Unit 4.5 Earthquake and emergency preparedness

Any child care setting needs to be prepared for major emergencies and disasters. It is required that you have enough supplies to last at least 72 hours on your own.

A child care setting must have an Emergency Pack:

  • Water – at least two litres of water per person per day; include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order
  • Food that won’t spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (replace food and water once a year)
  • Manual can-opener
  • Crank or battery-powered flashlight (and extra batteries). Replace batteries once a year.
  • Crank, battery-powered radio (and extra batteries)
  • First aid kit
  • Some cash in smaller bills, such as $10 bills and change for payphones
  • A copy of your emergency plan and emergency consent cards
  • If applicable, other items such as prescription medication, infant formula, equipment for people with disabilities, or food
  • Two additional litres of water per person per day for cooking and cleaning
  • Candles and matches or lighter (place candles in deep, sturdy containers and do not burn unattended)
  • Change of clothing and footwear for each staff and child
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Toiletries
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Utensils
  • Garbage bags
  • Toilet paper
  • Water purifying tablets
  • Basic tools (hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, work gloves, dust mask, pocket knife)
  • A whistle (in case you need to attract attention)
  • Duct tape (to tape up windows, doors, air vents, etc.)
  • Plastic tarps and tents for shelter

Earthquake Procedures

When you feel the shaking of an earthquake, immediately:

  • Protect yourself – drop, cover and hold
  • Calmly call out your earthquake command
  • Direct all children & staff to drop, cover and hold until the shaking stops
  • Stay away from windows, bookcases and other hazards

If no shelter/furniture is available:

  • Choose an inner wall, hallway or corner
  • Crouch down with your back to the wall and protect your head and neck

If you are outdoors:

  • Stay away from overhead hazards
  • Driving a vehicle, safely pull over in an area free of overhead hazards –power lines and overpasses

A child care setting must have an “Emergency Preparedness Plan”. This plan is part of the parent handbook.

Your local emergency management team has many tips for emergency preparedness and offers workshops. You also find tips on the government website: http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/

Learn what to do after an emergency/disaster.

BC Health offers an “Emergency Preparedness for Child Care” workshop. Take the extra effort and attend this workshop, especially if you are planning to open your own facility.