AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Bowie High School marching band has been pounding the pavement working toward perfection before the first football game.
One tuba player is playing catch up after missing the first two days of practice.
"I learned 29 pages of drill last night so it's not perfect, but I learned it," said Jonathan DeLong.
The sophomore could not pass up an opportunity to make a difference. DeLong,15, was one of 13 teenagers across the U.S selected to be a part of FEMA's Youth Preparedness Council -- a group of kids working on ways to help their peers play a role before, during and after disaster strikes.
"Youth make up 25 percent of the population in an emergency," said DeLong. "We can also be the most affected."
The group held their first brainstorming session this month in Washington D.C. Jonathan brought his own ideas to the table which included getting a teen response team up and running in Austin -- starting with his own high school.
He would also like to put together 24-hour emergency packs for the elderly and disabled who have trouble doing their own shopping.
"I'm prepared, my neighbors are prepared. I know everybody is not and we need to get that point across," said DeLong.
It's not just talk, DeLong walks the walk. He keeps two backpacks in his car at all times full of tools and first responder items that could come in handy -- a hard hat, thermal blankets, face mask, snacks and water are just a few of the items.
Jonathan's passion for helping others began at age seven when he started volunteering with an animal rescue group and then Hurricane Katrina hit.
"I helped out at the [Austin] convention center and we had no clue what was happening," said DeLong.
That is when he decided to join Austin's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) along with Texas Search and Rescue (TEXSAR). He is also a Ham Radio operator.
So just how does the busy teenager ever catch a breath?
"I'm not called out all at once so mostly I'm just on standby," said DeLong.
His spot on the FEMA Youth Council is a two-year term. The group will meet once a year in person and then communicate thru teleconferences and Skype every month or so.
Family and friends held a vigil Wednesday at the State Capitol in hopes that a Bastrop man can win a new trial.
An unusually cold blast of arctic air arriving early Thursday will be followed by an increasing chance of freezing drizzle/rain and sleet by Friday morning.
The HealthCare.gov website is working more smoothly for central Texans.
City leaders in West Lake Hills discussed the ongoing concern with the city's water system Wednesday night. The problems arise when water is needed most; fighting fires.
Federal, state and local authorities on Wednesday arrested 15 people and seized 70 firearms in raid on a methamphetamine operation based in Burnet County.
Former Georgetown Police Officer Stephanie Brown said her ex-boyfriend, former Round Rock Officer Eric Poteet, made up accusations against her after she broke up with him.