You receive a text or other alert that there’s an impending emergency in your community. Your responsibility as a center director or home-based provider is to take immediate action to protect the children and any staff in your program. You are now in the response phase of emergency management, which requires you to make a series of quick decisions.

In this chapter, we’re going to explore what early care and education professionals in centers and homes need to do and remember during an emergency response. In most cases, the response phase will last hours or sometimes days. It ends when emergency management personnel send an all-clear message that the emergency is over.