FEMA PrepTalks videos, produced at NPS-CHDS, examine school violence

A new FEMA PrepTalks video series produced in collaboration with the NPS Center for Homeland Defense and Security examines school violence from the perspectives of two survivors.

FEMA PrepTalks are 15 to 20-minute videos featuring subject-matter experts speaking on homeland security topics with the aim of sparking conversation and promoting innovative leadership.

The most recent round of talks were held May 30 in Long Branch, New Jersey. James Marsh of the NPS-CHDS Media Team recorded and produced the videos as he did for the previous set that was released this past winter.

“We remain committed to collaborating with FEMA to offer leading-edge homeland security education,” CHDS Director Glen Woodbury said. “This past year has illustrated how we can harness our talent to benefit people and agencies across the country.”

Two survivors discuss their experiences and policy suggestions in the latest installments. Michele Gay, Co-founder and Executive Director of the group Safe and Sound Schools, discussed her experience in a discussion titled “Rethinking School Safety.” A former teacher, Gay lost her daughter in the Sandy Hook school shootings of December 2012. She talked about some of the simple solutions that students and staff needed during the crisis at Sandy Hook.

Kristina Anderson, Founder and Executive Director of the Koshka Foundation for Safe Schools, recounted her experience as a survivor in a talk titled “Safety is Personal: Lessons Learned as a Survivor of the Virginia Tech Tragedy.” Anderson emphasized the importance of threat assessments in schools to identify and mitigate potential threats.

The new videos continue a series that launched February 13 covering various homeland security topics. Each presentation includes accompanying background materials on policy and practice to spur further discussion. In addition to FEMA’s website, the videos are also available on the NPS-CHDS Education webpage.

PrepTalks are a partnership between FEMA, the International Association of Emergency Managers, the National Emergency Management Association, the National Homeland Security Consortium, and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

The next live video taping will be at the PrepTalks Symposium on September 6 in Washington, D.C.