MADISON, Wis. – Students across the state will learn about being prepared for disasters, as Wisconsin Emergency Management launches another year of the Student Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP) program.
“The STEP program helps fourth and fifth grade students learn the importance of planning for severe weather, fires, and other disasters,” said Wisconsin Emergency Management Acting Administrator Greg Engle. “We are excited to be able to continue offering this important program at no cost to schools.”
Since launching over a decade ago, nearly 85,000 students across the state have participated in the STEP program. This year, almost 5,500 students in more than 100 schools are registered to participate in this free program.
Schools are provided with a curriculum created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which includes lessons and activities focused on identifying hazards in their area, what steps they should take if an emergency occurs, and encourages them to create a plan with members of their household. Participating schools are also given free starter materials to help students build their own emergency kits, which include a backpack and flashlight.
STEP is made possible in part by funding from AT&T and the AT&T Foundation, with more than $110,000 in funding provided by the company for the program since 2012. This includes $12,500 in support from the AT&T Foundation for the 2021-22 school year.
“When disaster strikes, we know how critical it is to be prepared and ready to respond,” said Paul Weirtz, president of AT&T Wisconsin. “Our network operations are state-of-the-art when it comes to performing during and after a disaster throughout the country. Here in Wisconsin, we are proud to support the STEP program to help give our students and families the knowledge and tools they need to have confidence in an emergency.”
Wisconsin educators interested in offering the STEP program to their 4th and 5th grade students can find more information at https://readywisconsin.wi.gov/step/. Schools interested in offering the program this spring can still request materials.
STEP is part of the ReadyWisconsin campaign, which seeks to improve disaster readiness across the state. You can find more information at https://readywisconsin.wi.gov.