Preparing for an emergency

Boy Scout Troops and Packs from across the WInnebago Council are learning just what it means to be prepared in the event of a disaster or emergency situation

Posted: Sep 22, 2019 1:51 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - Say you get caught in a tornado or flash flood while out camping or with a large group of people. There may not be a lot of time to formulate a plan.

On Saturday, Boy Scout Troops and Packs that make up the Winnebago Council are learning just what to do in the first ever Urban Emergency Preparedness day.

"If someone breaks their leg, we know how to treat them," Michael McCloskey, a member of Troop 1418 of Forest City, says.

These Scouts are getting valuable training that could potentially save lives.

"If my friends get hurt, I can help them and not stand in the background, not knowing what to do," Gabriel Ramirez, another member of Troop 1418, adds.

The day is not just for medical training; it's also to determine what should be packed in a bag for emergencies, how to prepare food for a large group, communicating with one another, including practicing where to find a target using a walkie talkie, and a search and rescue drill.

The day was the brainchild of Margaret Bagur, who has spent the last year planning for it. The info being shared today is vital for everyone involved, because disaster can strike with little to no warning.

"You could be on this trail, a flash flood comes at you, you get to higher ground, but what do you do?"

This training could pay off in dividends, as North Iowa CERT and the Scouts are working to put quick, on-scene emergency response teams in places like schools.

"We want to be able to know that we are high skilled and we're trained. And we want parents to know. Parents need to know if we're taking their kids out to a wilderness area, they want to know if their kids are safe. We all do."

Bagur's hoping to expand the day out into a 4-day summer camp next year.

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