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Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge

Scouts learn how to “Be Prepared” while working on the Emergency Preparedness merit badge. They learn how to deal with situations like fires, automobile crashes, natural disasters, home emergencies, water safety, and more. They learn about community readiness plans for emergencies and explore the many careers related to emergency preparedness.

Either the Emergency Preparedness merit badge OR the Lifesaving merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle Scout. Scouts who earn both badges may count the second badge as an elective.

Answers and Helps

Help with Answers for Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirements

Find specific helps for some of the Emergency Preparedness merit badge requirements listed below. Some of these resources will just give the answers. Others will provide engaging ways for older Scouts to introduce these concepts to new Scouts.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 1: First Aid Merit Badge

Earn the First Aid merit badge.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 1 Helps and Answers

First Aid Merit Badge

Helps and Answers for the First Aid Merit Badge

Scouts learn how to handle a variety of emergency situations while working on the First Aid merit badge: shock, heart attack, cuts, broken bones, hypothermia, bee stings, heatstroke, convulsions, dehydration, pains, cramps, and more. They learn to “be prepared” for many types of illnesses and injuries.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 2: Aspects of Emergency Preparedness

Do the following:
(a) Discuss with your counselor the aspects of emergency preparedness:
(1) Prevention
(2) Protection
(3) Mitigation
(4) Response
(5) Recovery
Include in your discussion the kinds of questions that are important to ask yourself as you consider each of these.
(b) Using a chart, graph, spreadsheet, or another method approved by your counselor, demonstrate your understanding of each aspect of emergency preparedness listed in requirement 2a (prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery) for 10 emergency situations from the list below. You must use the first five situations listed below in boldface, plus any other five of your choice. Discuss your findings with your counselor.
(1) Home kitchen fire
(2) Home basement/storage room/garage fire
(3) Explosion in the home
(4) Automobile crash
(5) Food-borne disease (food poisoning)
(6) Fire or explosion in a public place
(7) Vehicle stalled in the desert
(8) Vehicle trapped in a blizzard
(9) Earthquake or tsunami
(10) Mountain/backcountry accident
(11) Boating or water accident
(12) Gas leak in a home or a building
(13) Tornado or hurricane
(14) Major flooding or a flash flood
(15) Toxic chemical spills and releases

(16) Nuclear power plant emergency
(17) Avalanche (snowslide or rockslide)
(18) Violence in a public place
(c) Meet with and teach your family how to get or build a kit, make a plan, and be informed for the situations on the chart you created for requirement
2b. Complete a family plan. Then meet with your counselor and report on your family meeting, discuss their responses, and share your family plan.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 2 Helps and Answers


The first aspect of emergency preparedness is to avoid emergencies before they happen. Be aware of risks and avoid dangerous situations.


If an emergency is coming and cannot be prevented, then the next step is how to best protect those involved. By acting in advance, it might be possible to lessen the negative impact of the event.


Have plans in place to lessen the impact of an emergency. For example having an escape plan can mitigate the damage.


Know what you should do for specific types of emergencies. When disaster strikes, be ready to assess the situation and take action.


What steps will you take after the crisis to respond to the needs of the injured or displaced? Medical treatment, mental health treatment, emergency shelter, and personal needs, such as clothing, will need to be taken care of.

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit

Learn what should go in a typical disaster supply kit.

Make a Plan

Learn about planning in general and access free planning materials.

Fire Drill Time!

This gives a basic framework for planning a home fire drill.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 3: Saving Others

Show how you could safely save a person from the following:
(a) Touching a live household electric wire
(b) A structure filled with carbon monoxide
(c) Clothes on fire
(d) Drowning, using nonswimming rescues (including accidents on ice)

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 3 Helps and Answers

How to Save a Person from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Get them to a safe area with fresh air
  • Call 911
  • Begin CPR if necessary

For Clothes on Fire

Stop, drop, and roll.

Water Rescue Methods

Water rescue methods are methods used to rescue someone who is in trouble in the water. Reaching and throwing methods are always the best option if possible.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 4: Rescue Preparedness

Show three ways of attracting and communicating with rescue planes/aircraft.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 4 Helps and Answers

Signaling for Help in the Wilderness

This article by Les Stroud, aka Survivorman, tells how to get the attention of aircraft who are searching for you, how they might indicate they see you, and how to prepare for rescue once you are noticed.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 5: Wilderness Preparedness

With another person, show a good way to transport an injured person out of a remote and/or rugged area, conserving the energy of rescuers while ensuring the well-being and protection of the injured person.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 5 Helps and Answers

DIY Stretchers to Carry an Injured Person Out of the Wilderness

Learn how to make a rope stretcher, a tarp stretcher, a jacket stretcher, and a duct tape stretcher.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 6: NIMS and ICS

Do the following:
(a) Describe the National Incident Management System (NIMS)/Incident and the Incident Command System (ICS).
(b) Identify the local government or community agencies that normally handle and prepare for emergency services similar to those of the NIMS or ICS. Explain to your counselor ONE of the following:
(1) How the NIMS/ICS can assist a Boy Scout troop when responding in a disaster
(2) How a group of Scouts could volunteer to help in the event of these types of emergencies
(c) Find out who is your community’s emergency management director and learn what this person does to prevent, protect, mitigate, respond to, and recover from emergency situations in your community. Discuss this information with your counselor, utilizing the information you learned from requirement 2b.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 6 Helps and Answers

What Is the Incident Command System?

