Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs
April Powell: Welcome, everyone, and thank you for standing by. My name is April Powell. And I'm the resource program manager for the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness. And I'm so pleased to welcome you to today's webinar, Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs. And we're so excited to introduce our new Emergency Preparedness Manual to all of you.
But before we begin the presentation, I have just a couple of announcements. So, all participants will be muted throughout the entire presentation portion of the webinar. There will be a slide deck shown throughout the webinar system. And only the staff will have access to changing the slides. If you have a technical or content question, please type it in the Q&A box in the bottom-left corner of your screen.
There's a lot we'll be covering in the next hour, so submit your questions at any time. Only the webinar staff will be able to see your questions. Some questions we'll be able to type right back and answer right away. Some questions we'll wait until the very end during the Q&A period to answer. And still other questions we'll email you with an answer, and we'll carry this conversation on to MyPeers so that we can have more conversation there, as well.
So, before close of business today, you will receive an email prompting you to take our post-webinar survey. So, you will get one chance to take the survey immediately after the webinar. And if, for some reason, you have issues that time, you'll get the email before the end of the day. So, you'll have two opportunities to take the survey. Only those who take the survey will get a certificate. The certificate will come back to you. You can just fill your name in and print it for your own records. This webinar is being recorded, and an archived version of the webinar will be posted to the ECLKC along with the slides. And so today, we have two expert speakers that will be talking to us about emergency preparedness and our Emergency Preparedness Manual. The first one will be Julie Looper Coat. And secondly will be Kati Wilkins. So, now I'll turn it over to them.
Kati Wilkins: All right. So, welcome, everyone. It's great to have you. Julie, would you like to get started?
Julie Looper Coat: Sure, thanks. Before we get started with the webinar, we'd like to take a moment to acknowledge that today is the anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001. We understand that anniversaries can be difficult, and we take this very seriously. Later in the webinar, we will discuss the importance of mental health and well-being for both children and adults after a tragedy.
But we'd like to acknowledge and thank you all for participating in this webinar on this difficult day. Also, we'd like to acknowledge that there are a number of current and developing emergencies around the country. Some of you are in various stages of the emergency response cycle. So, we appreciate you taking the time to participate in this seminar. We hope that no matter where you are in the disaster cycle, you will find the manual helpful to your response and recovery. My name is Julie Looper Coats, and I am the senior advisor for emergency preparedness at Child Aware of America.
Kati: And I'm Kati Wilkins, Health Data Analyst also with Child Aware of America. We're part of the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness. The Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs as well as this webinar was developed by the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness, which is one of nine federal early childhood training and technical assistance centers that provide support to ECE professionals. It's a collaboration of nine national partner organizations led by the American Academy of Pediatrics and offers resources and support on a variety of health- and safety-related topics. As we go through this webinar, we'll highlight critical components of the EPRR process, highlight why it's important, particularly in regards to licensing and regulation, discuss key components of the EPRR process, and where you can find more information about each in the Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs.
I want to take a moment to go over a few housekeeping notes before we start. We've made this webinar interactive. So, there will be a couple of polls for folks to answer. There's no right or wrong answer. They're just meant to provoke thought as we're going through and help you start thinking about where you are in the EPRR plan. That being said, we'd like to keep the questions to a minimum until the end, and we're going to have a Q&A session at that point. If you have any questions during the presentation, please feel free to type them into the chat box at the bottom left. And we'll either go over them right away if they're easy to go over, or we'll address them in more detail during the Q&A session.
Finally, as April said, this webinar is going to be about an hour long. We ask that, during that time, as April said, please keep your microphones on mute to prevent background noises. So, what is the EPRR -- so what is the Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs, and what is emergency preparedness response and recovery? As we mentioned earlier, the manual is specifically designed for you ECE providers in mind. We created a manual that can -- that you can use to develop an emergency preparedness plan that will help you keep your kids and staff safe in an emergency or disaster and to help you meet state and federal licensing requirements. But to do that, you need to know what emergency preparedness, response, and recovery are. Right?
Throughout this webinar, you'll hear us talk about EPRR, which is short for Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery, which is a four-step process that helps ECE providers prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate emergencies caused by natural and man-made disasters. These four components make up the EPRR cycle and should be part of every ECE program's EPRR plan. We'll go into a little bit more detail about each of these steps as we go through this presentation.
