Boy Scouts Tornado Safety

By: Stephen Bowers Email
By: Stephen Bowers Email

One skill used recently by Boy Scouts in Iowa was dealing with a disaster and its aftermath. Newscenter 11 visited the Boy Scout camp in Lauderdale County, Camp Binachi, to see what some local scouts would do in the event of a tornado.

"Our scouts are tremendously prepared from early on, way before they even come to camp," said executive director Ken Kercheval. "They learn in their weekly scout meetings about emergency preparedness and first aid."

Yes, Boy Scouts are even taught severe weather safety. All Boy Scout camps are required to follow training procedures, and weather emergencies like tornadoes are involved in that training. The first step of emergency preparedness is notification. At Camp Binachi, a bell serves as their notification.

"We have a warning signal. We use a bell here, that is sounded and there are so many rings, pause, and so many rings again for certain types of weather or certain types of disaster. In severe weather situations, we have bath houses that were newly constructed just about a year ago. That is added protection to us," said Kercheval.

The Riley Foundation helped Camp Binachi get the new bath houses. Each facility is convenient for two camp sites, and they double as tornado shelters. After visiting, we decided to put campers to the test.

"They have restroom facilities that are made out of cement, and I'd probably go there," said Boy Scout, Kyle Boyken. "If we were on the other side of camp, like by the second lake, I'd try to find a ditch or get under some benches or some tables."

At Camp Binachi, they're prepared, but hopefully, they will never be tested.

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