YEP! Expo Doubles AttendanceBreaks records for volunteers, participation and donations!
BRACE, the Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies, held its third annual YEP! Youth Emergency Preparedness Expo on September 15 at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola. Hosted in conjunction with the National Day of Service and Remembrance, ceremonies were held to remember those who lost their lives during the tragic events of 9/11 and honor our local heroes who put their lives on the line in service to our community.
“Attendance at this year’s YEP! set a record, more than doubling prior years, making it the largest youth emergency preparedness expo in Northwest Florida.” said Greg Strader, BRACE executive director. “As we educate youth about actions they can take to prepare themselves for emergencies, we are also reaching their friends, siblings, parents, grandparents and others in their lives. That’s good news for anyone, anywhere – but especially for those of us that live on the Gulf Coast.”
The McGuire's Irish Pipe Band and the Booker T. Washington color guard and choir opened the 9/11 ceremony with a patriotic salute. Then Missy Scarbourgh, who had been attending corporate training in the World Trade Center on September 11 of 2001, gave a very touching testimony of the impact and aftermath of the attack. She spoke with conviction of the need to have a plan in advance – not waiting until disaster strikes – and the privilege of being able to help others during an emergency. After the tragedy, Scarborough left her position in the private sector and now works in finance at the Midway Fire Department. After she spoke, BRACE leadership led the recognition and presentation of medallions to local first responders, military and law enforcement heroes.
The expo’s many activities and demonstrations taught families the importance of preparing for disasters and how to respond during emergencies and featured Klaas Kids search and rescue demonstrations; fingerprinting and DNA swabbing; car seat safety checks; CPR and water safety demonstrations; tours of city and county mobile command units and other first responder vehicles; plus a variety of door prizes from many local vendors and more than 600 free hot dogs. In addition:
• More than 1,475 participated in emergency preparedness activities at the event, including children and family members who attended as guests plus service organizations such as the Girls Scouts as well as students from Teen CERT, Pretty in Pink and Pensacola and Booker T. Washington High Schools who signed on as volunteers,
• More than 2,242 pounds of food was donated to assist Manna Food Pantries in feeding the hungry in our community,
• Emergency food supplies were assembled into 72 hour disaster kits which will being donated to 3,000 low income families,
• Eleven units of blood went into our area supply at Northwest Florida Blood Center,
• And 250 disaster supply starter kits were assembled to help families survive the first 72 hours of a disaster.
BRACE is already planning for the next YEP! Expo to be held Saturday, September 14, 2013 at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola. For more information, email email@example.com.