So, why is EPRR important? There's three reasons to prepare. One, is that emergencies, large and small, can occur in every community, even your own. The second is CCDBG Health and Safety Standards, and Head Start Program Performance Standards require all providers to prepare written plans by responding to emergency situations or natural disasters. Emergency preparedness saves lives. It's critical. Third, your emergency preparedness helps children and families stay safe. Remember, preparedness takes place before an emergency. It includes being informed about emergencies in your area, mitigating existing concerns at your facility that could make an emergency worse, making plans to respond to an emergency before they happen, and building, maintaining, and updating supply kits you would take or keep with you during an emergency.
The Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs walks ECE providers through the entire process of developing an emergency preparedness response and recovery plan from development to practicing the plan, to helping the providers take the next steps to recover and to reopen their program quickly and safely. We've also written the Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs to help ECE providers meet CCDBG regulations and Head Start Program Performance Standards, which require, as I said, written plans for staff and training for staff for emergencies. Also, Caring for Children, Third Edition has best practice standards for providers to incorporate into their programs. This graphic here notes CFOC's standards that are relevant to emergency preparedness that are appropriate for your Head Start center or that align with your CCDF state plan. As we go through the webinar, it's important to note that programs are at different places in the EPRR process. The Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs is designed to be interactive. It allows providers to develop an emergency preparedness plan from any point in the process. One way we do this is by allowing you to take a self-assessment and jump ahead to the section or sections that you need in the manual.
You can use some or all the worksheets and tips sheets, though, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the whole manual in case there's something in your current EPRR plan that could be updated or revised. We also have different sections for child care centers and child care homes so that you're prepared no matter what kind of program you have. So, why make an emergency plan? Making an emergency plan will help you and your staff know exactly what to do in case of a disaster including important -- answering important questions like what type of disaster is this, and what are the next steps? Who will alert staff and children about an emergency? Who is responsible for taking the emergency kits? Who will count heads and take attendance? Who will communicate with families? And who will work with first responders?
Okay. So, one of the first steps in developing your plan is to create a network of people in your community who can help you when an emergency happens. In the manual, we talk about the importance of utilizing your community throughout the emergency cycle. That's because your community is also a great place to gather resources for emergency preparedness. We'd like you to take a moment to please think about who, in your community, you would reach out to if an emergency were about to happen and what you hope they can help you with. In the text field above, answer the question, if an emergency were declared right now, who would you contact? Remember there's no right or wrong answer. And your answers will be anonymous. So, if you have the opportunity, if you're logged in, please enter who in your community you would contact in an emergency in the text field. Or you can enter it into the chat field on your left. And we'll go over the answers in a moment.
So, great. So, yeah, there's a lot of -- there's a lot of different groups and communities that you should be reaching out to. And we really appreciate you answering the poll. As you can see here on the slide, these are some folks that you should probably have listed, such as health and mental health consultants, your CCR&Rs which are fantastic local resources, first responders, licensing agencies, and the like. As we said, your community is there to help you before, during, and after an emergency. There are several people and organizations that you should reach out to. And the Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs will help you identify more community resources. And there's even a handy worksheet you can use to keep their contact information close at hand during an emergency. This will be an important sheet of paper to have with you during an emergency.
So, we recommend that you fill out the relevant sections and add contact information for community members you identified through this process that may not be listed on the worksheet. As you can see, communication is an extremely important part of your emergency plan, but it's often overlooked in the preparedness phase. There are several components of a good communication plan that you'll need to develop in order to make sure that kids in your care are safe, including who you'll communicate with, and who will communicate with your staff and parents. You can use the Establish Your Communication Procedures worksheet to plan how you and your staff will interact with each other, first responders, children, and family during an emergency. Another key component of an emergency plan is having an emergency kit ready for each child under your care as well as for any staff you may have.
There are a number of resources you can consult when building an emergency kit. And the Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs has a list of supplies to include which can help you build your kits.
So, now that you've thought of a few components of how to develop an emergency plan, let's look at a couple of examples of what an emergency plan might look like. It's important to remember that not all disasters require the same response. And therefore, you'll need to have an emergency plan ready for each type of disaster you think you might face and the appropriate response, such as sheltering in place if there's a tornado approaching, or evacuating if there's a fire.
