[UPDATED AUGUST 25, 2020, TO INCLUDE COVID-19 PREPARATIONS]
We say our motto is Be Prepared, but how prepared are you and your Scouts for a hurricane?
The same question applies to tornadoes, wildfires, floods, pandemics or terrorist attacks.
September is National Preparedness Month, so the timing’s right for you to consider your readiness.
BSA Health and Safety team supervisor Richard Bourlon shares what should go into a basic emergency preparedness kit and other ways to make sure your unit is prepared for the worst.
Emergency preparedness kit
Here’s what Richard suggests you include in a basic kit:
- Water — typically one gallon of water per person in your group per day. Richard says you really want to think about this as a 72-hour kit, so have three days of supplies. That means if you have 20 Scouts and Scouters in your unit, you’ll want 60 gallons.
- Food — Nonperishable and enough for three days for each person in your group
- Battery-powered (with extra batteries) or hand-crank weather radio
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First-aid kit
- Signaling device, such as a whistle
- Two face coverings per person for everybody in your group
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfecting wipes (if available)
- Plastic sheeting
- Moist towelettes or soap
- Garbage bags
- Wrench or other tools
- Can-opener (if your nonperishable food is in cans)
- Solar charger to power your cellphone in an emergency
How to talk to your kids and Scouts
Richard offers this sound advice:
I want everybody to know that they need to have the conversation with their kids, and it doesn’t have to be real hard, but, make sure their kids know who to call in an emergency, where to meet up.
I’m a big fan of the Go Kit, having a backpack ready that you can just pick up and evacuate with. I always say: what do you have packed, where are we going to meet, and who are you going to call?
Emergency Preparedness Award
Units and individuals in Scouting who demonstrate their emergency preparedness are eligible for an award.
Go here for details, requirements and an award application.
Where to find more information
Find more in the September 2014 CubCast
Go here to listen to or download the September 2014 CubCast, where Richard Bourlon talks about this topic.