Scouts make a difference by being prepared for emergencies
Marc Wiseman

Scouts make a difference by being prepared for emergencies

  During emergencies, timely response by Scouts is a call of service. Today, Scouts are known to help during unfortunate events especially when disaster strikes unexpectedly. Many countries in Asia-Pacific are vulnerable to natural occurrences, especially those situated in what is called the ‘Ring of Fire’. In the past two years alone, disasters overwhelmed several countries in the region, and often tested the Scouts’ sense of duty and ability (being prepared) to act quickly and responsibly. Philippines - Typhoon Filipino Scouts, in partnership with ShelterBox joined in the massive rescue and relief operations after the deadly typhoon Washi ravaged Cagayan De Oro and Iligan cities in southern Philippines in the early morning of 17th December 2011, sweeping away nearly 50,000 homes. They set up camps, provided emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for the most vulnerable families.  “It’s been amazing having help from the Scouts and they have brought with them a wealth of knowledge in setting up camps,’ said ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) volunteer Lyndon Tamblyn (NZ). ‘It was easy to show them how to put up the tents as they already knew about distance and spacing so we have been able to work at double our normal pace”. Pakistan In August 2010, in the midst of destructive floods in Pakistan, Rovers organized themselves for rescue and recovery efforts in relief camps. They collected and distributed clothing, medicine and other needs of children and women in close coordination with government relief agencies and emergency rescue departments. Rovers and Scout Leaders living in heavily flood-affected places worked in their own communities due to the problem of accessing some of the areas. They reached out to people who were stranded and brought them to safety under nearly impossible conditions with roads and infrastructure being damaged all around. Japan After an extremely powerful earthquake hit the Tohoku Region on 11 March 2011, triggering high tsunami waves that caused massive loss of lives and properties along the Pacific coast of eastern Japan, the Scout Association of Japan (SAJ) created the Scout Disaster Relief Centers where Scouts unite to bring comfort, strength and hope to affected people. Scouts and volunteers removed rubble and cleared the mud in houses and schools. Indonesia In October 2010, one natural disaster after another hit different parts of Indonesia. First was a flash flood in Wasior District in West Papua Province. In collaboration with the local government, hundreds of Scouts mobilized to help the survivors. Then came the tsunami in West Sumatra Province. In response, Scouts and the local Indonesian Red Cross Society were among the first rescuers in the area. A third incident occurred when Mount Merapi in the border of Central Java and Yogyakarta erupted on 26th October. Within hours, the first group of Rovers arrived and brought survivors to temporary shelters. Setting camp at the foot of Mount Merapi, Scouts worked in rotation at the Shelters Kitchen serving food three times a day to over 1,400 survivors. Others were deployed at the community hospital and at the Children Trauma Healing Center, helping the children deal with their condition,  
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