Monday, March 4, 2013

Go Bags – Cross Generational Disaster Preparedness

The Boy Scouts of America’s motto is “Be Prepared.” In order to take this statement one step further, they’ve partnered with FEMA, the American Red Cross, and the State of Colorado's Office of Preparedness to launch a new pilot program. This pilot program brings the skills of the Boy Scouts together with an audience who may need their services.

Denver Area Boy Scouts have worked with Red Cross personnel on disaster preparedness, focused specifically on seniors and people with disabilities.  FEMA donated 440 Go Bags specifically designed for seniors and the disabled. Inside each Go Bag is an educational brochure, “Disaster Preparedness: For Seniors, By Seniors” (you can view the brochure as a .pdf here) specific to disaster preparedness for this audience, developed by the Red Cross and a committee of senior citizens. The goal of the program is for the Boy Scouts to take their new knowledge and training to go out in their communities, delivering these bags and using the brochure to discuss disaster preparedness with seniors. The Boy Scouts will not just deliver the bags, but they’re also passing along all the preparedness information they’ve learned and connecting with the more vulnerable members of their communities. The pilot program serves dual purposes: not only is it about disaster preparedness, but it also is focused on cross-generational interaction and education. 

We’ll report back on the status of the pilot and share more stories as the program grows. In the meantime, do you have a Go Bag of your own? If not, the Red Cross website has some great tips and packing lists for what should go in yours. Check it out here!

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