This manual is intended to assist early childhood education programs in making a plan that will help keep their program, center, or home safe during an emergency. The manual is designed to be a workbook-style document that includes information about emergency preparedness as well as corresponding worksheets that allow you to customize an emergency plan for your program, center, or home. As you go through the manual, consider the points below as a way to guide you through the process of creating your emergency preparedness plan.
- Complete the Emergency Preparedness Self-Assessment questionnaire to determine the steps your program, center, or home may need to take to develop a comprehensive emergency-preparedness plan.
- Use the What Types of Emergencies Could You Experience? checklist to help ensure that you are prepared for all possible emergencies.
- Establish your communications procedures during the preparedness phase with the Establishing Your Communication Procedures worksheet.
- Designate staff responsibilities and determine evacuation sites and emergency response in the preparedness phase with the Making Your Emergency Response Plan worksheet.
- Make your emergency kit using How to Build an Emergency Kit.
- Use the Mitigation Checklist to consider changes that could be made to reduce damage or injuries in your program.
- Follow the relevant Response Checklists for Center-Based Programs for early childhood education programs to ensure each part of your emergency response is completed.
- After practicing your emergency procedures, follow the Practice, Review, and Revise Framework to reflect on how to improve your procedures in the future.
- Find resources focusing on how to begin the process of returning your program to normalcy for children, families, and staff after an emergency.
A complete plan includes:
- Communication procedures with first responders, staff, and families
- Response options for each type of emergency you may experience
- Evacuation: routes, gathering sites, means of evacuating (e.g., walking, cribs, car seats, wheelchairs)
- Shelter in place: safest place to shelter for the given emergency, how to protect yourself and children
- Lockdown: safest place to lock down in a classroom or home, how to secure a room
- Reunification procedures and emergency contacts for each child
Topic: Safety Practices
National Centers:Early Childhood Health and Wellness
Last Updated: October 7, 2019