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Emergency Preparedness Plan

Training Module

This required course will help you understand emergency preparedness in your program.

Sample Emergency Preparedness Plan

After completing this course, you are required to review your programs individual plan and compare the material below. Refer any questions on your program's plan to your center director.

During any emergency the best course of action is to BREATHE AND STAY CALM, know how many children you have, and have your sign in and out log and transition sheet in your hands.

If you have children of your own in the facility but in another classroom, trust that their teachers will take care of them just as you are taking care of the children in your care.

In all situations in this Emergency Preparedness Plan, "Director" refers to the manager on duty. In the Director's absence, the Assistant Director on duty assumes the role of Director and then designates another staff member to assume the responsibilities of the Assistant Director. In all situations in this Emergency Preparedness Plan, the Director or designated person in charge will notify Child Care Licensing and/or the Health Department and/or call 911 as each situation dictates. In all situations in this Emergency Preparedness Plan, the Director or designated person in charge may delegate any portion of his/her duties to other staff members, volunteers, or emergency personnel as he/she deems necessary.

Tornado/Bad Weather

  • Stay calm. Watch the kids, not the situation
  • Get your sign in/out sheet and your transition sheet and stuff it in your clothing. Grab your flashlight.
  • Take all your children to the center hallway. Have the children sit as close together as possible and have the children duck and cover. This will be familiar to the children since you practice this each time you have a severe weather drill.
  • Infant classroom: Place your babies in two cribs and cover the top with a mattress from another crib. Place mattress sideways across top of the crib and huddle next to it. Role the cribs to the center hallways.
  • Stay there until advised that the bad weather has passed.
  • It can be helpful to quietly sing songs with the children to help them keep calm.
  • The Director in charge will monitor local weather stations and the weather alert radio for updates.

Communicable Disease Outbreak

  • All staff members will vigilantly follow policies and procedures regarding diaper changes, toileting, hand washing, food preparation and general common-sense measures such as keeping surfaces clean, changing bedding, teaching children how to cover coughs and sneezes, etc. to prevent the spread of germs that cause illness in the first place.
  • In the event of an outbreak, the Director or person in charge will notify the Health Department and Child Care Licensing to inform them of the situation and ask for instructions and guidelines to follow for specific illness or outbreak.
  • The Director or person in charge will inform all staff members of instructions and guidelines and require them to follow the same.
  • The Director or person in charge will also notify all parents about the situation in writing within 48 hours as required by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services Child Care Licensing.
  • All staff are to follow the school's confidentiality policies when speaking of the above outbreak. Any violation of the confidentiality policy is grounds for immediate termination.

Lock Down (includes weapon, hostage incident, intruder, trespassing, disturbance)

  • The Director or person in charge will announce over intercom, "Lock Down" or other discrete code and will call 911. The director or designated person will supervise the front desk at all times during the incident, if possible.
  • Upon hearing this or sooner if you are aware that an intruder has entered the building or immediate vicinity, say calmly to the children a discrete phrase, such as "Bring me the red butcher paper", the children will know what to do because you practice this every month.
  • Infant classroom: Place babies in two or three cribs with a few quiet toys. Place another empty crib or two in front of your classroom door. This might cause an intruder to change his/her mind about entering your classroom.
  • Get your sign in/out sheets and your transition sheets in your hands and stuff them into your clothing.
  • Close all your classroom doors and lock them if possible.
  • Turn off the lights.
  • If you have reason to believe that no one else in the center is aware of the danger, and you can safely do so, use the intercom to calmly announce the secret code for "lock down".
  • Whisper and remind the children that "we are to be very quiet."
  • Do a name/face check silently.
  • Keep the children and yourself safe, in place, and away from all interior and exterior windows.
  • Watch the children, not the situation!
  • If the intruder enters your classroom, do not argue with him.
  • The Director or person in charge will ensure that all building entrances and exits are locked and that no unauthorized individuals leave or enter the building.
  • Await further instructions from the Director or person in charge or emergency personnel.


  • Breathe and stay calm
  • Make sure all children are supervised. If you are alone, tell them to sit down near you.
  • Comfort the child by speaking in a low, quiet voice.
  • Apply first aid as needed.
  • Call the office if you need further assistance and/or the Director or person in charge to call 911.
  • If the child is bleeding profusely, apply pressure to stop the bleeding. (In an extreme case, take off the child's shirt and use that.)
  • If injury is to the head or face, report it to the office immediately - even if it is minor.
  • Complete an Accident/Incident Report, have the Director sign it immediately, and have the parent sign it when the child is picked up.
  • Turn the Accident/Incident Report in to the Director or person in charge before you leave on the same day.
  • Keep the Accident/Incident Report confidential while in your presence.
  • In the event of serious illness or injury involving an adult, contact the office and a Director or the designated person in charge will call 911 and/or the person's emergency contact.


