Keeping children safe in any kind of disaster is crucial to any daycare program. It is important for parents to know what kinds of questions are important when considering potential disaster threats and to evaluate if a child care facility is prepared for the kinds of disasters that can strike Oklahoma at any time.
Having a well thought-out plan for each kind of disaster can aid in having more control over the outcome as well as helping to ensure the safety and security of children, staff and parents. Parents should already have a general idea of what kind of action will be taken in case of a disaster, but there are other things to consider that might not initially come to mind.
Know the plan
The most common types of disasters that occur in Oklahoma include fires, floods, tornados and earthquakes, each with its own set of actions that need to be taken.
Have a well thought out plan for each kind of disaster. This aids in having more control over the outcome as well as helping to ensure the safety and security of children, staff and parents.
Parents should already have a general idea of what kind of action will be taken in case of a disaster.
Parents might want to consider how many drills are practiced on a monthly basis and how many of those are fire and tornado drills, as well as how many escape routes children are taught during these drills.
In case of a disaster, some child care providers may make use of disaster kits. It can be useful to know what kind of supplies are contained within a facilities kit and approximately how long the supplies can last in a disaster situation.
Communication can be quite difficult in the face of a disaster. Parents may want to ask if a facility is equipped with a corded phone and if phones within the facility are accompanied by a list of emergency contact numbers. Faculty training is just as important as having the necessary supplies; parents may want to know if staff has been trained in CPR and first-aid as well if they have shown older children at the facility how to dial out to 911 in case of an emergency.
Parents and providers interested in CPR and first-aid classes should refer to our upcoming trainings, located here.
Questions to Ask Your Child Care Provider
Q: Is the facility prepared for a fire emergency?
If a facility is faced with a fire emergency, it’s important to know how many fire extinguishers are on the premises and how often they are tested and recharged. Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors can play an important role in preventing possible emergency situations, knowing how often these devises are tested is important. In case of a fire, how long will it take for the fire department to respond and does staff at the facility tech children to stop, drop and roll, Operation Exit Drills In The Home (EDITH) and play safe, be safe?
Q: Is the facility prepared for a flood?
Flooding threats can offer a unique set of challenges. Parents may want to know if the facility is located in a flood zone or if they are included in the National Flood Insurance Program. Weather alert radios are very helpful in flooding situations; does the facility have access to these kinds of devises?
Q: Is the facility prepared for a tornado?
Tornados are considered by some Oklahomans as the most unpredictable and dangerous of disasters. Parents may want to consider if sirens can be heard from the facility and if there is access to weather radios to warn of tornado threat. In case of a tornado threat, is there a safe room on the premises? If there is no safe room, how close is the nearest public shelter?