Posts Tagged ‘Emergency Preparedness’

You Can Never Be Prepared For Some Things

April 30, 2013

English: A stop sign in , Canada.

I witnessed an auto accident last week.  Guy pulled out from a stop sign and t-boned a car right in front of me. Scarred the heck out of me.

My Scout sense did kick right in.  I stopped safely, checked the scene, then called 911.  Fortunately nobody was hurt seriously, just banged up.  Both cars were totaled.

I was thankful then that years of Scout training didn’t fail me then.  But there are some things we can’t always be prepared for.  My friend was in the car in front of me that was wrecked–I wasn’t a cool, collected first responder; I was mad as hell and fighting not to make a bad situation worse.  Then when I calmed down, I really wondered how well prepared I would have been to provide first aid if someone had been bleeding. When was the last time I checked my first aid kit in the truck?

As Scouts we strive to do our best, but there’s just some things you’re never sure how well prepared you will be.



National Preparedness Month

September 20, 2012

September is a good time to work with our Scouts—Pack, Troop, or Crew—on being prepared during National Preparedness Month.  Expand on the Bear Law Enforcement Activity with FEMA resources.  Ask your PLC to refresh the Troop on basic First Aid Skills or work on Wilderness First Aid for the backcountry.  Bring in your First Aid and Emergency Preparedness merit badge counselors.  Ask your leaders to take the online BSA Hazardous Weather training.

Be Prepared.


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Release date:
SEPTEMBER 13, 2012
Release Number:

DENTON, Texas – September is National Preparedness Month. Putting together a family preparedness plan for disasters or emergencies can serve you well in any circumstance. Whether you are facing a severe weather event, a fire in your home, a hazardous materials incident in the neighborhood, or any other emergency, it’s a good idea to plan in advance.

  • Talk to your family members about preparedness and how to respond calmly to emergencies. Discuss what you would need to do to shelter in place, leave your home or evacuate your city.
  • Identify two meeting places, one near your home and one away from the neighborhood in the event family members cannot return to the house.
  • Post emergency phone numbers beside the telephone. Teach children how to call 911.
  • Choose a friend or relative out-of-state whom all family members will telephone to check in. The out-of-state relative can relay messages. When evacuating, notify relatives and friends about your plans. Be familiar with designated evacuation routes leading out of town.
  • Draw a home floor plan and choose at least two escape routes. Make sure you know how to shut off the water, gas and electricity.
  • Keep an emergency supply kit, including water, non-perishable food, important documents, radio and flashlight with extra batteries, extra eye glasses, medications and special needs products for babies and the elderly.
  • Make plans for family members or neighbors with special needs, as well as for care of pets.

During National Preparedness Month, and throughout the year, FEMA and the Ad Council invites everyone to prepare in advance for all types of natural disasters. The Ready Campaign’s websites ( and and toll-free numbers (1-800-BE-READY and 1-888-SE-LISTO) provide free emergency preparedness information and resources available in English and Spanish.


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Radio Merit Badge

May 11, 2009

Radio Merit Badge

Volunteers from three counties in our area organized a Radio Merit Badge workshop Saturday for Scouts from several troops. Scouts learned the basics of amateur radio and wireless communications, how Scouts and amateur radio operators used to have to know Morse Code, and the best way to raise a CQ on a ham radio.  They went on a fox hunt and talked to some friendly operators over the air.

Radio merit badge offeres 3 options:  amateur or ham radio, broadcast radio, or shortwave listening.  Our Council summer camp offers the broadcast radio-option, which is quite popular with the Scouts.  However, we brought in a sheriff’s deputy to demo his mobile radio setup during Jamboree-On-The-Air (JOTA) and several of our guys expressed interest.  This workshop gave them a chance to engage in something a bit more active and practical.  It would certainly fit right in to a search and rescue camp-o-ree or weekend exercise.

The most difficult part of the workshop, at lest for the younger scouts, was the electronics.  The badge requires some basic understanding of radio waves and electronic circuitry.  And be sure to double-check the merit badge requirements, as they changed quite a bit for 2009.

Old Civil Defence logo

The merit badge counselor / workshop organizer volunteers with a local county emergency management office for disaster-related communications.  Other instructors included a police officer, a weather watcher, and a local retired Scouter.  The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) had extensive information on ham radio, as a hobby or profession.  Your emergency management office (check with the County) could be a good source of radio merit badge counselors, in addition of course to the Eagle-required Emergency Preparedness merit badge.  Give ’em a call or drop an email, by land-line or wireless.

Be prepared.


p.s. My Science teacher at Agassiz Junior High ran a ham shack in his classroom.  I never took the license test, but I’ve always remembered that world of adventure over the air.