In Case of Emergency

January and February signal the beginning of the winter guard competition season. You can help keep things stress-free by being prepared! Pack yourself a competition survival kit with everything you may need when faced with the unexpected.

Personal Items

You need most personal items that you would take on any field trip as well as costume accessories, makeup and money for food and souvenirs. These items may also come in handy:

  • Band-Aids
  • Nail clippers
  • A travel pack of baby wipes
  • Hairspray (also good for slippery shoes)
  • A travel-sized deodorant
  • A bottle of water and a healthy snack
  • Leave valuable items such as iPods and purses on the locked bus or with a parent.

Equipment Emergency Kit

The following small items can be kept in a backpack for quick repairs:

  • Extra end caps and pole weights
  • Electrical tape in each color you use
  • A small pair of scissors
  • Cotton rounds for repairing padding on rifles or sabers
  • Safety pins
  • Strapping and duct tape
  • Clear packaging tape (great if a rifle bolt screw comes loose)
  • A few extra bolt and strap screws as well as a double-headed screwdriver
  • An extra pair of gloves

And For Coaches

Consider putting together your equipment survival kit in one bag for the entire team. Include all of the above as well as extra sets of equipment and the following:

  • Extra copy of your performance CD
  • Emergency contact information for the participants
  • A chemical ice pack and ace bandage
  • A tape player and headphones (unless your circuit is digital!)

When something breaks, you will be grateful for the convenience and time saved through preparation.

About author

Catina Anderson

Catina Anderson has been involved in the marching arts for almost 30 years, first as a performer and then as an instructor. She is the founder/editor of, a website for color guard coaches. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Towson University and a master’s degree in education from Marymount University.

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