Youth Council to host focus groups


The Rockville Centre Youth Council has received a State Farm grant to help provide better disaster response for village residents with disabilities. The Youth Council will work with Molloy College, Disaster Preparedness Ltd. and an expanded group of professionals in public safety, disability awareness and disaster response to conduct several forums on first responders, caregivers and residents with disabilities. Interested teens will be helping with their own focus groups to devise disaster response protocols for residents with disabilities in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

The Youth Council kicked off its State Farm scheduled disaster response on Nov. 12, holding a disaster response forum at the library that boasted more than 40 teens and residents in attendance. The teens listened to stories from neighbors, including those with disabilities, who had been affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. They also learned what sorts of items were vital to have on hand during a weather emergency, and heard first-hand accounts from volunteers on their experiences during periods of disaster recovery. The audience also had the opportunity to ask questions of local officials, including Rockville Centre Building Superintendent Daniel Casella and Village Trustee Emilio Grillo, and learned of the resources available to residents to prepare for disasters.

The Youth Council will hold its first teen focus group on disaster response for the disabled on Feb. 26 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Rockville Centre Public Library. Angela Zimmerman, a professional facilitator from Molloy College, will run the group, which is limited to 15 teens on a first come first serve basis. For information, please email to participate.