We'll be looking at a couple of different response plans here. But if you want to see more and use the step-by-step guide to develop your own plan for disaster that could strike in your area, be sure to go to the response chapter in the Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs. So, I'm just going to very quickly go through what an emergency plan should look like. And primarily, it's important to remember that, while you're developing your plan, you'll have to designate people to take on each of these roles and be responsible for -- for each step in the emergency disaster plan.
So, as we're looking at this, I'm going to start off on the left-hand side which -- which focuses on coordination. And then we'll look at the right-hand side, which looks at the actual response that takes place. So, it's important to designate somebody to declare the actual emergency and somebody to select what kind of a response to have in this emergency. In this example, the center director would be responsible for declaring the emergency and declaring an evacuation since it's a fire.
Another important rule to have is somebody to alert the staff. This can be the center director or second in command. And you also have to be sure to have an evacuation site in play -- in -- designated already. The person who's doing the coordination should also be responsible for making emergency calls. If there can be somebody else that can do this role, as well, that would be fantastic as long as they know that this is their role. And somebody needs to be designated to grab those emergency kits that I talked about earlier.
Another important component is thinking about first aid and medication and having somebody that's prepared to do that. So, a school nurse, or a center nurse, and a staff member that can assist in that process. You also need to have somebody involved -- who's ready to communicate information to parents and think about how they'll communicate that information. And this plan, again, it's going to be the center director, and they've chosen to use cell phones for an evacuation.
And finally, somebody needs to communicate that all's clear to the staff, the children, and to parents. Again, that's going to be the center director. And you need to have a tool in place to communicate that. And for this plan, they've chosen cell phones again. Looking over at the actual response, they've chosen evacuations. So, they've designated a person in each classroom to be responsible for the evacuation process. In this case, it's teacher A. And they'll have children who are able to walk-- walk and hold ropes. Meanwhile, they have infants and toddlers that will be moved in evacuation cribs. There should also be somebody who's responsible for calming the children while this process is happening. It can be a very scary process.
And finally, there needs to be somebody who's responsible for making sure that all children and staff are accounted for both, once they reach the evacuation site and periodically, until all-clear is called and everybody returns back to the center or home. So, now that we've looked at that -- what an emergency plan looks like, why don't we get -- why don't we develop our own plan? In the text box here to your right -- to your left, type in a type of emergency that would require an evacuation, and we'll choose one of them to start developing this plan. We won't go through the entire thing.
But I'd like to get people to start thinking about what an emergency plan would look like. So, if you could type into the text field below and let us know what kind of response. Let's go with a gas leak. I have a lot of folks who are saying gas leak. So, this emergency is a gas leak. Who -- specifically a child care center. Who in the child care center should be responsible for -- for declaring an emergency? If you could type that in, too. Yep. Yep. We have a lot of center directors. Center manager would also be a good person to -- to do this. And then who should be the one responsible for letting the staff know that an evacuation has happened? Yep. More site directors, executive directors. Somebody said that they can't see typing.
If you scroll down, you'll be able to see. So, let's go over to the evacuation side then. Who should be responsible in the Center for actually directing the evacuation from the classrooms? Teachers and staff. Hmm, transportation, that's interesting. Yeah. So, it looks like you guys are on the right path here. There's some really great answers. And this is the sort of thing that you're going to be doing with your staff. If you're a child care home, we also have the same sort of set up for a child care home. And it looks at if you have only you or one or two other staff as well, how you would create a plan.
So, great. Thank you so much for going through this process. And I'm going to turn this over to Julie who will go through the rest of the EPRR cycle. Thank you, Kati. I'd like to now talk about practicing your plan and how drills and practice are important and must be part of the plan. We know that disasters and emergencies can and will happen. Once you have a plan in place, you've got to practice it. We tell children this all the time, right? Practice makes perfect. The same is true in an emergency. And we know that an important part of practicing is improving on what doesn't work. If you practice your plan beforehand, you can fix parts that don't work well or maybe aren't realistic, and you'll know what to do when the real thing happens.
Use the Practice Your Plan sheet to find tips on this topic. The Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs will help you develop a plan for practicing and revising your EPRR plan so that you're ready when you need to be. Contained within the manual is the Practice, Review, and Revise worksheet to help you not only practice your plan but also to revise it as needed. Remember you can't practice your plan just one time. You'll need to do it often enough that you've worked out all the problems and everyone feels comfortable doing it. Remember practice is essential. Drills help you become more familiar and comfortable with emergency procedures. Review is just as important as the drill. You must reflect on what went well, what needs to change, and also discuss the drill with children. Help them understand. And lastly, revise. You need to update and revise your plan and procedures based on the lessons learned during the drill. While you're thinking about preparedness, it's also important to think about mitigation.
