A Scout is Prepared: Outdoors and at Home — Emergency Preparedness Week

Discover a 72-hour emergency kit checklist, an emergency contact checklist and safety tips to address outdoor and household emergencies at Scouts.ca/EmergencyReady

During these difficult times we are faced with a global pandemic, an emergency situation that many of us had not prepared for. One of the biggest challenges with this pandemic is that taking action is difficult when there is still so much uncertainty about Canada’s path ahead.

If you’re a Scout or just enjoy the outdoors, you may have experienced emergency situations while adventuring, whether it be encounters with wildlife, inclement weather, injury or more. One of the benefits of Scouting is that it enables youth to examine potential hazards and implement plans ahead of time in order to mitigate risk. Being able to identify potentially dangerous situations is an important skill to ensure that the situation is avoided, or consequences are lessened.

For example, when I step out for an adventure, I know that there may be bear activity nearby. Through the Scouting program, my Scouters always provided me with the appropriate steps to take should I see signs of a bear nearby, or end up encountering a bear. This has saved my life on numerous occasions.

Similarly, when stepping out in the winter, I am very aware of the risk of hypothermia. That’s why I pack the appropriate gear and monitor my fellow adventure mates, as well as myself, to ensure that we are safe throughout the journey. For many Scouts, these skills become second nature after a few Scouting adventures.

While we tend to be mindful of risks outside of the home, especially in areas that are less familiar or safe, we can overlook domestic hazards. This is dangerous because hazards still exist within our homes and neighborhoods. Personally, I encounter coyotes and other wildlife right outside my doorstep in a major city, which is why I always put responsible wildlife measures into practice, even at home.

Furthermore, within the house smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors can save lives; however, less than half of Canadian households have all three devices.

Scouts Canada has teamed up with Hydro One to launch the new Emergency Ready program.

Discover online resources for youth and families, including a checklist to create a 72-hour emergency kit, an emergency contact checklist and safety tips for emergencies at Scouts.ca/EmergencyReady.

Everywhere around us, hazards exist. We can either be shy about this fact or accept it and ensure that we are aware of the hazards and how we can mitigate them. Stay safe, stay home, but keep adventuring. Curiosity and adventure can thrive at home and outdoors, I challenge you to find safe and fun ways to do this with the tools you have!

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