As the school year winds down to an end. Many of my fellow parents are in the midst of identifying activities for their children to engage in over the summer months. Considerations include day camps, overnight camps, sports camps, robotics camps, lego camps and more.
WHAT IF AN EARTHQUAKE HAPPENED WHEN YOUR CHILD WAS AT CAMP?
In the past two years, I have had the pleasure of providing consultative services to a child based non profit that offers day camps over the summer months amongst other activities throughout the school year. Last year, HT2 participated in two days of training for summer staff and introduced a tabletop exercise for earthquake preparedness.
The tabletop exercise delivered a scenario wherein an earthquake occurred during the camps operational hours at a local park and as a result of the earthquake, trees had toppled preventing an evacuation by vehicle. Thus, they were isolated at a local park with the materials on hand to take care of the campers. They were tasked with many challenges including discussion around the following:
• Determining how they would feed and shelter the children?
• How could they communicate with their superiors?
• How will they communicate with you, the parent?
• What supplies would be beneficial to have on hand?
• What improvements could be made to their plans?
• Could they engage with the other visitors at the park?
After the second session was completed, the leadership in the room encouraged this session become mandatory for all front line employees. The Upper Management team, within a few days, contacted HT2 to indicate that the sessions were so well received that they were planning to make the sessions mandatory for all front line employees.
This year the front line employees will receive this training directly. These camp counselors will be better suited to weather an interruption and have supplies readied, in the event an incident were to occur under their watch.
If you are planning to send your child(ren) to a camp this summer. Please ask them if they have staff that know what to do. Do they know the best way to communicate after an earthquake? Would they be able to reach you and let you know how your child faired? Could they take care of your child(ren) for at least three days? If they are unable to provide a response, please refer them our way.