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Youth Preparedness

Commander Ready Kids

Commander Ready 

Serve DC's youth preparedness program, Commander Ready is a specialized emergency preparedness Initiative designed to educate and engage youth ages 5-13. Commander Ready uses fun, interactive games and activities to introduce youth to emergency preparedness in a nonthreatening, safe way. Students who participate in Commander Ready are educated on the most relevant emergency-related topics,  which better equips them as leaders and role models in the event of an emergency at home, school or in the community. In addition to engaging young people in preparedness, the curriculum is also designed to improve skills in math, science, language arts, health, and social studies.

By creating innovative ways to introduce emergency preparedness to children, Commander Ready increases preparedness engagement among family members and peers – leading to better-informed, safer communities and encouraging a lifelong commitment to civic engagement and service.

For more information about Commander Ready or to register a school, class or group, please contact Serve DC at [email protected] or (202) 727-7925. 

Summer Youth Emergency Preparedness Academy (SYEPA)

SYEPA is designed to empower the District of Columbia youth with training to assist their families and communities in the event of a disaster while providing exposure to careers in emergency management and public safety. SYEPA is comprised of four components: 

  • Teen CERT Certification -- Community Emergency Response Team training that is geared towards young adults 
  • Commander Ready Certification "Train-the-Trainer" Model -- Certifiies participants to teach youth (ages 6-13) the basics of emergency preparedness 
  • First-Aid/CPR/AED Certification -- Two-year certification that is in accordance with American Red Cross' standards 
  • Workforce Development -- Exposure to various careers in emergency management by engaging industry professionals, which happens through lectures, site visits, and training for SYEPA participants

DC residents 16-24 years old with an interest in emergency management/public safety careers and a resume should apply at

For more information about SYEPA, please contact Serve DC at [email protected], or (202) 727-7925. 

Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training teaches you about the potential disasters that could affect your area and how to safely and responsibly respond to them. Through TEEN CERT, you can serve your community and help take care of your school and home. It takes about 20 hours to complete the CERT training, but the critical skills you learn will last your entire life. During the training you will learn to do the following: 

  • Extinguish small fires 
  • Conduct light search and rescue 
  • Assist those who are injured 
  • Set up medical treatment areas 
  • Assist emergency responders 
  • Identify and anticipate hazards 
  • Reduce the fire hazards in the home and workplace 
  • Help reduce survivor stress 

For more information about Teen CERT, please contact Serve DC at [email protected]/(202)727-9576. 

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