Emergency Preparedness


Emergency Preparedness Patch

The Plan  |  Emergency Preparedness Kit  |  Why Prepare  |  Ready? to Prepare  |  References  |  Web Sites  |  Checklists  |  First Aid Supplies Checklist  |  Drug Checklist  |  Sanitation Checklist  |  Equipment Checklist  |  Food and Water Checklist  |  Clothes Checklist  |  Documents Checklist


Introduction

Emergency Preparedness Meritbadge requirement #8C states:

"Prepare a personal emergency service pack for a mobilization call. Prepare a family kit (suitcase or waterproof box) for use by your family in case an emergency evacuation is needed. Explain the needs and uses of the contents."

What the BSA Recommends to fulfill this requirement

What you have on hand when a disaster happens could make a big difference. Plan to store enough supplies for everyone in your household for at least three days.

 

 


 

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The Plan

Perhaps the most critical test of your preparedness will be in time of emergency. Developing and rehearsing an emergency action plan will add precious time needed for response to a crisis. This is true on a day hike, overnight or longer troop camp, and all other activities.

  1. Planning ahead is the first step to a calmer and more assured disaster response. Determine what kinds of natural and man-made disasters and emergencies could occur in your community. Make a list of them, then discuss each one and what you should do as a group in each situation. For each type of emergency, establish responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team. Because some family members might not be at home at the time of an emergency, designate alternates in case someone is absent.
  2. Be sure everyone in the family can recognize the different sounds made by smoke, heat, and motion detectors, burglar alarms, fire alarms, and community sirens and warning signals, and know what to do when they hear them.
  3. Discuss what to do if evacuation from your house is necessary. Be sure everyone in the family knows that in that case, they must not hesitate, but must get out as soon as possible and after they are outside someone should call for help. Agree on an outdoor meeting place for the family, such as a particular neighbor's front porch.
  4. Be sure everyone in the family knows how to call 911 (if your community has that service) and other local emergency numbers; and how to call on different kinds of phones, such as cell phones. Gather and post other emergency numbers, such as poison control, the family doctor, a neighbor and an out-of-town person who are your family's emergency contacts, a parent's work number and cell number, etc. Post all emergency numbers near every telephone in the house and make copies for everyone to carry with them.
  5. Because emergency responders will need an address or directions on where to send help, be sure all family members know how to describe where they can be found. Post your address near each telephone in the house. When dealing with the stress of an emergency, even adult family members could fail to recall details correctly.
  6. Plan an out-of-town evacuation route and an out-of-town meeting point, in the event all family members aren't together at the same time to evacuate. The meeting point might be the home of a family member in another city or a hotel or landmark known to all family members.
  7. Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on a map in case the chosen roads are impassable or grid-locked.
  8. Practice earthquake, tornado, and fire drills at home, work, and school periodically.
  9. Be sure all family adults and older children know that in case of emergency, it is their responsibility to keep the family together, to remain calm, and explain to younger family members what has happened and what is likely to happen next.

 

 


 

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Emergency Preparedness Kit

What you have on hand when a disaster happens could make a big difference. Plan to store enough supplies for everyone in your household for at least three days.

Water

Have at least one gallon per person per day.

Food

Pack non-perishable, high-protein items, including energy bars, ready-to-eat soup, peanut butter, etc. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water.

Flashlight

Include extra batteries.

First aid kit

Include a reference guide.

Medications

Don't forget both prescription and non-prescription items.

Battery-operated radio

Include extra batteries.

Tools

Gather a wrench to turn off gas if necessary, a manual can opener, screwdriver, hammer, pliers, knife, duct tape, plastic sheeting, and garbage bags and ties.

Clothing

Provide a change of clothes for everyone, including sturdy shoes and gloves.

Personal Items

Remember eyeglasses or contact lenses and solution; copies of important papers, including identification cards, insurance policies, birth certificates, passports, etc.; and comfort items such as toys and books.

Sanitary supplies

You'll want toilet paper, towelettes, feminine supplies, personal hygiene items, bleach, etc.

Money

Have cash. (ATMs and credit cards won't work if the power is out.)

Contact information

Include a current list of family phone numbers and e-mail addresses, including someone out of the area who may be easier to reach by e-mail if local phone lines are overloaded. A blank Emergency Contact List form is included in this section for your use.

Pet supplies

Include food, water, leash, litter box or plastic bags, tags, medications, and vaccination information.

Map

Consider marking an evacuation route on it from your local area.

Emergency preparedness includes being prepared for all kinds of emergencies, able to respond in time of crisis to save lives and property, and to help a community—or even a nation—return to normal life after a disaster occurs. It is a challenge to be prepared for emergencies in our world of man-made and natural phenomena. The Emergency Preparedness BSA program is planned to inspire the desire and foster the skills to meet this challenge in our youth and adult members so that they can participate effectively in this crucial service to their families, communities, and nation.

