Glossary of Terms

Icon of books on a laptop screenAlert: signal, sound, or other indication that warns of an emergency.

Earthquake safe position: drop, cover, and hold on!

Emergency: an unexpected and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.

Emergency kit: collection of basic items your child care program may need in the event of an emergency (i.e., food, water, and medications) in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours.

Emergency preparedness: steps you take to make sure you are safe before, during, and after an emergency or natural disaster. These response and recovery plans are important for your safety in both natural and man-made emergencies.

Evacuation: when disaster conditions require that you seek immediate protection at another location.

FEMA Emergency Declarationauthorizes FEMA to identify, mobilize, and provide equipment and resources to assist with the emergency.

First Responder: any individual who responds to help others in an event, such as fire, law enforcement, and emergency medical personnel.

Lockdowna shelter-in-place procedure that is used in situations with intruders or emergencies that involve potential violence. Lockdown requires children and adults to shelter in a safe room, lock doors, and remain quiet until the event is over.

Lockdown Safe Roomif you cannot evacuate, lock the door of the room you are in. In the room, your safest location is out of the intruder/shooter’s view. If you are able, spread out to make it more difficult for the intruder.

Mitigation: the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of emergencies. For mitigation to be effective, action needs to be taken before an emergency. 

Response: begins the moment you are alerted to an impending emergency and continues as the emergency occurs.

Recovery: happens as soon as the emergency is over, when efforts are focused on food, water, shelter, and the safety of those affected.

Reunification: bringing children and their families together after an emergency.

Safe Room: space where children and adults can hide during lockdown. The room should lock from the inside to keep intruders out, and have curtains or barriers so intruders cannot see inside the safe room. Every classroom or nursery can be designed as a safe room.

Shelter in placeWhen emergency conditions require that you seek immediate protection in the building you are in.

Tornado-safe position: A position that keeps you and children safe during a tornado that involves getting low to the ground, covering your head, and, if there are infants in your program, holding them close to you and protecting their heads.

Tornado safe roomIdeally, a small, interior windowless room on the lowest level, below ground in a basement, or storm cellar, is best.

Watch: Issued when the risk of a hazardous event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location, and or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so that those who need to set their plans in motion can do so.

Warning: Issued when a hazardous event that poses a threat to life or property is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring.