Emergencies/disasters can occur without warning and may be shocking. Being sufficiently prepared ahead of time can guide you to the appropriate response and aid you in staying calm during an emergency/disaster. This can be critical in saving both time and lives. Simply, you are the one responsible for the safety of yourself and of the children in your care. To start with, ask the following questions:
• Does the program have an emergency plan if a child is injured, sick or lost?
• Does the program have plans for disasters like fire, flood, severe weather, criminal attack or earthquake?
• Are emergency plans shared with parents during enrollment interviews and parent/teacher conferences?
• Does your program practice evacuation drills each month?
• Does the program have the appropriate and fully stocked first aid kits?
• Are emergency contact numbers (including facility name, address and phone number) clearly posted by every phone?
• Does the program have current information about who to contact in an emergency?
• Does the program require teachers/chaperones to carry children's emergency contact information with them on field trips or other occasions when away from the facility?
• Is current the staff training certificates (first aid and CPR) posted or available upon request?
These are just a few items that will provide a starting point for parents, teachers, and providers in preparing for emergencies. There are a number of different sources available to assist in the development of plans and procedures to ensure the safety of the daycare-preschool populations.
California Department of Public Health “Ready CA Schools”
California Department of Education-“Safe Schools”
Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA)-“Resources for Parents and Teachers”
United States Department of Health and Human Services "Child Care Resources for Disasters and Emergencies"
University of San Francisco Childcare Health Program-"Emergency/Disaster Preparedness for the Child Care Setting"
American Academy of Pediatrics Disaster Preparedness to Meet Children’s Needs