BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA PARTNERS WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY'S READY KIDS PROGRAMNation's Leading Youth Organization Encourages Parents, Teachers to Educate Children to 'Be Prepared'

The Boy Scouts of America has announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Ready Kids, a family-friendly program designed to increase the level of citizen preparedness nationwide by motivating and helping parents and teachers to educate children about the importance of being prepared for emergencies.

Ready Kids is a public-awareness campaign launched February 2 as part of the DHS' commitment to emergency preparedness. Ready Kids is the newest addition to the successful Ready campaign, a national public service campaign to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters and terrorist attacks. The BSA is joining this initiative given its 96-year commitment to instilling values in America's youth to "Be Prepared"—the Scouting motto.

"We are delighted to partner with the Department of Homeland Security on this very important initiative for America," said Roy Williams, Chief Scout Executive. "Scouting embodies the very essence of being prepared and has specific training and merit badges designed to encourage proper awareness and planning in our Scouts. To partner on a program such as this allows us to reinforce the importance of preparation to families throughout the nation."

The BSA commitment to national preparedness extends through its Emergency Preparedness merit badge, the BSA Emergency Preparedness Award, and the BSA Ready and Prepared Award, among a multitude of other activities that require specific training. These three challenging preparedness-related awards require fulfillment of several objectives, including youth protection, environmental awareness and safety assessment, driving and traffic safety, first aid readiness, personal fitness, precautions for aquatic activities, and effective emergency planning.

The Ready Kids Web site,, features fun games and puzzles as well as age-appropriate, step-by-step instructions on what families can do to better prepare for emergencies and the role kids can play in that effort. In addition to the interactive games for children, the Web site has resources for parents and teachers on emergency preparedness and response. The DHS found a seamless relationship with the BSA given its basic aims, which include teaching young Americans to take care of themselves, to be helpful to others, and to develop courage, self-reliance, and the will to be ready to serve in an emergency. Additional partners of the Ready Kids program include the U.S. departments of Education and Health and Human Services.

The BSA encourages all Americans to visit to learn more about ways to prepare for emergencies of all kinds. Whether the crisis is a natural, technological, or national security disaster, emergency preparedness is vital to responding effectively.

Serving 4.5 million young people between 7 and 20 years of age with more than 300 councils throughout the United States and its territories, the Boy Scouts of America is the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.