Bright Idea: Pack Now In Case Disaster Strikes

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Emergency supplies, including a first aid kit, candles, a phone, and bottled water

Summer is here—and so are hurricane, tornado and wildfire seasons in many parts of the country. It’s the perfect time to create a disaster plan for your youth program.

In addition to stockpiling emergency supplies, think about preparing individual emergency bags, or Go-Bags, that young people and staff can use during an evacuation. Go-Bags allow individuals to carry with them important records and other personal supplies. A Go-Bag can be anything easily carried by one person—a fanny pack, backpack or small tote, for example.

Go-Bags for youth should include the following:

  • Health information card (listing medications, allergies, medical providers, emergency contacts, special needs and other relevant information)
  • Copies of legal documents (social security card, driver’s license, consents or waivers)
  • Prescriptions (a three-day supply of medicine as well as copies of prescriptions)
  • Key ring flashlight
  • Whistle, bell or other signaling device
  • Personal affects (family photos, memorabilia)

The Go-Bag for staff (you only need one) should contain the following:

  • Youth roster
  • Staff contact list
  • Important numbers (nearby Red Cross Shelters, hospitals, urgent care centers)
  • Key ring flashlight
  • Whistle, bell or other signaling device
  • Petty cash (at least $250)

For more information about how to draw up a disaster plan, see NCFY’s emergency preparedness guide, Ready for Anything. For a young person’s perspective on getting through a disaster, listen to the latest NCFY podcast.

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