As we've seen recently from countless news stories and pictures of damages caused by Hurricanes Harvey on the Texas gulf coast and Irma in the Caribbean and Florida, disasters have a significant impact on children, families, businesses and communities. From a community perspective, the availability of child care after a disaster is an important part of recovery efforts because it ensures that children are safe while parents make efforts to rebuild their lives and communities.
September is National PREPAREDNESS Month. The theme for this year is "Disasters don't plan ahead. YOU CAN."
As a child care provider, you have an emergency plan that includes procedures for evacuation and relocation; sheltering-in-place; lock-down; addressing the individual needs of children, including those with functional or access needs; communication and reunification with parents or other approved individuals designated by the parents; and continuity of operations. Emergency preparedness resources for your program are available on Child Care Resource & Referral's website.
Encourage your families to take three simple steps to be better prepared:
Emergency planning resources for families are available on the Ready Iowa website here.
Researchers say 24 percent of Iowa residents live in child care deserts, places where child care is scant. That figure jumped to 37 percent in rural areas.