With wildfires causing considerable damage in the U.S. this year, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has launched a TakeAction campaign that targets middle and high school students living in areas with wildfire risks. The campaign highlights important information about wildfire risks to life and property. Through TakeAction, students can use educational resources to implement local grassroots community service projects that increase resident safety and improve a home’s likelihood of surviving a wildfire.

According to NFPA’s 2012 report, “Engaging Youth in Reducing Wildfire Risk – Community Conversation Workshop Findings and Research,” it’s estimated that more than 8 million students in grades 6 – 12 live in a U.S. wildland/urban interface community (WUI). Research shows that youth are a valuable resource in bringing information into their homes and being active participants in projects related to risk reduction. School and club community service projects directly benefit the people, wildlife and neighborhoods where youth live. By taking part in proactive service projects, participants can make important contributions in their area to reduce wildfire risks and mitigate post-fire impacts like flooding and mudslides.

In addition to the educational resources available through the TakeAction campaign, U.S. residents ages 13 – 22 who complete a wildfire risk reduction or post-fire project and submit an application are eligible to receive one of twenty $500 Community Service Funding Awards. Sponsored by State Farm, the funding awards are part of NFPA’s 2015 Year of Living Less Dangerously from Wildfire outreach effort. Winning applicants can use the award toward future educational costs, or it can be donated to the charitable organization of their choice. The deadline to submit applications is November 15, 2015. 

State Farm has a long history of providing proactive wildfire safety education to its policyholders in high-risk regions. In the last two years, State Farm has teamed up with NFPA to co-sponsor national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, providing monetary awards to 85 community recipients to help fund local wildfire risk reduction projects.

TakeAction proudly supports FEMA’s America’s PrepareAthon on September 30, a national campaign that encourages residents to plan, conduct and promote preparedness activities for all natural disasters, including wildfire. By participating in both America’s PrepareAthon and TakeAction, young people can make contributions towards ensuring that their community is a safer place to live.

Find additional resources and learn more about the TakeAction campaign and the State Farm-sponsored Community Service Funding Awards at www.nfpa.org/takeaction.