-H has a strong history of helping its members "learn by doing". It also has a strong history of being innovative and helping participants gain the skills and knowledge to be proactive. On August 28, 2012, Hurricane Isaac impacted St. John the Baptist Parish, driving storm tides of 5 to 9 feet into Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas. The storm also inundated the area with days of heavy rain. More than 5,000 homes, businesses and schools were flooded. Students from East St. John High School have watched their school under renovation over the past few years due to hurricane damage.
4-H members also learned the duties and the extreme need for first responders in a community after disastrous events. In addition, they discussed with the responders the events leading up to and after Hurricane Isaac struck the area. They learned the responders ate, slept and worked around the clock in their tiny offices often sleeping in chairs. The 4-H'ers decided the mitigation project for them was to research the design and the cost of a safe room to be used in just such emergencies.
At the end of the school year the A- Team presented to their Parish Council and other leaders their project which consisted of the interior design of the safe room and a cost estimate of the building envelop constructed from Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF). The cost estimate was included in a completed FEMA project funding proposal for construction of the shell of the Safe Room.
The poster shown here tells their story in comic-book style. The original is 17 x 33 inches, but by clicking the image you can get a PDF of the poster sized to print on 8 1/2 x 14 (legal sized) paper.
The youth voice was truly heard in St. John the Baptist Parish.
Students involved in the project were: Jeyha Allen, Emily Bartholomew, Hannah Duhe, Donald Fluker, DeLloyd Gray, Kyle Henderson, William Ledet, Korey Lee, DaQuan Moore, Dylan Rodi, Jeremiah Smith and Coy Vedol.
Funding: The project was funded in part by the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) Statewide Hazard Mitigation Community Education and Outreach Project “Get a Gameplan”.
Acknowledgements: St. John the Baptist Parish Government Offices, Emergency Management Officials, and Floodplain Official, St. John the Baptist Freshman Academy School Administration, Jeff Graschel, NOAA, LSU AgCenter, LSU College of Engineering, LSU AgCenter graphic artist– Matt Faust and student Devin Simpson. Special thanks to Patti Rodrigue, 4-H Volunteer Leader.
Contact: St. John the Baptist Parish 4-H agents Joseph Silvain and Biarnetta Bell at the SJB Parish LSU AgCenter office.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture