Emergency Preparedness

The types of natural or human-caused disaster situations that could currently happen in this area are:

  • Fire – structure or wildland
  • Winter storm
  • Loss of power, water, heat
  • Windstorm including tornado and hurricane
  • Flood
  • Hazard (ie. Chemical) release
  • Earthquake
  • Intruder

Choice of Evacuation Sheltering Sites:

Immediate Area Threat (ie. Fire, other major building problem)

Leave the childcare facility immediately, gathering in the riding toys building (as practiced in drills). Supervision of children will be ongoing until parents/guardians or an authorized individual picks up the children.

More Widespread Threat (ie. chemical spill, widespread fire, etc.)

Leave the childcare facility immediately, following directions to transportation vehicles. Transportation will be provided in the safest manner available to the Skowhegan Area Middle School. Supervision of children will be ongoing by provider or designated adult until parents/guardians or an authorized individual picks up the children.

Mass Ordered Evacuation (ie. declared state of emergency)

Leave the building and evacuate to a mass shelter as determined by the Red Cross and/or local Emergency Personnel. Transportation will be provided in the safest manner available to the predetermined shelter location. Supervision of children will be ongoing by provider or designated adult until parents/guardians or an authorized individual picks up the children.

During an evacuation (if at all possible): When the decision is made to evacuate, the provider will make the announcement in the most expeditious and non-threatening way possible that everyone needs to evacuate.

Procedure to be followed:

  • Account for all children, staff and visitors during the evacuation process.
  • Children 2 and under will be evacuated together using portable equipment with wheels as appropriate.
  • In case of the need to evacuate through the windows, children will be placed out windows first, using any items available to place them on the ground.
  • Once all children are safely evacuated, 911 will be called.
  • Coordinate all actions with community public safety and/or emergency management officials.
  • Determine alternate shelter to be used based on situation.
  • Transport all necessary medications, supplies, records, emergency numbers, and cell phone (provider).
  • Parents will be notified of the evacuation and alternate shelter information.
  • Make arrangements for support of children at alternate shelter until reunited with families or return to evacuated facility.

Shelter-in-Place: In case of the need to stay put due to a local disaster or on notification from authorities, the following procedures will be followed:

  • Children will be taken to a safe interior space/room (above ground, except for tornado when the basement will be utilized), as practiced in drills. Emergency kit with food (including formula), diapers, toys, and water and the first aid kit are stored in a secured, easily accessible, space from the safe room.
  • Close/shut all windows and doors.
  • Cell phone will be brought into the safe room with provider.
  • Emergency contact information forms are kept with the supplies.
  • Supplies for sealing the room are stored in the emergency kit.
  • Parents/guardians will be notified once the immediate threat has passed.

For Hazard that Impacts Healthy Air Quality:

  • Close all fireplace dampers.
  • Close off nonessential rooms, such as storage areas and bedrooms.
  • Turn off ventilation systems including fans, heating and air conditioning.
  • Tape door cracks.
  • Place a damp towel or blanket at bottom of door opening.
  • When the all-clear is given, go outside until child care facility is well-ventilated.

Utility Disruption (water, heat, electricity):
If utilities are disrupted, the decision to close or delay opening of the child care facility will be based on the following factors:

  • The temperature on thermostats register 64° or below, or 85° or higher for 1 hour, with no expectation of improvement, and/or the room conditions prevent adequate ventilation and breathing.
  • The light in the child care is diminished to the point that children are at risk.
  • The nutritional needs of the children cannot be met.
  • Loss of water that disrupts appropriate diapering, hand washing, and toileting with clean running water for more than 1 hour.
  • Live wires will require the immediate closing of the child care facility and the transfer of the children to an alternate site.

The provider will begin calling/texting parents/guardians to inform them of the situation after 1 hour of disrupted service. This time period will allow for assessment of the situation and provide families with as much accurate information as available.

Procedures for Monthly Fire Drill:
FIRE EMERGENCIES

  1. Talk to the children about the drill (the bell/alarm, rules and procedures for vacating the building)
  2. Evacuate the building. No one can stop for coats or any other personal items. Provider collects emergency bag, clipboard, cell phone, medicine box and counts the children. Everyone should go to the riding toys building off the driveway.
  3. Return to the building. The provider gives approval to reenter the building.
  4. Document the fire drill. Provider records date, time, number of children, number of caregivers, location of emergency, method of alarm, exit used, head count and total time to evacuate.

