Summer camp prepares kids for terrorism, natural disasters - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Summer camp prepares kids for terrorism, natural disasters

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Summer camp at Texas State University prepares teens for response to terrorism and natural disasters. (Source: KEYE/CBS) Summer camp at Texas State University prepares teens for response to terrorism and natural disasters. (Source: KEYE/CBS)

SAN MARCOS, TX (KEYE/CBS) - Summer camp is a usually a place to learn about archery, canoeing and cooking over an open fire, but young people in Texas are learning how to respond to terrorism, school shootings and natural disasters.

An EF5 tornado that flattened Jarrell, TX, in 1997 caught many people unprepared.

The Youth Preparedness Camp at Texas State University hopes to keep that from happening again.

"Let's say in a natural disaster you can't be panicking, or you end up getting squished or anything could happen," Anthony Ortega said. "It's really important to be prepared."

The camp is no day at the beach. It's actually part of the state's official disaster plan.

That means empowering young people to help first responders in the event of an emergency at school or in the community. It also gives them life-saving leadership skills.

"I want to be the person who can either lead people away from the danger or keep control of things so they won't be as frightened," said Christopher Chatman.

Campers are also responsible for spreading the word in their schools and communities about the importance of preparedness.

At the end of the week, the campers will receive Community Emergency Response Team certification. They'll also receive credit for 20 hours of CERT training.

Copyright 2014 KEYE via CBS. All rights reserved.

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