Mitigation is similar to your preparedness and helps reduce the risk and severity of injuries during an emergency. This, by ensuring the objects in your building or home are secure. A good time to think about mitigation is while you're practicing your plans. As you're going through your center or your home, look around at the things that could potentially cause injuries in the middle of a disaster.
One example might be a bookcase. Will it topple over in the event of an earthquake? Mitigating these types of risks is important. And after you're done with a round or two of practice, go back and think about how you can reduce injury in the drill that you just practiced. With the manual, go find a mitigation checklist alongside resources you can use in your program to mitigate those risks. The checklist identifies common, structural, and nonstructural hazards for programs. And you can use the list to prepare a work order for your program. After reviewing, consider what changes can be made in your building or your home that can help to reduce damage or injury in the event of an emergency.
After you've prepared, and sometimes before or during preparation, comes response, the next step in the disaster cycle. Response begins the moment you are alerted to an impending emergency and continues as the emergency is occurring. The goals of the response phase are to determine that an emergency is occurring, determine appropriate responses, such as evacuation, shelter in place, or lockdown, activate the emergency response plan, maintain communication with all staff and first responders, establish what information needs to be communicated to staff, teachers, teachers assistants, children, families, and the community, and also providing emergency first aid as needed.
The manual goes into detail about how to respond to an emergency and the different types of response in Chapter 3. There are three types of response: evacuation, shelter in place, and lockdown. We know that different types of emergencies warrant different responses. And the response chapter in the manual goes into much more detail about the types of responses and how to prepare for those. We have a handy flowchart within the manual that helps you figure out what type of response you will take for different types of emergency. Let's take a minute and walk through this chart.
You can see here, at the top in red, you are alerted to an emergency. Maybe you hear an alarm, or you're alerted in some other way. Now is the time to implement your plan of action. Depending on the type of emergency, you may have different responses. As an example shown here, in the event of a landslide, you may evacuate if your facility is at risk, or you may shelter in place if the threat is outside the facility or evacuation is impossible. Once you've decided on your action, you will communicate with staff and activate emergency response plan. From there, you will see your actions steps. In an emergency, you may evacuate, shelter in place, or even lockdown the facility. In the manual, you'll find checklists outlining the steps for each type of response. And remember, use those checklists when you practice. The fourth phase of the disaster cycle is recovery.
And Chapter 4 of the Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs goes into detail about the steps in the recovery phase to help programs navigate this difficult phase in the cycle quickly and safely. The recovery phase refers to the actions taken from the time the emergency ends until the needs of staff, children, and families are met. It includes assisting affected families in resuming their daily activities and helping all those affected cope with the aftermath of the emergency. Recovery can have anywhere from a few days, weeks, or months, or even years. And the goal of the recovery phase are to rebuild your facility, if that's necessary, and restore services as quickly as possible; meet the needs, both physical, health, and emotional needs of our children, families, and staff; and lastly, provide a supportive and caring environment to bring normalcy back into children's lives.
A critical component of the recovery process that can sometimes be overlooked is reunification. There are a number of disasters or emergencies that may require parents or guardians to pick up their children at odd hours or even alternate locations. And you may need to let them know where you've evacuated to and if everyone is safe. Having a plan in place for reunifying children with their parents and guardians after an emergency can help bring kids and families back to the state of normalcy.
The recovery chapter gives more in-depth information surrounding topics that deal with recovery including developing a reunification plan, which is an important component that should be included. Continuity of services is next. Remember your children and families need you. Ensuring that your program recovers quickly after being damaged or closed is incredibly important. Within this chapter -- within this chapter in the manual, you'll find resources surrounding this topic including community organizations that can help you. Lastly, mental health and emotional needs should be a focus and a high priority during recovery. Mental health support is a high priority after an emergency.
Children and adults who have experienced stress or loss, either at the child care program or even at home, may have difficulty coping. By offering a safe place and resources like mental health consultants, child care and Head Start programs support children, families, and staff coping with fear, anger, and grief and can help them resume their lives in a healthy way. Everyone has different needs when coping after a disaster. And the manual has great resources that can help you as providers, parents, and guardians to help children cope after an emergency. As providers, we know that you care about the children in your care, often, putting their needs before your own.
But it's really important to remember that emergencies and disasters can affect you and your staff, as well. Taking care of yourself and your staff after an emergency can help you and your staff recover more easily and ensure you're better able to provide quality care for your kids in the wake of a disaster. The Emergency Preparedness Manual has more details about how to develop a plan to help you and your staff cope with disasters, emergencies, and tragedies. And one last word about recovery, as we spoke earlier, often anniversaries of the emergency can trigger difficult memories for children, their families, and providers. Be sure to keep this in mind, even years after the event occurs. And again, the manual outlines resources that may be helpful to you. Familiarize yourself with your state's recovery steps as well as any additional regulation. Now that we've gone through the manual and the disaster cycle, let's use what we've learned to go through some practice scenarios.
On the next couple of slides, we'll introduce a pair of stories, and we'll ask questions about how to respond. Enter your answers into the text field, and we'll go over your responses. Remember this is just practice. It's designed to get you thinking about how your program would respond to an emergency.
So, there are no right or wrong answers. Our first scenario involves flooding, one of the more common disasters or emergencies that anyone, despite your location, can face. Three days ago, more than 5 inches of rain flooded several area businesses and overflowed city systems in a community in Central Tennessee. Flooded streets forced the Kids First Child Care Center to close for two days. The waters have since receded, and businesses are back to normal including Kids First. Two-year-old Maddy typically runs right to the dramatic play area when her dad drops her off in her center classroom. Today, Maddy is clinging to her dad at the door, and she seems to have no interest in joining her friends or teachers at play, and she begins to cry.
You've learned that Maddy is scared of some of the flooding in the center's basement that led to removing some soaked carpet and several pieces of furniture, books, and toys that were waterlogged and then thrown out. As a caregiver, in what ways could you respond that would help reassure Maddy and help her feel safe. Remember it's common for children to show signs of stress after a disaster even in infants and toddlers. If you can take a couple minutes and write in that text box some examples of what you think -- we've got some coming in here, so this is great. I appreciate that. Some of the examples that we have here using gentle words of reassurance, offering comfort items. That's good. Great, great com -- Great responses here. I appreciate that.
Communicate with her to bring her confidence. Find books that talk about flooding. This is great. Have the child pick out new items. That's fantastic. All right. Thank you. I appreciate that. These -- These were -- these were great. And in thinking about Chapter 4, Recovery, we spoke briefly. The goals that the recovery phase were to rebuild your facility or home as necessary and restore services as quickly as possible; meet the needs of children, family, and staff, including physical health and emotional; and also provide a supportive and caring environment that brings normalcy back into the children's lives. And I think that the responses that you had -- you wrote there really solidify that.
Our next scenario involves a wild fire. Linda, a family child care provider has been struggling to keep up with the children in her care. She's typically full of enthusiasm for her work and enjoys connecting with the parents to share the exciting things that the children explored each day. Less than two months ago, a wildfire occurred near her home destroying several acres of land that she enjoyed using for hiking and riding her horse. Since then, she's been dealing with some mild depression and feelings of being overwhelmed. The question that I ask of the audience -- and feel free, again, to use the text box there -- if Linda was your colleague, what resources that we've talked about from the manual and from your own community would you use to help Linda cope? We've got some great responses already coming in, a lot of wonderful ideas -- employee assistance programs, third-party counselors, mental health provider. Fantastic. A lot. You guys are paying attention here. We've got a lot. Mental health professional, referring her; reassurance to your colleagues. They're great. I appreciate that. This is great.
Some of the places contained within the manual that can provide some additional details on this topic are Chapter 4, the mental health and emotional needs, have some information and resources for helping children and parents cope with tragedies and disasters. And then also, as Kati talked about earlier, whom to consult in your community when making a plan -- that tip sheet is great, and it will encourage providers to incorporate mental health into their plan and, again, by gathering resources from their community prior to a disaster or a happening. Mental health is -- Mental health support is a high priority after an emergency. Children and adults who've experienced stress or loss, either at the program or at home, may have difficulty coping. By offering a safe place and resources like mental health consultant, child care and Head Start programs to support children, families, and staff that are coping with fear, anger, and grief and help them resume their lives in a healthy way. We've talked a lot about the Emergency Preparedness Manual. But there are a lot of resources to help you prepare and plan for an emergency. Here are some additional resources for various types of child care providers. Don't worry, you don't have to write all these down. We've included them in the manual, so you can have them on-hand at any time.
