Rule: What must my emergency preparedness plan include?

Check List

Minimum standard rules for child care centers and homes (chapters 744, 746 & 747) specify the requirement for emergency preparedness plans to include staff responsibility in a sheltering or lock-down emergency for the orderly movement of children to a designated location within in center where children should gather.

In addition, rules now require emergency preparedness plans to include how staff will continue to care for children until each child is released and how your operation will reunify children with their parents as the evacuation, relocation or sheltering, or lock-down is lifted.

Specifying how staff will continue to care for children until release

The intent of this requirement is to ensure each operation has a plan to care for children once the evacuation, relocation or lock-down is in place. Often, we focus on getting to safety, which is the first priority, but just as important is ensuring each child's needs are met throughout the emergency. Take a look at the question below to see what should be included.

Consider This!

An inspection is currently being performed at your operation. The inspector is evaluating the requirement to address how your operation will continually care for children during an emergency.

Choose the answer option you feel your inspector would likely be looking for in order to consider compliance with this requirement.

 
 
 
 
 

Technical Assistance: If you are relocating to a city building that is not set up for children, consider having a "go box" with has simple activities, books and crafts to keep children occupied during the transition.

 

Specifying how you will reunite children with parents following emergency

The intent of this requirement is to ensure you, your employees and parents understand how contact will be made during an emergency as well as how your operation will reunify each child with his or her parent following the emergency. Review the three examples below to learn more about how this requirement may be addressed in your emergency preparedness plan.

 Example 1

"In the event of an emergency, all parents will be contacted using the emergency contact information provided on child admission records."

Does this statement meet minimum standard requirements?

 
 

 Example 2

"In the event of an emergency, all parents and guardians identified in the child's admission file will be notified by phone of the operation's status. approximate duration of the emergency and when children will be available for safe pickup. Please ensure changes to contact information are immediately communicated with our office to ensure receipt of important communication"

Does this statement meet minimum standard rule requirements?

 
 

 Example 3

"In the event of an emergency, all parents and guardians identified on the child's admission forms will be notified via email and text message of the type of emergency, sheltering location and any additional details specific to the emergency as soon as all children are safely sheltered. Additional notification will be sent when the emergency situation is remedied and sheltering precautions are lifted. For lock-downs, children will not be released until the area is deemed safe by local law enforcement."

Does this statement meet rule requirements?

 
 

Technical Assistance: Consider developing more efficient means of communication by creating an email and phone distribution list. This allows notification to be sent to all parents and guardians simultaneously via email and text message. You may also want to consider a messaging service such as a Remind.