Preparedness for Childcare
After Earling preparedness alert issued you might have hours to days before earthquake(s) happen or you receive alert is cancelled. For the duration you can take steps to reduce or avoid damage, injuries, or loss of life for the children in your care, your staff, and yourself.
Preparing for an earthquake includes things you already do to protect the children’s safety and health, such as having a fire extinguisher handy and train for first aid and CPR. With additional planning and preparation, the children in your care will have a better chance at surviving an earthquake unharmed.
Make Your Building Earthquake-Proof
Make your building more earthquake-proof, include earthquake preparedness in your emergency plans, teach children and staff what to do if an earthquake happens, and keep emergency supplies on hand. In an earthquake, most injuries and deaths are caused by loose objects in and on buildings. During the shaking, cabinets and bookcases topple, objects fall out of cabinets, and hanging or large plants fall. Door frames and window jams may be bent when walls move. Doors may slam or jam shut, and window glass can shatter, sending broken glass into the room. Light fixtures, sprinkler heads, and other ceiling components may pop out and fall. Objects mounted on the walls (such as clocks, maps, and art work) may shake loose and fly across the room. The electricity may go out, and the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
It’s not the Earth’s shaking itself that causes the most injury and harm. Instead, it’s the things that the earthquake puts into motion: the shaking of buildings, structures, and even ordinary household items. Anything that can move, fall, break, or cause a fire can be an earthquake hazard.
Conduct Earthquake Drills
Go through your home or facility, room by room, looking for objects or situations that might cause damage or injury. Make an inventory of all items that require attention. Walk the halls and classrooms. Stand in the center of each room and look all around you: imagine which objects or pieces of furniture might fall over or fly through the air.
Identify a Safe Gathering Place Outside.
Find a safe spot outside. This spot should be away from the building, trees, playground structures, fences, utility wires, or anything else that might fall on you. Make this your designated gathering place in case of an earthquake or other disaster. Ensure that all children and staff know where to go if you need to leave the building in an emergency.
What You Can Do During an Earthquake
At the first sign of shaking
- Drop to the ground
- Take Cover by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture.
- Hold on until the shaking stops.
Let The Children Know
As soon as you are sure the danger has passed let the children know that you understand why they are scared. Comfort them with a hug or reassuring words. Reassure them that their parents know where they are or where they may go. Their parents will come to get them as soon as they can. They are safe with you. You will look after them.