ChildHealthOnline, LLC

(205) 578-7995

Disaster Planning and Preparedness

A disaster or emergency event can affect programs anywhere, anytime, and without warning. Are you prepared to respond and keep children safe?

There is no "one size fits all" solution when preparing for a disaster event. Early childhood settings have unique needs and challenges, and the actions required to protect, move, and care for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers may be very different from actions practiced in other settings. Early childhood programs should have written disaster plans that identify the risk and the response to various situations that could occur in their communities. This plan should also describe the response and actions in the event of a disaster.

An essential element of disaster preparedness is training staff, volunteers, and parents to respond quickly and appropriately. In a disaster or emergency situation, every adult is responsible for the children in his or her immediate care. Would a volunteer recognize the warning and know what to do if lockdown occurs while supervising a child in the restroom? Do all adults and older children know where to meet outside during fire drills? How will families be notified if children are evacuated?

We can provide consultation and training to help your program be prepared.
• Identify and assess the risk
• Respond to the situation: fire and explosion, tornado, flood, earthquake, intruder and violence, chemical and environmental hazard, extended shelter, transportation event
• Plan and prepare: develop a written plan, collaborate with first responders, designate staff responsibilities
• Check facility warning systems, exits, and locks
• Review transportation plan for emergency situations
• Protect and access documents and records, establish communication
• Review steps for recovery