Heather Jackson, 18, of Caddo Gap, Ark., a member of the Pike County 4-H in Murfreesboro and a senior at Caddo Hills High School, educates people in her community on disaster preparedness through presentations, brochures, a day camp and "home disaster packs." Heather began her project in 2009 after leading a 4-H food and clothing drive for victims of a tornado that struck the nearby town of Mena. "I realized how few of them were prepared for the tornado's devastation," said Heather. "I decided then to learn as much as I could about disaster preparedness so I could teach others how to handle these emergencies."
After extensive research, Heather developed a series of illustrated talks and demonstrations that she has presented to more than 3,500 people at schools, 4-H events and numerous group gatherings. She also organized a 4-H day camp to teach young people about preparing for a disaster, produced a brochure on camping safety that is being distributed by the Corps of Engineers, and designed an annual display at the county fair. In addition, Heather developed "Disaster Packs for Homes," which contain items that can aid families in a quick evacuation from a home or campsite. "I feel disaster preparedness is important because emergencies can come in many forms and people can rebuild their lives much more easily if they are prepared," said Heather.