This Morning: 5th graders learn about emergency preparedness in Michigan


Michigan State Police have partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help 5th graders in Michigan learn what to do during a disaster.

It’s called the STEP program and teaches students how to implement strategies to prepare for emergencies at home.

This year, more students in Michigan are involved than ever before.

Teachers from more than 150 schools statewide registered to participate in the program and will teach the curriculum to more than 10,000 students.

Your family will meet at the rock in the front yard? asked Ms. Crall.

Yes, one of her students responded.

This is not a typical lesson for Ms. Crall’s 5th grade classroom.

Is it important to get out of the house really quickly, or is it important to get all of your stuff out? she asked. Out of the house really quickly, said her students.

5th graders at Davis Middle School in Hillsdale are learning how to prepare for emergencies such as tornados, fires, storms, and flooding through videos and real experiences of students the same age

Could it happen to anyone? she asked.

Yes, her students responded.

With help from the Michigan State Police, 5th grade classrooms like Ms. Crall’s are learning a program called STEP.

A way to lessen anxiety when hearing about worldly disasters and give a sense of control if it ever happens to them.

At the 5th grade level they’re starting to become a little bit more independent, and they’re able to help their families with things. If they have younger siblings, they’re at that age where they’re able to understand just life in general and help out and kind of take charge if they need to, says Chelsea Crall.

Ms. Crall says instructors are given materials at no cost, in fact up to 8 hours of it funded by the State Police with one goal in mind.

Ooo, I know, one student jumps in his seat.

Communication, he answers.

Yes, communication, Ms. Crall replies.

Police say many times younger children might get scared or hide during emergencies, this program teaches them to understand warning signs and take action.

The students will also create their own emergency kits.

Learning what should go inside and when to grab it.

STEP learning objectives: 

  • Students learn about disasters common to their homes and schools
  • They assemble emergency kits to help their families
  • They learn how to form communication plans with their families

Click here to learn more about the STEP program

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