Emergency Preparedness Tip Sheets


Explore new tip sheets from the National Center on Health (NCH) that focus on children’s responses to crises and tragic events, as well as ways to help children cope. The resources are available in both Spanish and English. Use these tip sheets with Head Start and Early Head Start families and staff affected by a crisis or tragic event.

Children’s Responses to Crises and Tragic Events [PDF, 118KB]
Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and young children who experience a tragic event may show changes in their behaviors. They also may be indirectly affected by a crisis through what they hear or see on TV. This tip sheet provides information on what families and staff might see and how children may response. It also includes additional resources for information.

Available in Spanish (español) [PDF, 121KB]

Helping Your Child Cope After a Disaster [PDF, 123KB]
After a disaster or crisis, children benefit when adults assure them that they are safe and help them learn how to cope effectively. This tip sheet provides families and staff with things they can do to help a child after a disaster or crisis. Discover ways to assure a child that steps are being taken to help keep everyone safe.

Available in Spanish (español) [PDF, 96KB]

Additional Resources

Emergency Preparedness
The Emergency Preparedness page offers many useful resources to assist children and families experiencing or recovering from traumatic situations.

Mental Health: Trauma
Discover ways to identify and help children and families experiencing trauma by checking out the links in the Trauma tab.

Health Services Newsletter: It’s Time to Prepare for Emergences and Disasters [PDF, 363KB]
This issue of the newsletter shares information about emergencies and disasters.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center, National Center on Health

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/health/ep/tip-sheets.html

Practicing Your Preparedness Plan

September 2014

By Marco Beltran

It is lunchtime at the Early Head Start center. The three infant classrooms are busy with feeding babies. The toddlers are sitting down to their family-style meal. As everyone is enjoying their afternoon, a loud explosion occurs. The staff are startled and the children begin to cry. Staff look at one another, unsure of what happened. Over the PA system, the program director announces that the neighborhood has lost power.

If this were your program, would you know what to do next?During National Preparedness Month, we encouraged programs to review and revise their Emergency Preparedness Plans. However, for plans to be truly effective, they need to be practiced throughout the year.

Why Practice?

An effective emergency preparedness plan helps your program to respond appropriately and quickly to circumstances that occur. It helps to reduce risks to everyone in the Head Start community. But, the only way that can happen is if staff, children, families, and community partners know the plan and their responsibility.

The Office of Head Start OHS does not specify an exact number of times a plan should be practiced. However, it is a good idea to do a run-through at the beginning of the program year and again before the seasons when hurricanes, tornados, or snow storms usually occur.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/hs/news/blog/practice.html

Office of Head Start (OHS) Information Collection Form

September 5, 2014

The Head Start Program Performance Standards 45 CFR parts 1304.22a3 and 1306.35a4b1 mandate that Head Start programs develop emergency preparedness plans and conduct periodic drills to ensure they have protocols in place, supported by policies and procedures, to ensure they can evacuate Head Start centers in an orderly fashion in the event of a disaster or public health emergency. OHS must ensure that contingency plans are in place prior, during and after a nationally declared disaster; and, that Head Start programs have arrangements memorandums of understanding with other community based organizations for shelter in place at alternative locations. The Presidential Policy Directive-8 PPD-8, which President Obama signed in 2011, provides Federal guidance and planning procedures under established phases–Protection, Preparedness, Response, Recovery, and Mitigation. The data collected in the Information Collection Form addresses the areas of Response and Recovery.

Source: Federal Register, Volume 79 Issue 172

Available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-09-05/html/2014-21137.htm

Planning an Effective Response for the Next Epidemic — with Children in Mind


By Amy Grissom, Region VI Regional Emergency Management Specialist

North Central Texas is a “hot spot” for potential emergency events. The proactive staff at the Dallas County Health Department has partnered with the Administration for Children and Families to reach early childhood programs and stakeholders so they can be ready and resilient when emergencies impact them, the families that depend on them, and their communities.

On Feb. 20, we held a joint emergency and influenza preparedness training for more than 100 registrants. Dallas County early childhood programs, such as Head Start and Child Care, were the focus. However, a wide range of local, state and federal stakeholders within HHS Region VI also joined. Participants included mental health, faith based, emergency response and non-profit colleagues.

In person at the HHS Regional Office and via live webcast, participants learned emergency planning basics and were provided with helpful personal and organizational emergency planning resources. Both early childhood grantees and emergency response staff told me they found the training helpful, plus an important step in being more prepared to meet children’s needs in emergencies.

Dallas County will continue its focus on children’s needs in emergencies by convening a local task force to strengthen the focus on children in emergency plans and to leverage resources for children and families during and after emergencies and disasters.

Source: Administration for Children and Families

Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/blog/2014/03/planning-an-effective-response-for-the-next-epidemic-with-children-in-mind

Resources for helping children cope with traumatic events

Child Care Aware® of America is deeply saddened by the tragic events that took place at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., on Monday. Our thoughts are with the families and friends affected.

In the wake of any traumatic event, children may feel anxious about their own safety and security. The resources provided here are tools for helping children and families cope with  tragedy.

Source: Child Care Aware

Available at: http://www.naccrra.org/news-room/press-releases/2013/9/resources-for-helping-children-cope-with-traumatic-events

Extreme Heat and Your Health


Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable, yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat. An important goal of this web site is to provide easily accessible resources for members of the public, local health departments and other organizations, assisting ongoing outreach efforts to those most vulnerable to extreme heat events.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/

Emergency Planning Guide for Child-Serving Organizations

This section of the PPN site provides a guide to help child-serving organizations prepare for emergencies. You can use it to:

Learn about promising practices in emergency preparedness planning, such as how to create a plan for communicating with families and others during an emergency, which supplies to assemble and store for emergencies, and what types of practice exercises your organization might want to undertake.

Identify specific steps you can take to prepare and obtain tools you can use to help guide you through preparedness activities.

Source: Promising Practices Network

Available at: http://www.promisingpractices.net/resources/emergencyprep/

Little Listeners in an Uncertain World: Coping strategies for you and your young child after traumatic events

Your world has changed. How are you handling it?
Traumatic events, such as natural disasters, are especially difficult times for parents who feel tremendous responsibility in trying to make their babies feel safe when they themselves don’t. When you’re anxious, your child often senses it. The first step in taking care of your child is taking care of yourself.


Available at: http://main.zerotothree.org/site/DocServer/handout.pdf/700245522?docID=2381&verID=1

Bird Flu Flies Again, Prompting UN Advisory


Out of the public eye, the bird flu has been making a comeback.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization warned today about a “possible major resurgence” of H5N1 influenza, including a mutant virus that appears to be unfazed by available vaccines.

The latest fatality from the infection occurred in Cambodia earlier this month. A 6-year-old girl became the eighth person to die from avian flu there this year, the World Health Organization said.

Source: NPR

Available at: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/08/29/140035925/bird-flu-flies-again-prompting-un-advisory?ps=sh_sthdl

DHS Announces More Than $2.1 Billion in Preparedness Grants


Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced today final allocations for 12 preparedness grant programs totaling more than $2.1 billion in federal grants to assist states, urban areas, tribal and territorial governments, non-profit agencies, and the private sector in strengthening our nation’s ability to prevent, protect, respond to, recover from, and mitigate terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies. In FY2011, DHS grants were reduced by $780 million for the FY 2010 enacted level, nearly a quarter of FY 2010 DHS grant funding.

Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Available at: http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/releases/20110823-napolitano-preparedness-grants-announcement.shtm