MSU-Meridian C-CERT

MSU-Meridian C-CERT has been created and its members trained within the same context at the MSU branch campus in Meridian.  This team brings a different set of experiences and skills and is composed 19 faculty and staff.  While the team is independent of the main campus C-CERT, the goals are the same, with the exception that MSU-Meridian will not respond off university property, though they may have members help with recovery efforts outside the auspices of C-CERT.  MSU C-CERT will help coordinate future training and education with MSU-Meridian C-CERT when requested.  

Mississippi Citizen Corps

Citizen Corps is a nationwide grass roots movement to actively involve everyone in America in making our communities and our nation safer, stronger, and better prepared for emergencies of all kinds. We all have a role in hometown security and Citizen Corps provides local opportunities for everyone to prepare, train, and volunteer.

Put simply, Citizens Corps is a means through which volunteers can become trained and educated so that they can help their neighbors during times of crisis as well as keep themselves safe.

Remember that volunteers will be turned away if they are not trained, as was seen during the Hurricane Katrina response and recovery.
Citizen Corps was launched in 2002 as part of Pres. Bush's USA Freedom Corps initiative and is coordinated nationally by the Department of Homeland Security

In 95 percent of all emergencies, the victim or a bystander provides the first, immediate assistance at the scene. We all need to get training in emergency prevention, preparedness, and response and maintain these skills to help others in a critical situation. Citizen Corps training includes: first aid, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), how to use an automatic external defibrillator, fire safety, search and rescue procedures, Community Emergency Response Teams, and crime prevention and terrorism awareness training.

The Citizen Corps Program is comprised of five different but equally important programs:

  1. Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
  2. Neighborhood Watch
  3. Volunteers in Police Service
  4. Fire Corps
  5. Medical Reserve Corps

“The mission of Citizen Corps is to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds.” The Citizen Corps mission is accomplished through a national network of state, local, and tribal Citizen Corps Councils. These Councils build on community strengths to implement the Citizen Corps programs and will carry out a local strategy to have every American participate.

Oktibbeha/Starkville Emergency Response Volunteer Services (OSERVS)

The purpose of OSERVS shall be to work in conjunction with city officials, county officials, the Oktibbeha County Emergency Management Agency, and the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security to provide training opportunities for the public in disaster preparedness and response. OSERVS also works in coordination with Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), helping to ensure effective response when emergency and disaster situations arise.

Services provided by OSERVS are offered without regard to race/ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, disability, veteran status, or age.

Mississippi Youth Preparedness Initiative (MyPI)

MyPI is an innovative emergency preparation program targeting teenagers across Mississippi and impacting families and communities across the state.  The program actively engages Mississippi youth (ages 13-19) in the process of personal, family, and community preparation for disasters.  Similarly, through education, training, and leadership opportunities and partnerships with organizations focused on youth development, MyPI will also engage our youth in the recovery function of emergency management.

The mission is consistent with the outreach goals of the Mississippi State University Extension Service as well as with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) focus on Youth Preparedness.

The MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Citizen Corps are committed to promoting emergency preparedness by empowering our youth (ages 13-19) to take a leadership role within their families and communities.  Citizen Corps, coordinated nationally by FEMA, is the nationwide grass roots movement to actively involve Americans in making our communities and our nation safer, stronger, and better prepared for emergencies of all kinds.  The MSU Extension Service has created MyPI to provide innovative training and education as well as specialized leadership programs and opportunities to approximately 4,000 teens per year for 5 years.  As a coordinating agency of MyPI, the MSU Extension Service coordinates the selection and training of Youth Preparedness trainers and the youth membership involved in the program as well as monitors youth progress in emergency preparedness education, training, and service to the community.  MSU Extension envisions approximately 105,000 families will be better equipped to cope with disasters.   

As partners, the MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Citizen Corps will continue to set standards of excellence within Youth Preparedness and outreach programs.  

Through education, training, leadership and service opportunities, and partnerships focused on youth development, MyPI has the following goals:

  • To engage and motivate Mississippi youth (ages 13-19) to participate in personal, family, and community mitigation and preparation for disasters and to instill personal responsibility and ownership in these functions. 
  • To transfer specific skills needed to respond within communities in the aftermath of a disaster when emergency services are not immediately available.  These skills include, but are not limited to Disaster Preparedness, Fire Safety, basic Disaster Medical, Light Search and Rescue, First Aid, CPR, and AED usage.
  • To promote involvement in the recovery function of emergency management through a focus on leadership and community service.
  • To communicate new resources, strategies, and technological advancements that assist in the emergency management processes, equipping when possible.  
  • To explore and offer insight into career tracks within Emergency Management, Homeland Security, Public Health, Public Safety, Fire Safety, and other Emergency Management-related fields.
  • To connect qualified trainers with external community agencies and participating youth.

Through this 10-week program, participants will learn essential life skills, fulfill community service requirements, give back to their families and communities, build self-esteem, and receive the satisfaction that comes from helping others.

For participants, MyPI is essentially a 10-week program plus one Saturday in which ~4,000 Mississippi teens will complete Homeland Security-certified Teen CERT training and CPR and AED certification. The program also includes leadership and technology concepts and a career exploration track. Highlighting the program is a comprehensive service project entitled "Prep + 5" in which each participant helps develop emergency kits and emergency communication plans for their family and 5 others.  

A limited number of MyPI “test sites” will commence in select locations across Mississippi in the early months of 2013.  Once an evaluation of progress from those sites is completed and any necessary adjustments are made, full scale implementation of the program across the state will begin.  

For more information about MyPI, please contact Dr. Ryan Akers, MyPI Program Coordinator at