Mock Disaster Operations: The Background for the events
- 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
- 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.