Guidelines for Disaster Control on Campsites


A campsite which is geared to serve as an emergency disaster reception center has a social mission to provide shelter for disaster victims who live around the campsites while keeping actual damage on the campsite to a minimum. To achieve this, the campsite must be appropriately organized. These guidelines offer indicators on reception procedures for disaster victims from outside the campsites and at the same time ensuring the safety of campsite users. Owners and management procedures that are appropriate to their particular local situation.

1. Objectives

The objectives of these guidelines are as follows:

- To establish disaster control systems on a campsite

- To ensure the safety of campers users

- To offer shelter to disaster victims from the surrounding area

2. Application

Official regulations already in force must be complied with when allying these guidelines.

3. Definition

(1) Catastrophe

A catastrophe is a disaster caused by an earthquake, storm, heavy rain, flooding, volcanic eruption or any other unusual natural phenomenon and includes damage resulting from fire or an explosion.

(2)Disaster control

Disaster control means

a) taking measures to prevent a catastrophe,

b) acting to contain the damage once a disaster has occurred and

c) restoring a normal routine.

(2) Campsites as emergency reception centers

A campsite which can serve as an emergency reception center is equipped to prevent a catastrophe, to control a disaster situation and to assist in restoring life to normal.

4. Disaster prevention

Disaster prevention measures

Local authorities are the regulatory bodies with responsibility for issuing planning permits and are obliged to draw up a local disaster action plan covering the environment and public health and safety.

(1) Assessment of disaster risk

In collaboration with the local authority, owners and managers have to assess the risk potential of their campsite taking into account the solidity of the terrain and geography of the surrounding area.

(2) Facilities

Permanent structures must comply with disaster prevention standards as laid down in local planning regulations. Campsite design should be barrier-free and take into account the needs of handicapped people. Natural products should be used whrere possible.

(3) Stockpile of emergency supplies

Sufficient food, drinking water, medical supplies and emergency supplies to cover the needs of all of the people being accommodated should be kept in store along with tents and camping equipment. Permanent accommodation such as bungalows or residential caravans should be available for the handicapped and elderly, pregnant women and nursing mothers etc. who might have problems living in a tent.

(4) Communications

In case the telephone network fails, a multiplex communication system should be installed which can be moved and connected up in a disaster situation.

5. Disaster control training

This should include

a) precautionary training which anticipates a possible disaster alert, b) training for an actual disaster situation and

c) training for admitting and accommodating disaster victims.

There should be periodic disaster control training programs and campsite users should be encouraged to cooperate and participate in such training exercises.

Precautionary training should include information collection and transfer, establishment of employee assembly points, setting up of emergency headquarters and organization of a disaster management group, safety guidance for campsites users, checks on all equipment, machines and material for emergencies.

Training for an actual disaster should include physical protection of individuals, fire-fighting, fire-prevention, shift schedules, reception and placement of victims, information gathering and transfer when usual methods have failed.

Training for disaster victim reception should include checking food, drinking water and medical supplies for emergencies and daily requirements, general reception procedures, arrangements and accommodation for disaster victims, general water supply, distribution of meal and provision of other basic essentials.

6. Organization of disaster procedures

If a disaster occurs, emergency headquarters must be set up. These headquarters must meet earthquake-proof and fire-resistant standards and be adequately equipped so that basic duties can be carried out. Emergency headquarters will house disaster action groups such as fire-fighters, a relief squad, communication group and a reception and a placement group. The basic duties of emergency headquarters are as follows:

- To determine and manage important disaster procedures

- To collect, record and report information relating to disaster procedures

- To maintain contact with the local authority, police and

fire-fighting services and establish the level of support required - To manage reception and placement of disaster victims

- To manage emergency shelter arrangements.

7. Procedures in the event of a disaster

If a disaster occurs, emergency headquarters should be set up immediately to take charge of the following initial arrangements:

- Fire extinguishing and fire prevention

- Conducting campsites users to safety

- Checking on the gravity of the disaster on the campsite

- Taking action in case a secondary disaster occurs.

8. Reception of disaster victims

Preparations for organizing the reception of disaster victims should take account of the situation outside the campsite. Reception conditions (who should be accepted, for how long, cost etc.) should be decided in consultation with the local authority. Receptions of disaster victims should follow a predetermined procedure based on a request by the local authority who should be kept fully informed of the situation as it evolves.

9. Disaster management manual

(1) Content

The owners and managers of a campsite should produce a disaster management manual based on the local disaster prevention plan and risk evaluation. The manual should include the following:

- Facilities

- Stockpile of supplies

- Disaster training

- Disaster management

- Procedures in the event of a catastrophe

- Reception of disaster victims.

(2) Review

Regular checks should be made to ensure that the campsites respects and fulfils the conditions laid down in the manual. These should be done at the beginning of the campsite season and also after any large-scale work has been carried out. It may be necessary to revise or correct the disaster management manual as a result of experience gained during disaster training exercises.

(3) Training for campsite employees

Campsite owners or managers must ensure that all campsite employees are familiar with the contents of the disaster management manual and understand their own particular role in the event of a catastrophe occurring. New employees should be taught disaster prevention and management practices as soon as they start work.

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