Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge, Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,428 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,782 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! ~MaryJane 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life …

For this week’s Make It Easy/Emergency Preparedness Beginner Level Merit Badge, I had to steal myself and dig down deep for the bravery and courage I knew I had in there somewhere. It was usually located beneath the hummus and turkey wrap, below the spleen, and next to the slice of blueberry pie, somewhere deep in my guts. Don’t be jelly at my knowledge of anatomy; we all have our gifts. One of mine is an intrinsic awareness of the inner workings of my body. The other one is a penchant for blueberry pie.

Anyway, the reason I needed to find my bravado was because I had always been a little bit frightened of natural disasters. Okay, more than a little bit frightened. I still crawl under my bed when there’s a thunder and lightning storm (and the cats don’t like to share that space either; it’s dog eat dog eat dust bunny under there, let me tell you). I freak out when the power goes out. I refuse to live anywhere where there is the slightest chance of a hurricane, a tornado, a tsunami, an earthquake, a shark attack, or a meteor shower. I know, I know, I tried applying for a NASA trip, since outer space is the only place you won’t find those, but have you ever given serious thought to black holes and alien abductions?

Seriously. My mind, when left unattended for too long, is a browser history of What Could Possibly Go Wrong, with all the tabs left open. I wouldn’t say I’m a chicken, per se, but my childhood nickname was Henny Penny.

“The sky is falling, the sky is falling!”

I hate it when the sky does that.

I’ve tried to be better at dispelling the doom and gloom my fancies dream up, but it’s hard. Bear attacks, flash floods, lightning strikes! Dust bowls, plagues of locusts, ice storms! Lions, and tigers, and bears, OH MY!

So you can only imagine how long I’ve been putting off this particular badge, Madge. Just looking at the title alone gave me the heeby-jeebies. Then I read the actual requirements for the Beginner Level and my heart rate went back down to a normal rate (for Henny Penny, anyway).

  • Determine the types of emergencies that you and your family are most likely to face. Be sure to look at emergencies that only affect you, as well as emergencies that can affect your local community.
  • Make a plan with your family on how to respond to likely emergencies such as fire, flood, earthquakes, and severe weather.

Well, whew! A sense of relief flooded my body. Flooded? Bad choice of words, Jane. I was soothed, let’s put it that way. I didn’t need to focus on ALL the natural disasters and emergencies that could possibly arise (plagues, heat wave, zombie apocalypses), just the ones that might affect me. That narrowed my extremely extensive list down to a more bearable number. Wait, bears? Ack, there I go again.

Steeling my nerves with a strong shot of organic espresso and a chunk of chocolate lava cake (lava?!) I made a list.

  • Wildfires. They happen. And where I live? They happen much too frequently for this farmgirl to be able to relax in the summer. My plan? Dowsing my campfires completely, keeping the underbrush around my perimeter mowed, knowing the channels and apps for wildfire updates and storing them in my phone and in my car radio, and having an evacuation plan set up ahead of time.
  • Earthquakes. No, we haven’t had one in my neck of the woods in decades, but you never know when the sneaky little earth will decide to quake a bit. Which makes me quake a bit. Plan: know where to go immediately if Gramma Barbie’s china collection starts falling off the shelf.
  • Power outages. Okay, some of you find them fun, what with your super-nifty flashlights, scented candles, and night-vision goggles. Plan: get me some super-nifty flashlights, scented candles, and night-vision goggles.

Surprisingly, by the end of this Beginner Level badge, I was feeling mighty proud of myself and I hadn’t even thought of sharks for like, 15 minutes, which was some kind of record. I decided to bite the bullet (ack, bullets?!) and move straight along to the Intermediate Level badge …

Right after I checked to make sure the sky was still properly located and not falling.

Leave a comment 5 Comments

  1. Melissa Eloe says:

    Fantastic writing!!! Thank you for reminding me to be prepared.

  2. Cindy Meade says:

    I can relate sometimes. You put it in words that make it seem silly and yet deep down we wonder if our imaginations can come true.
    I trust that what ever happens or where we end up. We are never without God knowing where we are. He will always get us through what ever lies before us.
    Thanks for this fun but thoughtful article.

  3. Karlyne says:

    I’ve noticed that as I get older, I get more worried-er, so thanks for reminding me of the things I can do things about! Like keeping lava cake in the freezer that’ll need to be eaten when the power goes out.

  4. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Basic preparedness was something that I first learned about in Girl Scouts when we did a badge. As with many others, we learn in life how important it is to always be prepared for the unexpected disaster. There have been so many times that I needed an item right away and was so glad that I had already planned and had it stashed away for easy access. As an older adult, I have also learned that most crisis are better with chocolate. Now that is always ready to grab when the goin’ gets rough!

  5. Krista says:

    This is a great merit badge for everyone to work on. It’s sad that it takes some actual disasters to make people realize the importance of being prepared. I have been a bit worried about earthquakes hitting us, so hopefully I have everything ready that we need.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *