Park operators from California and across the country will participate in a day-long emergency planning workshop on Feb. 28 that is organized by the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC).

The workshop, held at Pechanga RV Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif., as part of CalARVC’s Spring RV Park Day event, will feature FBI Special Agent Richard Sanchez and Border Patrol Senior Agent Bejar, who will discuss the types of criminal activities that take place in and around campgrounds and RV parks.

Campground operators will gain a better understanding of what the FBI and Border Patrol do, what to look out for, and how to reach out to them if they observe suspicious behavior, according to a press release.

The afternoon session will feature Hytropy.com’s CEO Patrick Hardy, head of one of the nation’s top disaster planning firms, who will help park operators develop their own disaster plans.

“You want to create an emergency framework that covers all kinds of emergencies, but once you understand the framework, you can then develop sub-plans that cover everything from active shooters to hurricanes and wildfires,” Hardy said, adding, “For me, disaster plans are all about empowering people and giving people the tools they need.”

Hardy said some people purchase template disaster plans, but fail to customize them properly or assign staff members with specific responsibilities in the event of an emergency.

His workshop will not only demonstrate why such planning is critical for every campground or RV park operator, but help them identify things they need to know to have an effective plan, such as evacuation routes, shelters and lock-down plans and staff members in charge of each component of the plan.

Hardy said he will simulate an actual emergency during the workshop using some of the emergency response staff from Pechanga Resort. Some participants will also play the role as victims.

“The exercise is not about death and destruction. It’s about empowering people and giving them the tools and direction they need to be effective,” Hardy said.

Hardy has considerable experience in the disaster planning arena. A Certified Emergency Manager and FEMA Master of Exercise during the BP Oil Spill in 2010, Hardy was in charge of 23 emergency sites and thousands of employees in three states.

A longtime Red Cross volunteer, Hardy has been cross trained and certified in HAZMAT, emergency communications, homeland security policy and terrorism.

In 2012, he became the first small business owner ever to be selected as the National Private Sector Representative to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He spent three months in Washington D.C., and designed the first model small business disaster planning framework.

To learn more about the event click here.