Scouts are often called upon to help because they know first aid and they know about the discipline and planning needed to react to an emergency situation. Earning this merit badge helps a Scout to be prepared by learning the actions that can be helpful and needed before, during, and after an emergency.


  1. Earn the First Aid merit badge.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Discuss with your counselor the aspects of emergency preparedness:
      1. Prepare for emergency situations.
      2. Respond to emergency situations.
      3. Recover from emergency situations.
      4. Mitigate and prevent emergency situations.
    2. Make a chart that demonstrates your understanding of each of the aspects of emergency preparedness in requirement 2a (prepare, respond, recover, mitigate) with regard to 10 of the situations listed below. You must use situations 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, shown below in boldface, but you may choose any other five listed here for a total of 10 situations. Discuss this chart 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. Flash flooding in town or in the country
      10. Mountain/backcountry accident
      11. Boating or water accident
      12. Gas leak in a home or a building
      13. Tornado or hurricane
      14. Major flood
      15. Nuclear power plant emergency
      16. Avalanche (snowslide or rockslide)
      17. Violence in a public place
    3. 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.
  3. Show how you could safely save a person from the following:
    1. Touching a live household electric wire
    2. A room filled with carbon monoxide
    3. Clothes on fire
    4. Drowning, using nonswimming rescues (including accidents on ice)
  4. Show three ways of attracting and communicating with rescue planes/aircraft.
  5. 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.
  6. Do the following:
    1. 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
    2. Identify the government or community agencies that normally handle and prepare for the emergency services listed under 6a, and explain to your counselor how a group of Scouts could volunteer to help in the event of these types of emergencies.
    3. Find out who is your community's emergency management director and learn what this person does to prepare, respond to, recover from, and mitigate and prevent emergency situations in your community. Discuss this information with your counselor, and apply what you discover to the chart you created for requirement 2b.
  7. Take part in an emergency service project, either a real one or a practice drill, with a Scouting unit or a community agency.
  8. Do the following:
    1. 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.
    2. Take part in at least one troop mobilization. Before the exercise, describe your part to your counselor. Afterward, conduct an "after-action" lesson, discussing what you learned during the exercise that required changes or adjustments to the plan.
    3. 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.
  9. Do ONE of the following:
    1. 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.
    2. Review or develop a plan of escape for your family in case of fire in your home.
    3. 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.


Scouting Literature

Backpacking, Camping, Canoeing, Cooking, Cycling, Electricity, Fire Safety, First Aid, Hiking, Home Repairs, Lifesaving, Motorboating, Nature, Orienteering, Pioneering, Public Health, Radio, Rowing, Safety, Small-Boat Sailing, Snow Sports, Swimming, Traffic Safety, Weather, and Wilderness Survival merit badge pamphlets


  • Forgey, William W. The Basic Essentials of First Aid for the Outdoors (Basic Essentials Series). ICS Books, 1989.
  • Handel, M.D., Kathleen. The American Red Cross First Aid and Safety Handbook. Little Brown & Company, 1992.
  • Kelly, Kate. Living Safe in an Unsafe World: The Complete Guide to Family Preparedness. New American Library Trade, 2000.
  • Mason, Rosalie. Beginners Guide to Family Preparedness. Horizon Publishers & Distributors, 1977.
  • Meyer-Crissey, Pamela, and Brian L. Crissey, Ph.D. Common Sense in Uncommon Times. Granite Publishing, 2002.
  • Roskind, Robert A. The Complete Emergency Home Preparation Guide. Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference, 1999.
  • Salsbury, Barbara G. Just in Case: A Manual of Home Preparedness. Bookcraft, 1980.