INDIANA - The State of Indiana is the first in the nation to develop a preparedness guide for child care providers.
Officials released the 45-page booklet on Monday , which maps out what caregivers should do if a disaster strikes. The Hoosier State has about 4,500 child care facilities that serve more than 100,000 children.
The guide was developed was a joint effort among the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the Family and Social Services Administration, Bureau of Child Care and other partner agencies.
"The guide has been well received by the child care community," said Nancy Morris, emergency preparedness planner, in a news release. "The plan provides valuable resources to the people who take care of one of Indiana's most precious assets."
Now providers are only required to have a plan for fire and severe weather situations, but officials said there's a need to prepare for all potential hazardous circumstances including verbal threats, violence, and missing or abducted child care attendees.
In the guide is a chart with a list of emergency actions plans and various responses such as lockdown, shelter-in-place, temporary evacuation and permanent evacuation.
Individuals responsible for the manual said preparation and involvement of child care staff and parents can directly affect the outcome of an emergency.
In addition to the guide, a training program is being developed that will help providers create and implement plans tailored to their specific needs.
To view the guide in its entirety visit http://www.in.gov/fssa/files/Indiana_Emergency_Response_Guide_for_Child_Care_Providers.pdf .
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