When an emergency occurs, it affects every youth and adult member of BSA in the immediate area, creating the responsibility to respond: first, as an individual; second, as a member of a family; and third, as a member of a Scouting unit serving the neighborhood and community. To meet these varied responsibilities, the Emergency Preparedness BSA plan includes preparedness training for individuals, families, and units.

Download an Emergency Contact List to use. (PDF)

Reference: Emergency Preparedness, No.19-304

 

 


 

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Why Prepare

FEMA - Why Prepare?

There are real benefits to being prepared.

There are real benefits to being prepared.

The need to prepare is real.

Using this guide makes preparation practical.

 

 


 

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Using Are You Ready? to Prepare

The main reason to use this guide is to help protect yourself and your family in the event of an emergency. Through applying what you have learned in this guide, you are taking the necessary steps to be ready when an event occurs.

Citizen
Every citizen in this country is part of a national emergency management system that is all about protection–protecting people and property from all types of hazards. Think of the national emergency management system as a pyramid with you, the citizen, forming the base of the structure. At this level, you have a responsibility to protect yourself and your family by knowing what to do before, during, and after an event. Some examples of what you can do follow:

Before

During

After

You will learn more about these and other actions you should take as you progress through this guide.

Local Citizen
It is sometimes necessary to turn to others within the local community for help. The local level is the second tier of the pyramid, and is made up of paid employees and volunteers from the private and public sectors. These individuals are engaged in preventing emergencies from happening and in being prepared to respond if something does occur. Most emergencies are handled at the local level, which puts a tremendous responsibility on the community for taking care of its citizens. Among the responsibilities faced by local officials are:

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State - Local Citizen
If support and resources are needed beyond what the local level can provide, the community can request assistance from the state. The state may be able to provide supplemental resources such as money, equipment, and personnel to close the gap between what is needed and what is available at the local level. The state also coordinates the plans of the various jurisdictions so that activities do not interfere or conflict with each other. To ensure personnel know what to do and efforts are in agreement, the state may offer a program that provides jurisdictions the opportunity to train and exercise together.

Federal Government - State - Local Citizen
At the top of the pyramid is the federal government, which can provide resources to augment state and local efforts. These resources can be in the form of:

The national emergency management system is built on shared responsibilities and active participation at all levels of the pyramid. The whole system begins with you, the citizen, and your ability to follow good emergency management practices— whether at home, work, or other locations.

Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness is organized to help you through the process. Begin by reading Part 1 which is the core of the guide. This part provides basic information that is common to all hazards on how to create and maintain an emergency plan and disaster supplies kit.

Part 1: Basic Preparedness

Part 1 is also the gateway to the specific hazards and recovery information contained in Parts 2, 3, 4, and 5. Information from these sections should be read carefully and integrated in your emergency plan and disaster supplies kit based on the hazards that pose a threat to you and your family.

Part 2: Natural Hazards

Part 3: Technological Hazards

Part 4: Terrorism

Part 5: Recovering from Disaster

 

 


 

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References

As you work through individual sections, you will see reference points. These are reminders to refer to previous sections for related information on the topic being discussed.

FEMA Publications
Throughout the guide are lists of publications available from FEMA that can help you learn more about the topics covered. To obtain these publications, call the FEMA Distribution Center at 1-800-480-2520 or request them by mail from:

Federal Emergency Management Agency
P.O. Box 2012
Jessup, MD 20794-2012

Other Publications
Other publications cited throughout this guide can be obtained by contacting the organizations below:

American Red Cross National Headquarters 2025 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 303-4498
www.redcross.org/pubs/dspubs/cde.html

National Weather Service
1325 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
www.nws.noaa.gov/education.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A
Public Inquiries: (404) 639-3534 / (800) 311-3435
www.cdc.gov

U.S. Geological Survey
Information Services
P.O. Box 25286
Denver, CO 80225
1 (888) 275-8747
www.usgs.gov

 

 


 

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Disaster Public Education Web Sites

You can broaden your knowledge of disaster preparedness topics presented in this guide by reviewing information provided at various government and non-government Web sites. Provided below is a list of recommended sites. The Web address for each site reflects its home address. Searches conducted from each home site’s page result in the most current and extensive list of available material for the site.

Government Web Sites

Be Ready Campaign
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Citizen Corps
Department of Commerce
Department of Education
Department of Energy
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Interior
Department of Justice
Environmental Protection Agency
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Food and Drug Administration
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
The White House
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Fire Administration
U.S. Fire Administration Kids Page
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
U.S. Postal Service
USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station

Non-Government Web Sites

American Red Cross
Institute for Business and Home Safety
National Fire Protection Association
National Mass Fatalities Institute
National Safety Compliance
The Middle East Seismological Forum
The Pan American Health Organization

 

 


 

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Getting Serious about it

FEMA - How to recover from a disaster.

FEMA - Disaster Supplies Checklists

The following list is to help you determine what to include in your disaster supplies kit that will meet your family’s needs.

