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Emergency Planning Guide for Child-Serving Organizations

Recommended Links on Emergency Planning

We have reviewed the following recommended links to ensure that they include information that is relevant to child-serving organizations, represents current standards in the field, and communicates information clearly. We aim to save you time by assembling in one place the best resources on emergency planning and information on disasters and to also add value by having experts in the field review the references so that you can easily find top quality information.


Resources on Emergency Planning
A list of the best resources with information to help you prepare for emergencies.

Information on Disasters
More resources to help you prepare for emergencies, organized according to three types of disasters:

Natural Disasters
Avalanche,  Drought,  Earthquake,  Fire (forest or wildfire),  Flooding/Dam or levee failure,  Heat,  Hurricane,  Landslide/Subsidence,  Snow storm/Severe winter weather,  Thunderstorms,  Tornado,  Tsunami,  Volcano

Human-Caused Incidents
Arson or structure fire,  Chemical/Biological/Radiological/Nuclear attack,  Gun violence,  Hostage crisis,  Terrorism/Internal disturbance,  Utility disruption

Environmental/Biological Disasters
Air quality,  Biological,  Epidemic/Pandemic,  Food-borne illness,  Hazardous materials spill,  Water contamination

Use the links at the right to jump directly to information for each of the sub-topics in these three main categories.

Resources on Emergency Planning

There are many different models available to help child-serving organizations prepare for emergencies, though no "one-size-fits-all" model exists that will prepare every type of organization for every type of emergency. We reviewed many of them and have posted links below to several that we found to be most comprehensive, recent, and developed by national organizations. Many of the planning activities recommended throughout this guide were obtained from these resources.

American Red Cross Safety Checklists

Safety checklists are available in multiple languages (English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese) for a wide range of emergencies including Coping with Shelter-in-Place Emergencies, Earthquakes, Fires, Floods, Flu, Heat Waves, Home Pool and Hot Tub Maintenance and Safety, Hurricanes, Landslides, Oil Spills, Power Outages, Safety for Swimming Safely in Lakes, Rivers and Streams, Thunderstorms, Tornados, Tsunamis, Wild Fires and Winter Storms.

CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response Resources

Provides information on general preparedness for natural disasters and severe weather as well as specific hazards including bioterrorism, mass casualties, chemical emergencies, radiation emergencies, and outbreaks of illness.

Coping with Disasters and Strengthening Systems: A Framework for Child Welfare Agencies  — 2007

Comprehensive guide useful for planning for wide range of emergencies. Includes a basic template to create a family disaster plan. Developed by the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NRCOI), a service of the Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Disaster Preparedness Resource Guide for Child Welfare Agencies  — 2009

Step-by-step guide for preparing child-serving agencies for emergencies. Includes links to additional resources for every major planning step.

Emergency Preparedness Posters for Tornado or Severe Weather; Utility Disruption; Potentially Violent Situation; Chemical, Biological, or Hazardous Material; Earthquake; Flooding; Fire

Single-page posters highlighting the most critical preparedness and response actions to take in each type of emergency.

Enhancing Public Health Emergency Preparedness for Special Needs Populations: A Toolkit for State and Local Planning and Response  — 2009

Experiences from recent emergencies, such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, have shown that current emergency preparedness plans are inadequate to address the unique issues of special needs populations. This toolkit is meant to assist state and local public health agencies improve their emergency preparedness activities. It distills the most relevant strategies, practices, and resources from a variety of sources, including peer-reviewed research, government reports, the trade literature, and public health leaders, to identify priority populations and critical strategies. The contents include potential strategies for addressing special needs, summaries of promising practices implemented in communities across the country, information on how to select one or more practices that will work in a specific community, information on how to determine whether a practice is working, and a Web-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tool to identify and enumerate those with special needs in communities across the United States. Used together, this toolkit and the GIS tool are intended to provide a comprehensive resource to enable public health planners to account for special needs populations in their emergency preparedness efforts.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides resources for Natural Disasters

Resources include the Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide, an evidence-informed approach for assisting survivors of disaster and terrorism, online speaker series with CEUs available, and disaster-specific information on earthquakes, epidemics, fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and tsunamis.

National Commission on Children and Disasters: 2010 Report to the President and Congress  — Oct. 2010

This report provides a look at the state of federal preparedness for children and disasters. It offers specific findings and recommendations relating to: 1) child physical health, mental health, and trauma; 2) child care in all settings; 3) child welfare; 4) elementary and secondary education; 5) sheltering, temporary housing, and affordable housing; 6) transportation; 7) juvenile justice; 8) evacuation; and 9) relevant activities in emergency management. The Commission also provides specific recommendations for administrative actions, policies, regulations, and legislative changes related to disaster preparedness for children.

Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities  — 2007

Comprehensive planning resource for schools. Includes preparedness planning examples from schools across the United States, and links to state- and national-level preparedness resources.

Protecting Children in Child Care During Emergencies: Recommended State and National Regulatory and Accreditation Standards for Family Child Care Homes and Child Care Centers and Supporting Rationale  — Dec. 2010

This guide is designed to help local and state licensing organizations and child care accrediting agencies establish emergency response standards for child care programs. Developed by the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) and Save the Children, Domestic Emergencies Unit.

Ready for Anything: A Disaster Planning Manual for Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs

Comprehensive planning model with particular focus on runaway and homeless youth, though also relevant for residential and non-residential child-serving agencies. Includes templates for disaster response plan, emergency supply maintenance and testing lists, staff contact lists, and sample agreements for other organizations to provide transportation and shelter.

Sample Emergency Planning Forms from National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA)  — 2006

Sample forms excerpted from the NACCRRA document, Is Child Care Ready?: A Disaster Planning Guide for Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies.