  • Ask the child, "What doesn't feel good?"
  • Contact the front office and have the child's temperature taken. If the fever is over 100 degrees, the Director or person in charge will contact the parent.
  • If no fever, make the child comfortable and keep an eye on him.
  • If the child complains of pain, ask him to point with one finger where it hurts the most and then investigate that spot for injury or discoloration and call the office.
  • Light vomiting or mild diarrhea: If no pain, call the office after the third episode.

Explosion, chemical spill, or gas leak

that occurs INSIDE the facility


that occurs OUTISDE the facility

  • Close doors and lock if possible.
  • Turn off air conditioner/heater.
  • Turn off lights, computers, TV, radio, CD player, aquarium pump or anything else that may cause a spark.
  • Keep children seated on the floor and calm. Sing quiet songs or read stories.
  • Be prepared to evacuate if told to do so by the Director or person in charge or emergency personnel.
  • If you detect a strong odor, show the children how to lift up and breathe through their shirts.
  • If told to evacuate, consider crawling to avoid strong fumes that are floating higher in the air. Ask clarification if time.

Bomb threat or other threat

  • Write down everything the person says.
  • Ask where the bomb is.
  • Ask when the bomb (or other threat) will "go off" or "happen".
  • Write that down, too.
  • Notify Director or person in charge to call 911 immediately.

Off-Site Evacuation and Relocation

  • Your primary responsibility is to keep the children safe.
  • Keep your sign in/out sheet and transition sheet in your hands or stuff them into your clothing.
  • If time allows, gather children's diaper bags, bottles, baby formula/food, and coats.
  • Children will be evacuated in the center's buses and vans from oldest to youngest so that older children can assist with keeping children seated at the evacuation site. Depending on the situation, the city may also send transportation vehicles.
  • The Director is responsible for keeping a charged cell phone with him/her and overseeing and directing the evacuation process. She/He is the last person to leave the building.
  • The Assistant Director is responsible for taking the emergency binder (of permission slips and parent contact information), the first aid kit, emergency medication (i.e., insulin, epi pens, asthma medications), a charged cell phone and accompany the first vehicle to the evacuation site so that he/she can be in charge of the evacuation site.
  • The Director and Assistant Directors are aware of each cell phone number.
  • Evacuation and relocation site is (insert your evacuation site here) for local evacuations or (insert your long-distance emergency evacuation site here) for distant evacuations unless directed elsewhere by emergency personnel.
  • After all children and staff have been relocated to the evacuation site and are safe and have had all needs taken care of, the Director and Assistant Director will designate staff to contact parents and notify them of the situation.
  • Staff members will continue to supervise and take care of the children including entertaining them with songs, stories, games, etc. at the evacuation site. Watch the kids, not the situation.
  • The Assistant Director will continue to supervise and take care of the needs of the staff.
  • The Director will be the contact person for emergency personnel and parents.
  • The center's usual verification process for allowing adults to pick up children from the center will be used at the evacuation site. (i.e., only persons listed on the child's enrollment form as authorized to pick up will be allowed to do so after showing photo ID.)


  • When aware of fire or when alarm sounds, quietly say, "Fire drill boys and girls, line up at the door please." This should be familiar to them since you say it every month when you practice monthly fire drills. Your primary responsibility is to get the children safely out of the building. Do not attempt to put out the fire unless it is between you and a child or preventing exit.
  • Get your sign in/out sheet and your transition sheet and keep it with you.
  • Make a quick head count.
  • Make sure you have everyone.
  • Infants: Place all the children in two cribs.
  • Proceed to the proper fire exit and exterior meeting place as designated on the floor plan in the classroom. This is the same spot you take the children each month during your fire drill.
  • Do a name/face check once you are outside and check it against your sign in/out sheet and transition sheet. If anyone is missing, tell the Director or person in charge or a fire fighter immediately, but never leave the children unsupervised.
  • The children must be safe (out of way of emergency vehicles and the fire) and supervised at all times. Watch out for anthills, broken glass, and other hazards.
  • Watch the kids, not the situation.
  • The fire department, Director or person in charge will tell you when you and the children can re-enter the building or begin off-site evacuation procedures.

Cook and Management Responsibilities

  • When aware of fire or when alarm sounds, the director sounds the alarm, if necessary, thus alerting everyone and notifying the fire department.
  • He/She then proceeds to each classroom to ensure that everyone is out of the building.
  • When aware of fire or when alarm sounds, the Assistant Director takes possession of the emergency binder and says aloud, "I have the binder!" and then proceeds to assist the infant classrooms safely exit the building.
  • When aware of fire or when alarm sounds, if the cook is in the building (and not when already counted in child/staff ratio), she will assist the young toddler classroom.


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