Many of us have had practice or training when it comes to deciding the best methods in dealing with an emergency. Far too often when those fight-or-flight situations arise, it’s difficult for us to recall everything we need to know. Luckily, there are written procedures with maps and guides on how to effectively address emergency situations, assuming they have been prepared and reviewed in advance at your office/event location.
An Emergency Action Plan (EAP) can be found at your camp and local council office, and it’s a good idea to develop one for your regular meeting place or campout location. As part of the program hazard analysis for your camp, activity-specific EAPs are most effective when they are developed, approved, and practiced on a regular basis.
Some major components of an EAP include:
- Evacuation routes and escape plans with instructions that can be posted in designated areas throughout your local council, camp location, and meeting place
- Maps indicating:
— Emergency exits
— Primary and secondary evacuation routes
— Locations of fire extinguishers
— Locations of fire alarm pull stations
— Assembly points
- Emergency contacts that include a hierarchy of:
— Your designated Scout leaders and local council contacts
— Local hospitals; fire, police, or sheriff’s offices; and reminders about calling 911 (or the appropriate emergency telephone number)
- Scenario-specific response plans:
— Sheltering in place against environmental threats such as chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants
— Severe weather, including weather reports that are specific to your location and, if applicable, a mass notification system plan
— Active shooter situations, with information on how to respond and where to go or stay, including:
- Nearest facility exits
- Stationary response
- Close confines response
— Where to go in an emergency when you are on a hiking trail or camping
— Site-specific information (locations and contact information) for outdoor adventure camps, day camps, council offices, etc.