And here are some additional resources and ideas on who may be helpful for you to connect with in regards to rebuilding or repairing your program, communicating that you're open and operating following an event, supporting staff after an emergency, recovering lost wages, getting water and food access, and lastly, finally opening after an emergency or a disaster event. For follow-up, please note the link where you can find the Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs. And additionally, we've included links for Child Care Aware of America's Emergency Preparedness website, as well as the Office of Child Care, Child Care Resources for Disasters and Emergencies website.
And again, here are some of the helpful resource links that you can use in developing your plans and learning more about emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. Thank you, everyone, for participating in the Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs webinar. We'll spend the remaining time today taking questions. Please use the chat and text feature to submit your questions. And again, thank you for your time today.
April: Thank you so much, Julie and Kati. This was such a wealth of information already. And we've got lots of great questions coming in. I'd just like to address a few questions that we've had come a few times. So, yes, everyone will get the link to the [Inaudible]. So, it is -- it is there on the screen. And you'll get a copy of these slides before the close of business today with all of the live links. So, you can click that link there. I'll put the link again in the Q&A box in the bottom so you can copy it and look at it immediately if you'd like. And another question that we got was about certificates. So, immediately, when the webinar closes, you'll be prompted to take a post-webinar survey. And the last question on the survey contains a link to your certificate. We'll also email you the survey, so you'll have two opportunities to take the survey and get your certificate. And once again, I see people are asking. The link to the manual will be in the Q&A box, once again, in just a second. And it's also on the screen, but you'll get these slides in your inbox. So, let's get to our content questions that we've got. So, question one. We heard that you were telling us about a communication plan. Can you tell us more about it and what should be included in the communication plan?
Kati: That's a really great -- Yeah. This is Kati. So, that's a great question. The communication plan is a tool that you would be using to communicate with your staff and to children -- children's parents. If you're in a child care home, then, you know, anybody in the community that would be helping you out, as well. But the communication plan should have the phone numbers for all the kids in your care. It should have -- It should have information about how you're going to communicate to the parents of these children about how -- about the fact that there has been an emergency, where the children are, things like that. And it all kind of depends on the type of disaster. So, you have to think about that, as well. And it should also have information about how you're going to communicate out to any staff you might have about the fact that there's an emergency and how to -- what kind of response it should be. So, is it an evacuation? Is it a lockdown, something like that? So, that's -- that's your communication plan. There's a lot more to it as well. The first chapter of the Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs has a lot more information and a step-by-step guide on how to set up your communication plan.
April: Great. Thank you very much. And we've got so many questions rolling in. Keep them coming, guys. Thank you very much. The next question. Can you talk about the different types of responses and how we should plan for them?
Kati: Julie, do you want to handle that one?
Julie: Sure. Thank you. I'm happy to do so. I briefly touched on this earlier when I was speaking. The types of response can be found within the manual in Chapter 3 within response. There are basically three types that we go to more in-
depth: evacuation, sheltering in place, and lockdown. So, let me -- I'll go into a little bit more detail about each of those. So, evacuation is really when the emergency conditions require that you seek immediate protection at another location. An example of this, obviously, is when, you know, there's a fire. That's a type of emergency that would warrant an evacuation. And the next is sheltering in place. This is when an emergency requires that you seek immediate protection in the building that you're in. Within Chapter 3, we use shelter in place to describe response to weather events like tornadoes, earthquakes, severe weather, sometimes landslides, as we used as an example, or debris flow. And then the third type of response that the manual will go into in depth is lockdown. The lockdown is a shelter-in-place procedure that requires children and adults to shelter in a safe room, lock the doors, and remain quiet until the event is over. Lockdowns require children and adults to shelter until the event is over, like I said. And within that chapter, we use lockdown to describe violent events or other potentially dangerous situations.
April: Thank you so much. And let's see. I'm still sifting through all of our questions. So, one question we have is do you have any resources or steps that can be taken when a child is missing in a program.
