The actions taken in the immediate stages of an emergency are critical. Whether it is a large scale event that potentially impacts our properties, meeting locations, or camps that requires a warning to members to evacuate or shelter: for example; in the recent flooding in Quebec or Calgary; the wildfires in BC; or the tornadoes in Saskatchewan or Ottawa. It can also be on a more local scale: for example: an indoor meeting activity, an outdoor event or short-term camp where there is a need to call for help to public emergency services. For Scouts Canada activities, youth, volunteers and employees are trained to administer first aid or perform CPR which can be lifesaving. However, emergencies are not limited to personal injury requiring emergency first aid – they can also impact our assets, properties, environment and / or reputation.
The most important step in Emergency Preparedness is planning. To develop an emergency response plan (ERP) the first step is to conduct a risk assessment to identify potential emergency scenarios – things that may realistically happen. This enables us to determine resource requirements and to develop plans and procedures to prepare our Groups, Sections or Councils. At the very least, every facility (meeting location, camp, Scouts Canada property) should develop and implement an emergency plan for protecting youth, volunteers, employees, visitors, contractors and anyone else in the facility. This part includes building evacuation (“fire drills”) or sheltering from severe weather such as tornadoes or wildfire.
The Scouts Canada Emergency Preparedness and Response Standard ensures our members can properly manage emergency situations that could impact our:
- youth, volunteers, parents, staff and other people
- assets (e.g. buildings, camps, machinery, vehicles, properties)
- financial condition
1. This Standard applies to all departments, functions, councils, staff, volunteers, and those acting in support of our activities. It provides guidance for consistent, coordinated, and effective management of emergencies.
2. Emergency management: A formal process is in place for documenting, reviewing, assessing, and implementing an appropriate Emergency Response Plan (ERP) for all departments, functions, councils, staff, volunteers, and those acting in support of our activities.
3. This Standard ensures:
- Emergency Response Plans (ERPs) are written (documented), in place, appropriate, risk-based, and tested.
- Adequate resources (people, facilities, and equipment) are in place to implement those plans
- Training for those plans is completed (as appropriate)
- Assessment and maintenance of emergency preparedness are regularly conducted
4. Mandatory actions:
- Emergency Preparedness
- Scouts Canada Properties, Camps and Councils will create, publish and maintain an ERP that addresses all credible and significant risk as appropriate.
- Each Group and Section (e.g. Colony, Pack, Troop, Company and Crew) must create an ERP for their local meeting place(s) and for each Category 2 and 3 adventure activity (as part of the Adventure Approval Process). [Note – Category 2 and 3 activities are defined in the: Adventure Standard]
- Emergency Response Plans (ERPs):
- All ERPs will be supported by a current (annual) risk and impact assessment
- All section-specific ERPs will be formally documented and shared with the Group Commissioner.
- All ERPs will be implemented and tested, at minimum annually, with appropriate routine training, exercises, and / or drills.
- All ERPs will include:
- how to assess an emergency situation – specific to the prevailing risks
- plans to mobilize response personnel and agencies
- how to establish communication among everyone involved
- All ERPs will be:
- documented in appropriate detail commensurate with risk
- integrated with business-continuity and crisis-management plans as appropriate and relevant
- readily available to appropriate personnel
- communicated to employees, volunteers, youth and parents as appropriate
- reviewed and revised when needed, especially after an emergency
- Emergency Response
- If an incident is determined to be an emergency, we declare an emergency and use our ERP