Response to Fires:

  • If a fire/smoke is discovered, immediately begin evacuation following the evacuation procedures and call 911.
  • Do not take risks. Personal safety and that of the children come first.

SEVERE WEATHER
Windstorm/ Winter Storm/Ice Storm, Hurricane/Severe Lightning Storm:

  • Monitor storm watch, warnings, blizzard warnings or travel advisories.
  • Secure outside equipment.
  • Check status of cell phone battery and alternate light sources.
  • Remain indoors until storm passage is confirmed, away from large windows where trees and power lines may be present.
  • If it is unsafe to remain at the child care facility, provider will assess whether an alternate site is a safe backup and evacuate the children to that location. Follow evacuation procedures.
  • If there is any question about damage to child care facility, no one will re-enter the building until Emergency Personnel have surveyed and cleared the building for occupancy.

Flood:
Heavy rains can cause flooding. If child care facility is threatened by flooding, law enforcement or fire officials may order an evacuation of the facility. Follow procedures for evacuation if this occurs.
Follow procedure for Windstorm if you can remain in place.

Earthquake:

  • All persons including adults will be instructed to DROP, COVER AND HOLD as soon as the shaking starts.
  • As soon as the shaking stops, child care facility will be evacuated.
  • Basic damage assessment of the facility will be done by provider.
  • If there is no fire or other life hazard, children will get their shoes and coats.
  • If building cannot be re-entered, evacuate to one of the evacuation sites.
  • Injuries will be dealt with by those trained in First Aid. If the injuries are severe and the decision is made not to move the victim, an adult will be assigned to provide care.
  • The evacuation kits will be secured and transported with the children, if possible.
  • Parents will be notified by text/call of status and, if needed, of evacuation site.

INTRUDER HAZARD

Perimeter Issues/Playground Clearance (ie. unknown animals, suspicious parked vehicles, loiterers):

  • Immediately require any children outside to go inside.
  • Close and lock the doors of the child care facility and remove the children to the designated safe location within the facility.
  • Call police to investigate the situation and consult with them to determine the level of potential crisis.
  • Evacuate the child care facility if emergency services make this request. Consider whether existing evacuation route will suffice or if an alternate route must be taken due to the location of the incident.
  • Remain in lock-down until Emergency Personnel provide all-clear.

Potentially Violent Situation:

  • Immediately call 911 and seek advice on how to handle the situation.
  • Try to isolate the potential aggressor from as many children as possible. Do no physically restrain or block their movements.
  • Try to engage the potential aggressor in agreeable conversation to de-escalate the situation.
  • Once police arrive, if a decision is made to relocate to an alternate site, provider will follow the appropriate evacuation procedures.

Random Acts of Violence in the Area:

  • Close and lock the doors of the child care facility and remove the children to the designated safe location within the facility.
  • Call 911.
  • Once police arrive, if a decision is made to relocate to an alternate site, provider will follow the appropriate evacuation procedures.

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS (substances that are flammable, explosive or If a hazardous materials accident occurs within close proximity of the child care facility, provider will notify the fire department. Provider will evacuate or shelter-in-place as directed by emergency personnel.

Chemical Release:
Hazardous chemicals can be released from industrial plants or transportation vehicles, such as tanker trucks or cargo train cars.

  • If child care facility is threatened by a hazardous chemical release, law enforcement or fire officials may order evacuation or shelter-in-place.
  • If need to evacuate, notify parents through text/call of your evacuation location.
  • If sheltering-in-place, notify parents by text/call that the facility doors cannot be opened to allow children out of the facility. Parents will be contacted once the shelter-in-place order is lifted and all-clear given and it is safe for pick-up of children.
  • If parents cannot be reached, a note will be placed on the front door explaining that shelter-in-place was ordered. Parents will be instructed to get in their car and leave the area immediately. Parents will be contacted as soon as it is safe for them to pick up their children.