Kati: You know, that's a really important and probably very scary question for any child care provider. So, we appreciate that you're asking that. You know. Like, we talk about, in the manual, the importance of making sure [that you're accounting for all your children and, you know, you have a plan in place for that. So, there are steps in how to handle that. I'd recommend that part of the process of developing your emergency preparedness plan is to also have the contact information for emergency services and to have reached out to them ahead of time, so you have a line of communication with them and they know who you are. So, you know, I would suggest getting -- like, if a child is missing, getting in contact with emergency services, you know, reaching out to the parents and letting them know that the child is missing, and working with your program. If you're in a center working with the director, if you're in the home, just making sure that your -- you have a plan in place for how you will handle that, and to involve the community. Because the community can help you if a child is missing to give you resources and help you find the child, as well.
April: Thank you. I see a lot of people are asking about having the manual mailed to them. So, the manual was just recently finished. Like, it's hot off the presses. And we don't have a printing plan just yet. So, if you do want a copy of the manual, you can email your mailing address, but we can't make any promises on when it will be mailed out or how many we'll be able to mail. But our -- I'll go ahead and put our -- our email address. I just sent it to everyone. And if you have questions after the webinar, or we don't have time to get to your question, go ahead and email it to our info-line. That's what I just sent to everyone. Yeah. I think more questions about having it printed off. If you have the capacity to print off, there are a lot of worksheets within the manual. Go ahead and print off the worksheets within the manual. And if you have the capacity to print the entire thing, that's great, too. So, let's get back to some of our questions. What's in the manual? Is there any information about reunification? And is there help in making a reunification plan?
Julie: Great questions, April. So, yes, contained within the recovery section, which is actually Chapter 4, there is a little bit about reunification there. So, I'm looking right now in the manual. It looks like it starts on page 46, if you want to jot that down. We don't have an example or a template of a reunification plan in there necessarily. But there is a lot of information about what should be included and some tips and ideas on how to create or develop that plan for your program.
April: Great, thanks. And another question. Can you explain the difference between evacuation and relocation?
Julie: Sure. I'm happy to do that, Kati. So, the difference between evacuation and relocation. So, essentially they're, at the heart of it, the same thing -- leaving the facility or the building that you're in. Evacuation would be a type of response to, like I said earlier, as of a fire. You know. If there's an imminent threat within the building or home that you're in, you need to evacuate, and you need to get out to seek safety. Relocation, on the other hand, is oftentimes what you might see if the program -- we'll, you know. We'll use the example if a program or a building is damaged, let's say, due to flooding or something like that, you may relocate to another facility. Oftentimes, we see child care programs may be relocated you know, for the next days or weeks or whatever following an event maybe in a gymnasium or a school that was not affected. So, essentially, they're both the same thing -- getting out of an unsafe or damaged site. But I guess it is a little bit different, you know, what comes next. So, evacuation, like I said, is seeking safety. And relocation may be resuming your normal activities at a different location.
April: Great. Thank you very much. And I see that there are people asking about the worksheets within the plan and how they would get to the worksheets. So, within the manual, there are fillable worksheets. So, you can type directly onto your screen the answers that you would like to go into the worksheets, and then print your worksheet out, and it's already completed. So, if you're looking at the manual now, for example they are still on page 10 lots of fillable areas in there. And so you can type directly in there and print it out. Like, let's see. Page 10 is about who to contact during an emergency. You can type directly in their, fillable, and you can print it out. So, that works for all of you that were asking about getting a hard copy. So, let's see. We've got a couple of questions about disaster kits. Can either one of you talk about how much should go in a disaster kit and how many days should a center or family child care program prepare for?
Kati: Sure. So, I can answer that question. So, fun fact. I am actually in the DC area. And I was using this last night to make my own emergency kit because there might be a touch of a hurricane coming up in our area. So, I was just looking at this last night. Scrolling through to the emergency kit right now, and I will help you with that. But that is on page 21. And the emergency kit should have things like the contact information for each child and staff member. So, your communication plan, attendance sheet, things like that. But it also should include things like a first aid kit, diapers, and toilet paper, things like -- to make sure that you can keep the kids clean, as well. And latex gloves. So, make sure you're keeping yourself clean. It should also have medications for every child and staff member that you have. And you should make sure that those medications are up to date. So, we recommend that you have at least 72 hours of food and supplies, including those medications in each one of those kits. Other things to keep in there, again, food and water. Make sure to have clean water, flashlights and batteries, paper towels, blankets. So, all sorts of things like that. And again, How to Build an Emergency Kit has all of those details in there. And another thing to remember too is you have a bunch of kids that are going to get bored. And, you know, it's always good to entertain them. So, make sure to have some games and activities to help keep them, you know, happy and not scared of being in this emergency situation.