Information on Disasters



Avalanche Risk Recognition and Preparation

Avalanche Triggers and Risks

Avalanche Safety Online Tutorial

Overview of Avalanche Triggers, Settings, Preparedness, and Survival


Drought Mitigation

Definition of Drought

Characteristics of Drought

The Impacts of Drought

Water Saving Measures for Child Care Centers During Emergency Water Restrictions


FAQs for Earthquake Preparedness — Preparedness, During, and After Earthquake

Creating and Practicing an Earthquake Plan

Preparation, Response During, and Recovering After Earthquakes

Preparing Children for an Earthquake

Earthquake Background and Preparedness for Homes and Families

Guide for Teachers: Preparing Students for an Earthquake

Earthquake Preparedness Guide for Childcare Providers

Fire (forest or wildfire)

Wildfire Preparedness for Homes and Families

Wildfire Overview: Preparation and Recovery After a Wildfire

Preparation, Response During, and Recovering After Wildfires — for Homes and Families

Wildfire Background, Mitigation, and Response During a Fire

Wildfire Preparation and Response for Homes and Families

Wildfire Preparation, Response, and Recovery for Children and Families

Acute Health Risks for Children During Wildfires

Influenza and Other Contagious Disease — Information about Influenza

Overview of Infectious Diseases

Flooding / Dam or Levee Failure

Flood Preparedness, Response, and Recovery for Families and Homes

Flood Plan and Kit Preparedness for Families

Flood Preparedness and Recovery

Flood Preparation and Recovery for Households

Flash Flood Recovery and Clean-up Resources

Preventing Flood Damage at Homes

EPA Children's Health in the Aftermath of Floods


Extreme Heat Overview: Preparedness and Health Effects

Extreme Health Plan and Kit Preparedness for Families

Extreme Heat Protection for Households

Extreme Heat Preparedness and Response for Individuals and Households

Extreme Heat Preparedness and Health Risks for Children and Pregnant Women

Extreme Heat-Related Illness Prevention and Response for Community Care Facilities

Extreme Heat Protection Guidelines for Day Care Providers

Sun Protection of Children

Extreme Heat-Related Illness Prevention in Schools

Exertional Heat-Related Illness in Youth


Hurricane Plan and Kit Preparedness for Families

Hurricane Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane Preparedness Guide

Hurricane Hazards and Preparedness

Landslide / Subsidence

Landslide Background, Mitigation, and Response

Landslide Warning Signs, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

Landslide Preparedness and Response Checklist

Landslide Preparedness and Response

Landslide Preparedness for Households

Snow Storm / Severe Winter Weather

Winter Storm Preparedness and Response

Winter Storm Plan and Kit Preparedness for Families

Winter Storm Preparedness, Response, and Health Risks

Winter Storm Preparedness and Response


Severe Thunderstorms

Thunderstorm Preparedness

Thunder Storm Preparedness and Response

Thunderstorm and Lightning Background and Protection


Tornado Plan and Kit Preparedness for Families

Tornado Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

Tornado Background and Safety for Families and Schools

Tornado Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

Tornado Safety for Families, Schools, and the Workplace

Tornado Preparedness for Childcare Centers

Tornado Impact, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery for Children and Families


Tsunami Background and Preparedness

Tornado Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

Tsunami Health Effects


Volcano Overview and Preparedness

Volcano Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

Volcano Overview, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

Volcano Preparedness and Response

Volcano Preparedness

Volcano Preparedness and Response


Arson or Structure Fire

Wildfire Arson Preparedness and Prevention Guide

Arson Recognition and Prevention for Communities

Children and Fire Overview

Arson Awareness Week Prevention Information and Related Links

Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Attack

Chemical, Radiological, Nuclear, and Biological Terrorist Attack Preparedness and Response Guide

Chemical Terrorism-Related Illness Recognition and Response

Chemical Threat Recognition and Response

Chemical and Biological Terrorism Preparedness and Response

Biological Threat Recognition and Response

Biological Terrorism Impacts on Children and Preparedness for Pediatricians

EPA's Environmental Preparedness and Response Plans

Nuclear Power Plant Radiation Threat Preparedness

Preparedness for Radiological Emergencies

Nuclear Threat Recognition and Response

Nuclear Threat References

Gun Violence

Gun Violence Prevention in Schools

Review of Gun Violence Among Children and Youth

Hostage Crisis

Hostage Situation Safety Instructions for Individuals Being Held Hostage

Terrorism / Internal Disturbance

Terrorism Preparedness Plans and Response for Households

Terrorism Threat Types Overview

Ten Terrorism Preparedness Steps

Utility Disruption

Utility Disruption: Power Outage Response: Food and Water Safety, and Extreme Temperature Risks

Power Outage Preparedness and Response

Utility Disruption Tips Video


Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools

Causes of Indoor Air Quality Problems and Their Health Risks

Indoor Air Quality Issues for Child Care Facilities Guide


Overview of Biological Agents and Preparedness FAQ

Biological Threat Recognition and Response

Epidemic / Pandemic

Infectious Disease and Children Guide for Early Child Care Providers

Food-borne Illness and Dangerous Exposure

Food-borne Illness Overview: Prevention, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

English and Spanish Information on Food-borne Illness

Child-Specific Exposures Handbook: Summary of Statistical Data

Hazardous Materials Spill

Hazardous Materials Spill Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

Hazardous Chemicals Overview: Types of Chemicals, Specific Chemical Descriptions, and Protection from Chemical Hazards

Water Contamination

Water Contamination

Safe Food and Drinking Water Guidelines During and After an Emergency