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Preparing for Emergency Situations

Recent events in the news serve as a reminder that child care programs need to be prepared for a variety of possible emergency situations. Regulations require that programs conduct a minimum of monthly evacuation drills and two shelter-in-place drills annually, and the Division of Child Care Services encourages programs to review their emergency preparedness plans on a regular basis. Drills and regular review of the plan provide an opportunity for children and staff to become comfortable and informed about emergency procedures.


When considering how to promote the health and well-being of children, remember that continuous news coverage of disasters can create confusion and anxiety for adults and children. Children depend on the adults around them to feel safe and secure, and can be affected by the emotional state of their caregivers. Resources for helping children and their caregivers cope with disaster and other stressful situations can be found at: and In addition, a wide variety of Early Childhood Disaster-Related Resources for Children and Families can be found at The US Department of Health and Human Services web site.