Mock Disaster Operations: The Background for the events


Exploring Program

Exploring is the career and special-interest division of the Boy Scouts of America, for young men and women ages 14 through 20. Explorer Posts are formed with the cooperation of sponsoring organizations to provide a "hands-on" opportunity for young adults to directly experience the career work of a wide variety of professional fields or special interest areas. Among these are law enforcement, firefighting, medicine, emergency medical services, search and rescue, emergency management, telecommunications, high adventure/outdoor, science and engineering, fine arts, and many others.
Explorers plan and conduct their own post programs with the counsel and assistance of adult advisors and consultants, while much of their program may be planned around a special-interest or career emphasis, the program is balanced in six experience areas including citizenship, service, career, fitness, outdoor, and social. Explorers also send representatives to a coalition organization known as Explorer Officers Association (E.O.A.) which meets periodically to network and plan large events and activities which may be of interest to Explorers in a variety of specialties and career orientation program.

The Explorer Mock Disaster: Young adults plan, coordinate and exercise the M.C.I.

Explorers have for many years been involved in emergency preparedness training and exercises. Emergency Managers and Public Safety officials have long recognized the usefulness of properly trained young adults in dealing with catastrophic natural hazards sA. expressed an interest in learning the roles of the emergency managers and public safety officials. With advice and mentoring of public safety officials and advisors, the E.O.A. set about to stage the first annual "Explorer Mock Disaster" in 1993, which featured a simulated airplane crash. Despite a number of setbacks, Explorers were able to stage a highly successful event which was videotaped and later featured at the 1994 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) "Family Protection Conference" in Emmitsburg, Md. Conference participants from throughout the entire nation were highly impressed with the level of professionalism and expertise demonstrated by the Explorers. Few realized until then, just how effective and valuable young adults can be in catastrophic events. Many commented that the Explorers were as well (or in some cases, even better) organized and effective as adult groups they had worked with in managing exercises and actual disasters.

The Explorer Family Protection Training Program (FEMA/BSA): Community Disaster Preparedness and Awareness Education conducted by young adults in their communities.

Dr. Wayne Blanchard, FEMA's Director of Family Protection, in cooperation with the Exploring Division of the Boy Scouts of America, has developed a Community Disaster Education Awareness and Training program designed to be presented by Explorers. This program was announced in 1992 as a pilot project. Explorers in the Longs Peak and Denver Area Councils were asked to review and pilot test materials and programs for release in 1995. Explorers will actually become trainers in Community Disaster Education for their respective areas, including their peers, younger children, adults, organizations and businesses. When presented with the program, Explorers felt they needed to know more about managing mass casualty incidents resulting from natural and man-made hazards. Thus, the annual "Explorer Mock Disaster Exercise" was developed. A further training opportunity was added for Explorers which involved being certified in the Red Cross Community Disaster Education Workshop (C.D.E.) to give them a comprehensive knowledge of all forms of natural and man-made hazards, and to teach them how to effectively educate their peers and their communities. Posts of many different career interests may implement this program, or posts may be organized specifically in emergency management and public education as a career/special interest field.

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