In this session, Jeffery Hartle of the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs, and Dianna Bryant of the University of Central Missouri, discussed the importance of emergency preparedness in campgrounds. Campgrounds are where urban tourists – the transient population - encounter urban interface (WUI). Public safety managers need to collaborate with campground operators to protect transient populations because they tend to lack knowledge of the area.
Based upon a two-year research project covering over 190 campgrounds, the presenters said campground safety preparedness is uneven. To protect tourists, comprehensive emergency preparedness should include campgrounds, which are a social wildland–urban interface.
There are several keys to effective risk communication. People are more likely to believe the risk information if the information is specific, consistent, and repeatedly disseminated. Therefore, they said, the messenger must be trustworthy.
One interesting safety tip the presenters mentioned for camping enthusiasts is not to wear the clothing you cook in to sleep in to avoid attracting dangerous wildlife such as bears.
NFPA 1194, Recreational Vehicle Parks and Campgrounds, requires posting of emergency numbers, and address facilities offering temporary living sites for use by recreational vehicles, recreational park trailers, and other camping units with minimum construction requirements for adequate environmental health and sanitation, safety of electrical distribution systems, safety of LP-Gas storage and dispensing, and fire protection.
- Kim Bianchini
NFPA E-mail Communications Manager