Disaster Preparedness Guide For Child Care Centers

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July 9, 2013 — State agencies and safety organizations today released the Indiana’s first guide for disaster preparedness for child care providers. But as Rachel Morello reports, some childcare facilities say they already abide by most of the guidelines.

The guide offers direction for creating and implementing plans in case of natural disasters or other emergencies, including floods, utility disruptions, or lockdown situations.

 Sheena Nicholson is Director at the Teddy Bear Day Care in Bloomington. State law only requires child care providers like Nicholson’s to have plans in case of fire or severe weather, but she says many groups, including hers, already go behind the minimum requirements.

 “We have been geared towards what type of evacuation plan we’re required to have through our licensing consultant. As far as having another guide, it would probably be used in align with what we already have conducted.”

 Nancy Morris is the Emergency Preparedness Planner at the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. She says Indiana’s guide is an unmatched resource because of the collaboration among partners in creating it. Some of those partners include the departments of Education and Health, in addition to the Indiana Family Social Services Administration and Riley Children’s Hospital.

 “There have been a few states that have done something similar to this, but their information was very out of date. Ours was very comprehensive because we brought a lot of various planning partners into the mix to help with this program.”

Indiana serves over 100,000 Hoosier children in more than 4,500 licensed child care facilities.

 For Indiana Public Broadcasting, I’m Rachel Morello.





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