Preparing for Emergencies & Disasters
The outcome of an emergency or disaster is affected by your advanced preparation. In an emergency, whether it is a natural disaster, technological disaster or an attack, children may not understand what is happening and may be physically or developmentally unable to protect themselves. Child care programs that have emergency/disaster plans are better able to react and protect the lives of those involved.
Reduce Your Risk
Assess your child care site by reviewing this Emergency/Disaster Planning Checklist. Then make needed changes before an emergecy happens to reduce risks to children, yourself and others.
Stock Up on Needed Supplies
An appropriately stocked Emergency/Disaster Supply Kit is an important component of an emergecy preparedness plan. The amounts of supplies needed will vary based on the number and ages of the children you serve, so reassess the kit on a regular basis.
Develop Plans and Policies
There may be times when you'll need to close your child care program early or not open at all due to an emergency or disaster. This planning checklist will help you develop a policy and communication plan to keep families and staff informed.
Evacuation plans save lives. All child care programs should develop a plan, train staff and carry out practice drills to ensure everyone's safety during an emergency.
Child care sites should have two evacuation locations: A nearby location, preferably within walking distance, to use in case of fire and site further away to use in the event of a major environmental hazard. It is a good idea to have a written Emergency Relocation Shelter Agreement with each site in advance of an emergency.
Communicate Your Plan and Get Needed Permissions
Share emergency policies and procedures with parents and county licensor. Have permission agreements on file for each child and remind parents to update emergency contacts on a regular basis.
completed by your program and on file with with your county child care licensor.
Emergency Transportation Permission Agreement completed by parents and on file for each child.
Emergency Evacuation Form completed by providers and given to parents.
Despite a child care provider's best efforts, practice and planning, it is possible that children may get separated from the child care group in the midst of a frenzied emergency situation. ID Cards that can be placed on a child during an emergency or evacuation will help responders reunite a child with their family or care provider if they are separated.
An Updated Emergency Contact List that includes telephone numbers you may need during and after an emergency. Remind parents to update their work, home or cell phone numbers on a regular basis.
The following EZ Reach online course will help you develop the skills needed to prepare and respond to emergencies. Visit the Child Care Aware® of North Dakota Training Center to search and register for training.
||Course reviews types of emergencies and the basic steps to take to be ready for any situation.