Emergency Preparedness

The Scout motto is ‘Be Prepared’, not “Be prepared in case it rains” or “Be prepared in case the power goes out at a meeting.” ‘Be prepared’ is generalized for a reason. As Scouts, we want to be prepared for all adventures, even if things are already well planned. 

Embarking on a camping adventure and hoping for the best, or going to a meeting and expecting everything to go as planned, is not the approach that Scouting youth take. We are ready for any kind of scenario, whether it means bringing extra supplies to craft with Beaver Scouts so that no one is left without materials, or packing with weather emergencies in mind before heading out into the wilderness.

When Alberta had massive flooding in 2013, some people were more prepared than others. High River experienced some of the worst flooding in the province, and was forced to evacuate the town during the day. Since most parents were at work and most children were at school, the  military came to the schools to help evacuate the kids. They escorted the children to their family homes to quickly grab anything they needed. Scouting youth grabbed a sleeping bag, flashlight with extra batteries, and clothing to last them a week. Some Scouts even brought extra supplies to share with their non-Scouting friends, bringing the Beaver Scout motto, “Sharing, sharing, sharing,” to a whole new level.  

Murphy’s Law states that, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” As a Scout for over 10 years, I can definitely confirm the truth in this statement. I’ve gotten to the point where it only takes me 10 minutes to pack for a weekend camp trip—I don’t even require a packing list anymore, but unfortunately that has been my downfall at past events. Whether you have memorized your packing list or have it written down, it’s always better than throwing things into a backpack and calling it a day.

One lake where I like to camp in particular has erratic weather, and it almost always rains. Coincidentally, the times it rained the hardest were the odd times I managed to forget a rain jacket. The coldest night I spent there, was of course the one time I forgot a sleeping bag and had to use a blanket instead. 

In everything you do, it is always good to prepare. You have to plan ahead for anything that can go wrong, even if the planning portion is just thinking about it, so you know how to react in that situation. For example, not bringing a stove to camp because you are determined to cook over a fire isn’t the best choice, because an unpredicted torrential downpour could spoil that option. 

Being prepared is not only helpful to keep youth and adults safe, but also to have fun. Be prepared for any emergency situation with Scouts Canada’s Emergency Preparedness Safety Tip.


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