Julie: That's great, Kati, thank you. And this is Julie, I just want to reiterate something. I think that's incredibly important to keep the kiddos occupied while -- you know, if you're evacuating. One more thing important to note I think is that, oftentimes, states have specific items, specific quantities, you know, that they require for licensing. So, make sure, in addition to the items that Kati mentioned, make sure you're checking to ensure that you're meeting those regulations. There may be some specific requirements that are different state by state.
April: Okay. And just to be sure, for how long should programs be prepared? Do they pack a day's worth of things, a couple days?
Julie: Yeah, as I said, you should have 72 hours, so three days worth of -- Yeah.
April: Perfect. Thank you. Just to make sure that was clear. Okay. So, we have some people asking about, what if our program is housed within a school or within a community center or one -- I see that one is within a domestic violence recovery center/transitional housing center. And they have their own disaster plans already at that center. Should they have additional plans, or should they go ahead and just use with the center has that they're housed within?
Julie: That's a great question. I would encourage you to work with your school or your community organization that your housed within to ensure that you know what everyone's roles and responsibilities are. A lot of times, because you're working with children, you -- your plan may be a little bit more in-depth than theirs because we know that children are a vulnerable population. And we need to care for them in a different way. They're not just little adults. So, in thinking about that, I would encourage you to work with -- with the others in your building or within your site to make sure that your plans are working together, you're collaborating, and you understand the intricacies of both and knowing that, but then also understanding that yours may be a little bit different. But I think that the key word there and the thing to remember is communicating and making sure that you're having these conversations now before the disaster.
April: Very good, very good. So, I think we have time for one last question. And this one. So, we have an emergency kit and supplies, but they're really heavy, too heavy for us to carry with us on an evacuation and have teachers for supervision. Do you have any suggestions for improving this part of our plan?
Kati: That's a really great question. I think, if you know that your kit is too heavy, then maybe you can have, like, they make like these great wheel barrels -- or not wheel barrels. But these cart things that you can you know, take for camping. They have really sturdy tires. So, maybe see if you can fit the kits into those, and you can just pull it on wheels. And that way, it only takes the one hand. And if you've got a couple of kids that are able to walk, and you're also trying to keep them all in one place, maybe encourage them to help keep their hand on the side of the cart as a way of keeping, you know, keeping them in one place and following you, but also giving you a little bit of assistance. So, that might be something to look into, any kind of cart or anything that can help you carry these supplies. [Inaudible]
April: Those are great. Oh, I'm sorry.
Julie: Go ahead. Oh, no, no. That's fine. I was going to say to Kati, those were great examples. And in doing some training across the country, we'd come up with some very inventive ideas. Rolling luggage, like suitcases on wheels, that's one idea. We had one caregiver that recommended a clean trash can -- you know, the trash cans that you take to the curb every week -- just using one of those to put all of their supplies in because it's also on wheels. But I will say some of the caregivers we've talked to are the most inventive individuals that we've met. And so, it's been great to hear that. And I think that Kati had a great idea. If you've got older children in your program, oftentimes, they can maybe carry a little bit, you know, a backpack or something like that, that's easy for them to do so. But, you know, thinking about what works best for you and understanding, you know, that what might work for one program may not work for the other. But in having these conversations with your colleagues, I think is important in sharing ideas.
April: Yeah. This is really great. And thank you to everyone. They sent suggestions of different things that they use. I put a couple of the suggestions down about, like, a dolly, a rolling suitcase, backpacks with wheels. So, many answers.
Thank you all for helping. Such a community, to help to answer these questions for each other. So, I see that there are more questions coming in, but we have just one minute to the top of the hour.
So, again, if you have questions, email them to our info-line. I'll go ahead and type our info-line in there for everyone to see. And I just want to thank you again, Kati and Julie, for this wealth of information. We will be sending you directly to a survey now. And then, before the close of business, again, we will email you with these slides, the archive to the webinar, and a link to get your survey and certificate, and a link to the Emergency Preparedness Manual.
So, thank all of you for joining and for all of this great conversation and questions. And we will be in touch.Close
View this webinar to learn about the Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs. Use this tool to help programs develop emergency plans to keep children, families, and staff safe if disaster strikes. The manual addresses the needs of center-based and home care settings. The webinar includes practice scenarios showing how center- and home-based child care providers can respond to emergencies and natural disasters.