ACA Standards and Crisis Planning

ACA accreditation standards have always provided guidance in identifying steps critical to crisis planning. The events of 9/11 may have generated new concerns that need to be added to camps’ plans and procedures:

Risk management planning (standard OM-4)

  • Possibility of bio-hazards from mail contamination, infectious disease, environmental (water or air) contamination
  • Financial impact of possible decline in enrollment, additional staff costs, security measures, increased insurance costs
  • Impact from possible change in access to property — deliveries delayed, additional transportation time and costs
  • Alternative storage of critical records — emergency contacts, registration information

Security review (standards OM-7 and OM-18)

  • Evaluation of use of high profile public sites/areas for program
  • Screening procedures for delivery or construction vehicles
  • Review of how much public (Web site) information is available to all

Safety regulations and emergency procedures (standards OM-8 and OM-9)

  • Monitoring system with the capability to contact individual campers or staff at any time on short notice
  • Added evacuation procedures, with alternate routes and meeting places
  • Anticipating loss of power, water, supplies, and lack of available emergency services

Safety orientation and training (standards OM-10, OM-14, and OM-18)

  • Clear guidelines for supervision responsibilities — in camp, during transportation, in public places
  • New emergency scenarios for staff to rehearse; training to prevent panic and to reduce anxiety

Emergency communications (standard OM-17)

  • Multiple methods for emergency communication with emergency services, parents, agency personnel, or owners
  • Guidelines for use of cell phones — campers and staff; parent expectations


Originally published in the 2002 Winter issue of The CampLine.

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