Top Ten: Prepare for a Hurricane (or Other Disaster)

Top Ten

Prepare for a Hurricane (or Other Disaster)


Create a "quick link" on your computer to the National Hurricane Web site at Do not rely on secondhand information from news channels. Go straight to the source.


Develop a system for quick communication with parents/guardians, such as"Ventriloquist Voice Solutions" or other similar phone voice broadcast systems.


Identify a back-up communication site away from your main campus in the event that power lines are downed and/or telephone and cell phone usage is interrupted in order to send e-mail or phone calls to parents/guardians, staff, and local authorities.


Identify and practice preplanned evacuation routes from your camp to major highways. (More than one route is suggested!)


Identify preplanned alternate staff housing for staff that live outside the immediate area.


Create a "Camp Shut-down Plan" that identifies which camp employees are responsible for which shut-down tasks (e.g., shutting off power, closing doors/shutters, etc.).


Establish a "Camper and Staff Evacuation Plan" that identifies who is responsible for each evacuation task (e.g., making phone calls to parents/guardians, arranging airport transportation for campers, arranging ground transportation for campers, designating "evacuation leaders," etc.).


Create an ongoing off-site, back-up system for all on-site computer data, hard-copy records, and related paper work.


Create a plan for returning to camp once the emergency is over. In other words, know how you are going to bring campers and staff back to camp to return to regularly scheduled programming.


If you have purchased business interruption insurance, be sure to read the fine print to understand the terms of the coverage.

Contributed by A.L. Ferreira and Justin Zeigler, consulting editor Barry Garst.

Originally published in the 2006 September/October issue of Camping Magazine.