aSchools and Childcare Centers

Schools and Childcare Centers

Schools and childcare centers provide a vital service to our communities. On a day to day basis they teach our children and nurture their cognitive, emotional and physical well being.  Many schools also help build community resilience by incorporating disaster preparedness activities into their lessons.

After a disaster, schools and childcare centers provide the routine that children need and serve as a place for comfort and support.  Additionally, before, during and after a disaster, schools and childcare centers help our economy by providing a safe place for children to be in while their parents work.

It is because of their great importance to our communities that California’s Education Code Section 32282 requires that all schools have a comprehensive safety plan that includes emergency planning.

The safety plan needs to include the development of disaster procedures including adaptations for pupils with disabilities.   The disaster procedures need to specifically include earthquake preparedness as well as have “a procedure to allow a public agency, including the American Red Cross, to use school buildings, grounds, and equipment for mass care and welfares shelters during disasters or other emergencies affecting the public health and welfare.”

Both the State and federal governments have numerous resources to help schools develop plans to prepare for disasters.  The California Childcare Disaster Plan provides practical guidance for child care programs to develop custom emergency response plans based on individual program needs and local resources.  It really takes a village to keep our children safe and healthy during and after a disaster.