 

 


 

First Aid Supplies

Supplies Home Vehicle Work
Adhesive bandages, various sizes Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
5 " x 9 " sterile dressing Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Conforming roller gauze bandage Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Triangular bandages Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
3 " x 3 " sterile gauze pads Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
4 " x 4 " sterile gauze pads Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Roll 3 " cohesive bandage Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Germicidal hand wipes or waterless, alcohol-based hand sanitizer Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Antiseptic wipes Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Pairs large, medical grade, non-latex gloves Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Tongue depressor blades Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Adhesive tape, 2 " width Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Antibacterial ointment Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Cold pack Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Scissors (small, personal) Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Tweezers Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Assorted sizes of safety pins Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Cotton balls Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Thermometer Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Sunscreen Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
First aid manual Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic

 

 


 

Non-Prescription and Prescription Medicine Kit Supplies

Supplies Home Vehicle Work
Aspirin and non-aspirin pain reliever Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Anti-diarrhea medication Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Antacid (for stomach upset) Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Laxative Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Vitamins Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Prescriptions Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Extra eyeglasses/contact lenses Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic

 

 


 

Sanitation and Hygiene Supplies

Item Item
Washcloth and towel Check Box Graphic Heavy-duty plastic garbage bags and ties for personal sanitation uses and toilet paper Check Box Graphic
Towelettes, soap, hand sanitizer Check Box Graphic Medium-sized plastic bucket with tight lid Check Box Graphic
Tooth paste, toothbrushes Check Box Graphic Disinfectant and household chlorine bleach Check Box Graphic
Shampoo, comb, and brush Check Box Graphic A small shovel for digging a latrine Check Box Graphic
Deodorants, sunscreen Check Box Graphic Toilet paper Check Box Graphic
Razor, shaving cream Check Box Graphic Contact lens solutions Check Box Graphic
Lip balm, insect repellent Check Box Graphic Mirror Check Box Graphic
Feminine supplies Check Box Graphic    

 

 


 

Equipment and Tools

Tools Kitchen items
Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries Check Box Graphic Manual can opener Check Box Graphic
NOAA Weather Radio, if appropriate for your area Check Box Graphic Mess kits or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils Check Box Graphic
Flashlight and extra batteries Check Box Graphic All-purpose knife Check Box Graphic
Signal flare Check Box Graphic Household liquid bleach to treat drinking water Check Box Graphic
Matches in a waterproof container (or waterproof matches) Check Box Graphic Sugar, salt, pepper Check Box Graphic
Shut-off wrench, pliers, shovel, and other tools Check Box Graphic Aluminum foil and plastic wrap Check Box Graphic
Duct tape and scissors Check Box Graphic Resealable plastic bags Check Box Graphic
Plastic sheeting Check Box Graphic Small cooking stove and a can of cooking fuel (if food must be cooked) Check Box Graphic
Whistle Check Box Graphic    
Small canister, ABC-type fire extinguisher Check Box Graphic Comfort Items
Tube tent Check Box Graphic Games Check Box Graphic
Compass Check Box Graphic Cards Check Box Graphic
Work gloves Check Box Graphic Books Check Box Graphic
Paper, pens, and pencils Check Box Graphic Toys for kids Check Box Graphic
Needles and thread Check Box Graphic Foods Check Box Graphic
Battery-operated travel alarm clock Check Box Graphic    

 

 


 

Food and Water

Supplies Home Vehicle Work
Water Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Ready-to-eat meats, fruits, and vegetables Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Canned or boxed juices, milk, and soup Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
High-energy foods such as peanut butter, jelly, low-sodium crackers, granola bars, and trail mix Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Vitamins Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Special foods for infants or persons on special diets Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Cookies, hard candy Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Instant coffee Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Cereals Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic
Powdered milk Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic Check Box Graphic

 

 


 

Clothes and Bedding Supplies

Item
Complete change of clothes Check Box Graphic
Sturdy shoes or boots Check Box Graphic
Rain gear Check Box Graphic
Hat and gloves Check Box Graphic
Extra socks Check Box Graphic
Extra underwear Check Box Graphic
Thermal underwear Check Box Graphic
Sunglasses Check Box Graphic
Blankets/sleeping bags and pillows Check Box Graphic

 

 


 

Documents and Keys

Item Stored
Personal identification Check Box Graphic
Cash and coins Check Box Graphic
Credit cards Check Box Graphic
Extra set of house keys and car keys Check Box Graphic
Copies of the following: Check Box Graphic
Birth certificate Check Box Graphic
Marriage certificate Check Box Graphic
Driver's license Check Box Graphic
Social Security cards Check Box Graphic
Passports Check Box Graphic
Wills Check Box Graphic
Deeds Check Box Graphic
Inventory of household goods Check Box Graphic
Insurance papers Check Box Graphic
Immunization records Check Box Graphic
Bank and credit card account numbers Check Box Graphic
Stocks and bonds Check Box Graphic
Emergency contact list and phone numbers Check Box Graphic
Map of the area and phone numbers of places you could go Check Box Graphic

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