Top Ten Things to do for Preparedness in a CDC or In-Home Center

1. Post evacuation procedures. Be able to leave in 5 minutes, with everything you need and for sure not leaving any child behind. Test this thoroughly.
2. Have a plan for sheltering in place and evacuating and test them.
3. Be sure parents know your plan.
4. Be sure that all the children can tell you who they are, who their parents are, and their parents phone numbers. (Be sure all personal items are marked. Try testing evacuating babies WITH their things.)
5. Be sure every family has a plan for regrouping in case of a disaster.
6. Go over all these plans, now with no telephones available.
7. Understand that in even normal heavy usage times, one can not get through on the phone system. If the phones are not down entirely, use text messaging. Make sure everyone has texting on their phone and understands its use in emergencies. Do not assume.
8. Get a dedicated weather radio and make it visible in the office.
9. Have enough food and water for everyone in the building if you had to stay there for a week. Yes, really.
10. Have strong plastic sheeting and wide duct tape on hand in case of poison or particulate matter in the air. This is from FEMA. In 2010 an anthrax attack was foiled in Texas.
11. Make sure that it is not easy to shoot at the children. Yes, really. This is from a security training that was conducted in Austin. Consider increasing the privacy of your play yard. Consider covered spots where a sniper might be to shoot at the children.
12. Of course you keep careful watch of who picks up the children. Arrange your building and attention so that you also keep a careful watch on who comes in your building.
13. Have a plan to deal with an armed, crazy intruder. You think it would never happen. Don’t be Newtown or Columbine. Who would have thought it would happen there?
14. Think through what you would do if all the computer chips in your city were “fried.” This could happen with an EMP bomb. Russians are today flying close to American borders and boasting of a weapon that would bring us to our knees. There is a known jihadist camp south west of Houston. In case of an EMP bomb or along with a nuclear bomb, phones, computers, and cars would not work because the chips and some other electronic parts would overload and burn. Think how much infrastructure would “go down” and how long it would take to fix it all. “Old clunkers,” before about 1984, would work with a few parts replaced. If you have the use of such a vehicle, get those spare parts. Store them and any electronic equipment you wish to use in an emergency in a more than air-tight, sealed metal box. No rubber gaskets. Metal completely sealed all around. Have extra batteries – in that box.
15. Help your neighbors to be prepared. Organize your block. You will find that you can muster 2 weeks of safety if you do it now, but if you don’t, and people go crazy, they will be your biggest hazard.
Don’t blow this off. Don’t get crazy scared either. Just be practical and prepared. Think of the wife who complained about her husband’s wild expenditure. Why, look at this. He bought a fire extinguisher. In 10 years of marriage, we haven’t used it once.

Teacher of Teachers. Professional, Master Level Trainer for ECD in Texas. College instructor, Trainer, Constultant