Glen Cove Campers Learn Emergency Preparedness

Students from YMCA at Glen Cove participate in a BeReadyLI Children’s Workshop, presented by United Way of Long Island, in partnership with PSEG Long Island. (Photo courtesy of the United Way of Long Island)

A workshop dedicated to educating people of all ages on emergency preparedness visited the YMCA at Glen Cove to work with 75 preschool and elementary school age campers.

Recognizing the importance of being prepared and staying safe, United Way, 2-1-1 Long Island and PSEG Long Island launched, a comprehensive online resource aimed at helping residents prepare before, during and after disasters. Stemming from this initiative, the BeReadyLI children’s workshop was developed. It is crucial that all family members, no matter their age, know how to be prepared in case of an emergency. This interactive curriculum on emergency preparedness is filled with engaging videos, activities and take-home packets and has reached more than 25,000 students across Long Island since its inception.

The assembly-style lesson began with a simple question to the campers, what do they think of when they hear the word “emergency?” Replies ranged from calling 911 to finding the exit to knowing not to panic. From there, the campers followed along with the presenters as they instructed children how they can get ready for small emergencies such as a power outage using props and clips from Sesame Street’s “Let’s Get Ready” special and a question-and-answer interaction. Students learned the importance of knowing their full name, having a family meeting spot and keeping a family emergency kit readily available. “We are pleased to partner with the YMCA and the United Way of Long Island to present this important program to young children and their parents,” Suzanne Brienza, director of customer experience said. “Preparation is key before storm events and the BeReadyLI children’s workshop takes what could be potentially upsetting material and makes it a more fun and interactive learning experience. ”

Elizabeth Eberhardt, United Way of Long Island’s BeReadyLI Children’s workshop director, further explained, “This program is effective at helping youngsters remember the basics of emergency preparation and how to stay safe during small emergencies. The use of song and visual aids creates a captivating way for young children to remember the information presented during the workshop.

“United Way of Long Island and PSEG Long Island’s BeReadyLI Children’s Workshop developed a curriculum that truly engages the whole child”, said Shannon Cussen, executive director of Youth Development and Education at the YMCA of Long Island.

“Preparing children for emergency situations can be overwhelming and scary for young children, but the lesson engages them with age-appropriate content, and empowers them to involve the entire family,” Cussen added. “We are so proud to partner with them on this initiative as our missions align in safety and education for all children and families across Long Island.”

At the end of presentation, the students recited a safety slogan that implements an acronym (PSEG) to help remind the them what they should do in an emergency, “be Prepared, be Safe, in an Emergency, and Get ready.”

To learn more about BeReadyLI’s Children’s Workshops, visit

—Submitted by the United Way of Long Island 

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