students have learned STEP STEP is also popular with teachers: although only one hour of instruction was required, more than 75 percent of the teachers taught 5-8 hours of STEP lessons last year.

For more information

Contact Bruce A. McFarlane Sr. in the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management at 571-350-1016, TTY 711, if you are a teacher or principal and would like STEP at your school.

Read an executive summary of the STEP program in Fairfax County.


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