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The Preparing Emergency Education Responders through Sustainable Learning Network Modules (PEER-SLN) program aims to use the creation of learning modules to educate and supportweather workshop emergency management officials.

The program’s goal is to help communities develop action plans prior to disaster striking. Modules train state and county-level teams to coordinate their disaster responses with Alabama Cooperative Extension System professionals, government officials, and local volunteer organizations.

Efforts focus on disaster types that communities are least prepared for. Utilizing research findings, program leaders chose the geographical areas and disaster scenarios that were most likely to occur and would require a response plan. Alabama Extension professionals from more than 18 counties are organizing groups to create disaster preparedness plans for their communities. Because rural communities are less likely to have emergency management officials to take the lead, Alabama Extension is helping identify and train community members to lead the charge with emergency planning.

The curriculum, Ready Community, was designed by the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University and adapted to fit the needs of Alabama communities. While many larger towns or cities have emergency plans in place, many rural or unincorporated communities may not have emergency plans or personnel in place. This program seeks to equip leaders of communities of all shapes and sizes as they prepare emergency response plans.