The campaign is built around Delta the Disaster Dog, Pearl the Preparedness Pup and Jake the Mitigation Wizard. Delta and Pearl embark on a journey across Mississippi to learn about all the hazards we face and how to prepare for them. At the end of each trip Jake offers advice on mitigation, which is techniques to reduce the impact of a particular disaster, on people and property.
“I can’t think of a better way to continue building what I call a “new culture of preparedness” here in the state with the ultimate goal of saving lives,” said M.E.M.A. Director, Robert Latham. “It is essential that we start early to get kids interested and trained in disaster preparedness in much the same way the fire departments have promoted fire prevention. If we are successful in this campaign it will become common-nature for generations to come. These lovable characters will also be able to teach kids a little Mississippi geography as well.”
The “experts” along the journey through Mississippi are:
* Shaky the Earthworm teaches about earthquakes
* Rainey the Raccoon teaches about flooding
* Twisty the Turtle teaches about tornadoes
* Gusty the Seagull teaches about hurricanes
* Icy the Owl teaches about winter weather
Kids will also learn how to build an emergency supply kit and be awarded an official “Disaster Prepared Certificate.”
First Lady Deborah Bryant read the book to a group of more than 150 students at Louisville Elementary School in Winston County Tuesday morning. Louisville and Winston County were struck by a devastating EF-4 tornado where 10 people were killed on April 28th, 2014. There were a total of 23 tornadoes around the state that day and 14 deaths.
The launch of this campaign is in conjunction with Tornado Preparedness Week which was proclaimed by Gov. Phil Bryant as Feb. 9th-13th.
Character design and illustrations for the book were done by Pulitzer Prize nominee cartoonist and author Marshall Ramsey. Funding for the campaign is made possible through a Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation Grant. For more information on the campaign, go to M.E.M.A.’s website at www.msema.org, or download the M.E.M.A. mobile app on your iOS or Android device. The best way to get up-to-date information is to like M.E.M.A. on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter @msema