Rule: What must my emergency preparedness plan include?
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.
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.
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.