ICS is a standardized approach to the command, control, and coordination of emergency response. Key concepts include unity of command, common terminology, management by objective, flexible and modular organization, span of control, incident action plans, comprehensive resource management, and integrated communications.

What Is the National Incident Management System?

NIMS guides all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector to work together to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to and recover from incidents.

Find Local Agencies which Prepare for and Respond to Emergencies

Just enter your zip code to find your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Emergency Preparedness Award

This award was designed to teach Scouts how to be prepared to assist in the event of a disaster.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 7: Community Preparedness

Do the following:
(a) Take part in an emergency service project, either a real one or a practice drill, with a Scouting unit or a community agency.
(b) Prepare a written plan for mobilizing your troop when needed to do emergency service. If there is already a plan, explain it. Tell your part in making it work.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 7 Helps and Answers

Emergency Service Project Ideas

  • Teach a Cub Scout pack how to hold a fire drill
  • Prepare and distribute emergency kits for people in your chartered organization to keep in their cars
  • Participate in a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) drill in your community

What Is a Troop Mobilization Plan?

This is a plan for communicating plans to all of the Scouts in your troop in the event of an emergency. The most typical method is a phone tree. For example, the Scoutmaster could call the SPL and ASPL. They could call the patrol leaders, who in turn would call the members of their patrols.

Typical Elements Being Communicated in a Troop Mobilization Plan

  • What type of emergency are we dealing with?
  • What should Scouts bring (ie. water)?
  • What should Scouts wear (ie. uniform)?
  • Who should Scouts report to upon arrival at the site?

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 8: Scout Assistance

Do the following:
(a) Tell the things a group of Scouts should be prepared to do, the training they need, and the safety precautions they should take for the following emergency services:
(1) Crowd and traffic control
(2) Messenger service and communication
(3) Collection and distribution services
(4) Group feeding, shelter, and sanitation
(b) Prepare a personal emergency service pack for a mobilization call. Prepare a family emergency 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.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 8 Helps and Answers

Crowd and Traffic Control

It might be noisy and chaotic. Know how to give directions without shouting. Typically you will need to hold your hand out to indicate “stop” or wave your hand forward to indicate “go”. Wear a bright colored safety vest so you can be easily seen and so that people recognize that you are on the job.

Messenger Service and Communication

This would involve passing along information if the phones are not working. Write the message down and get clear directions to where you will be taking it. Watch for emergency vehicles while you are on the move. And don’t forget to take a buddy with you for safety.

Collection and Distribution Services

People will be in need of water, food, and clothing. Set up a collection point which is away from the disaster area. Work with emergency officials to transport items from there to where they are needed. Once again, stay out of the way of emergency operations and use the buddy system.

Group Feeding, Shelter, and Sanitation

An emergency shelter area needs to be well organized. Food distribution areas and sanitation areas (bathrooms) need to be separate from other areas and kept clean to prevent disease. Mental health will also be strained. Having a few board games to play with children will give parents a break.

Personal Emergency Service Pack

This article from Scout Life magazine includes a good list of what should be included in your personal emergency service pack. Scroll to the bottom of the article.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 9: Family Preparedness

Do ONE of the following:
(a) Using a safety checklist approved by your counselor, inspect your home for potential hazards. Explain the hazards you find and how they can be corrected.
(b) Review or develop a plan of escape for your family in case of fire in your home.
(c) Develop an accident prevention program for five family activities outside the home (such as taking a picnic or seeing a movie) that includes an analysis of possible hazards, a proposed plan to correct those hazards, and the reasons for the corrections you propose.

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge Requirement 9 Helps and Answers

Make a Home Escape Plan

This site has a number of resources to help you be prepared to evacuate your home in the case of a fire or other emergency.

Accident Prevention

See a number of resources for how to prevent accidents in various situations and environments.

Related Resources for Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge

Be prepared for the Emergency Preparedness merit badge with these related ideas and achievements:

Hospital Tag

This is a fun game which goes well with this theme. It would make a good interpatrol activity for a meeting focused on Emergency Preparedness.


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