4-H A-Team

Deborah Hurlbert, Heil, Shandy  |  6/9/2016 9:26:43 PM

Resilience Science Poster - St. John
Louisiana 4-H'ers are having fun leaning to protect themselves, their families and their communities from natural hazards like floods and high winds. They call themselves the A-Team. "A" stands for "Adaptation", which is another word for "mitigation".
  • They learn to adapt buildings -- homes and offices -- so they are more resistant to storm damage.
  • They assess building vulnerability and create a report of suggested improvements for that building.
  • They visit local government officials and learn about building permits, ordinances, financing and other things relevant to growing hazard resilient communities. 
  • Each team measures their distance from the coast - horizontally (in miles) and vertically (in feet); they plant a permanent marker with a known elevation, which can be monitored over the years to see if the ground is rising or sinking. And those markers, being in public places, can start conversations about flood and hurricane risk among future generations of students, teachers and parents.
  • They write a grant funding proposal for protecting a publicly-owned facility and present it to decision makers
  • They produce a "teach back" program (video, poster, post card) through which they share what they've learned with others.
4-H members are finding their voice in making their communities safer from disaster.

Learn more about the Louisiana 4-H A-Team and how you can join.  Follow these links:

Vermilion Parish Project    Go to the Vermilion Project page
The Vermilion Parish 4-H youth mitigation planning project took place during the 2013-2014 school year. It involved home-school students and students enrolled in the Vermilion Parish Virtual Vermilion (school) program ranging from grades seven to twelve. Their elevation benchmark is planted at the Fire Station on  They developed a mitigation project scope and funding proposal for the Vermilion Parish AgCenter Office, their "home away from home", to protect it from high winds. To learn more about this team, their project, their "teach back" video, and their representation of the program outside the parish and the state. Visit the Vermilion Project page to learn more.

St. John the Baptist Parish Project    Go to the St. John Project page
In St. John Parish the A-Team was composed entirely of 4-H'ers at East St. John Freshman Success Academy, and took place over the 2014-2015 school year. After visiting the Parish Emergency Operations Center (EOC) early in the year, they decided to focus their planning and proposal writing on obtaining a Safe Room for the Parish EOC. The ESJ Freshman Academy is located on a campus that flooded in Hurricane Isaac, and part of their education was a tour of the building being restored (in hard-hats) guided by the contractors. They planted their benchmark at the south end of the Freshman Academy building. Their "teach back" project was a poster done comic-book style. Visit the St. John Project page to learn more.

Jefferson Davis Parish Project    Go to the Jefferson Davis Photo Gallery
The Jeff Davis project involved ten 4-H members working together over a span of four days of concentrated hazard mitigation learning activities. The A-Team visited with school board officials at the Jefferson Davis School board building and conducted a vulnerability assessment. From their assessment, they concluded the scope of their hazard mitigation project would be to recommend the building be protected from high winds by replacing windows and doors with stronger and less vulnerability materials. The findings were presented to the school board in Jennings, Louisiana in October, 2015.  The team's "teach back" project was the development and distribution of a set of five informational post cards. Each post card provides a natural hazard or mitigation strategy quick-fact. Visit the Jefferson Davis Project page to learn more. 

The State A-Team Project  determined early they wanted flood protection for the Amphitheater at 4-H Camp Grant Walker. The team composed of eighteen members from eleven parishes met in February, 2015 at Camp, again in May, at LaHouse on the LSU Baton Rouge campus and August  at Camp to learn how best to protect the 80 year old amphitheater. They presented their plan to AgCenter administration at the Annual 4-H Football Weekend tailgate party in October.  The State A-Team proposed constructing a timber and earthen retaining wall around the perimeter of the lowest sides of the theater.  Visit the State A-Team Project page to learn more.
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