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What Are The Different Types Of Disasters Early Childhood Providers Need To Be Prepared For?

Charlotte Hendricks, PhD

March 1, 2023

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Question

What are the different types of disasters early childhood providers need to be prepared for?

Answer

A disaster, also referred to as an emergency, is an occurrence that results in property damage, injuries, and/or deaths in a community. When you hear the term disaster, don't just think of a hurricane or a forest fire. It could be that, but it could also be the smoke detector went off in the nursery, and you need to evacuate. A disaster is any occurrence that could cause problems. They are low in probability, but they're high-consequence events. So whether it is a fire in a trash can in the kitchen or an active shooter, there's a very low probability that it will ever occur.

Don't panic over disaster preparedness. You do need to be prepared, or there could be high consequences. There are several types of disasters including facility events such as a fire or a gas leak and natural events such as tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, flooding, and earthquakes. Other disasters include technological events such as a blackout, hazardous materials, transportation breakdown, or water loss that might impact your care for children in your facility. There are also intentional disasters, such as an explosion, bioterrorism, threat of violence, or active shooters.

This Ask the Expert is an edited excerpt from the course Evacuation in ECE Settings: Everyone Out!, presented by Charlotte Hendricks, PhD.


charlotte hendricks

Charlotte Hendricks, PhD

Dr. Charlotte Hendricks has promoted health education for young children, families, and teachers for over 30 years and pioneered curriculum development and evaluation for preschool health education. Nationally recognized as a leader in her field, her career has spanned public health, higher education, Head Start, and research. She often presents to early childhood programs and at state and national conferences, delivering high energy presentations to illustrate practical and cost-effective approaches to best practice, national standards, and issues facing today’s early childhood staff and families.

Charlotte served as Editor for Healthy CHILDCare magazine for 16 years and has published extensively, including HIP on Health®: Health Information for Caregivers and Families and Growing, Growing Strong: A Whole Health Curriculum for Young Children. Her latest book, Redleaf Quick Guide to Disaster Planning and Preparedness in Early Childhood and Schoolage Care Settings, exemplifies her ability to present essential information in an easy-to-follow format.


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