2017 Spring Kansas Child


Emergency Preparedness

A publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

Spring 2017 Volume 16, Issue 2














Executive Director

Child Care Aware ®

of Kansas

Kansas Child

is a publication of

Child Care Aware ®

of Kansas

Executive Director

Leadell Ediger


BWearing Consulting

Angie Saenger, Deputy Director

Publication Design

Julie Hess Design

On the Cover

Jacques Malone-Clark,

4 years old, enjoying time

at Wichita Firehouse 14.

Child Care Aware ® of Kansas,

1508 East Iron, Salina, Kansas 67401,

publishes Kansas Child quarterly,

and is made possible through the

financial support of the members

of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas and

sponsorships from our corporate,

private, and foundation partners.

Kansas Child is intended to provide

a forum for the discussion of child

care and early education issues and

ideas. We hope to provoke thoughtful

discussions within the field and to

help those outside the field gain a

better understanding of priorities

and concerns. The views expressed

by the authors are not necessarily

those of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

or their sponsors.

Copyright © 2017 by Child Care

Aware ® of Kansas, unless

otherwise noted. No permission

is required to excerpt or make

copies of articles provided that

they are distributed at no cost.

For other uses, send written

permission requests to:

Child Care Aware ® of Kansas,

1508 East Iron, Salina, KS 67401

For four days in mid-January, many of us, including those in my community, were

preparing for a catastrophic weather event—a major winter storm. It was all we heard

about on the radio or television, in the newspaper and online.

It was a major ice storm that stretched across the Great Plains, Pacific Northwest, and

American Midwest. During the storm, multiple states declared states of emergency, and

icy road conditions caused traffic incidents and fatalities. Many were without power.

The storm was schedule to arrive in central Kansas on a Friday. Several days of rain

and ice were predicted. It was a three-day weekend, due to the Martin Luther King, Jr.

holiday, so schools were already closed. Some businesses chose to close as a precaution.

At the grocery store I frequent, it looked like there was a “run” on groceries! No

bottled water, bread or milk to be found. Many fruit and vegetable bins were empty as

well. I had never seen the store look so empty! Clearly, people were taking the severe

weather prediction seriously and were preparing!

In this instance, the good news was that we had time to prepare. That is often not

the case. Violent weather, including tornados, can sometimes arrive with little or short

notice. The storm was also far less damaging where I live, thankfully.

In another instance, last fall, my husband and I were sound asleep when a chirping

noise woke me. I nudged my husband asking him, “What was that noise?” He got up

to investigate. In our basement, he discovered the dehumidifier had shorted out and

spontaneously burst into flames. Fortunately, because it wasn’t surrounded by items

that could easily catch fire, it had quickly extinguished without intervention. Still, the

fire melted the plastic body of the dehumidifier, causing the smoke that triggered the

alarm! Again, thankfully, there was no damage (except a very dead dehumidifier).

The small amount of smoke was easily cleared by opening the egress windows and

using a large fan. How fortunate we were! We had made sure that the area around the

dehumidifier was clear of flammable materials, and we had a working smoke detector.

In other words, we were prepared!

Although these turned out to be small emergencies, the potential was there for

much more destruction. The possibilities are many and could include snow or ice

storms, thunderstorms, electrical storms, earthquakes, wild fires, home fires, power

outages, illness outbreaks, foodborne illness, poison or chemical spills, flooding, an

active shooter or an intruder; the list could go on. One could get overwhelmed when

thinking about all the “what-ifs.”

Although you might not be able to prevent all emergencies, you can be ready for

them. Start today, work on it piece by piece until you feel more prepared, then put the

“what-ifs” out of your mind—you’re ready!

Stay safe!

Kansas Child is distributed at

no cost to Child Care Aware ®

of Kansas donors. Single

copies are available

to anyone at a cost of

$5 each, prepaid.


Planning and Preparation........................4

p. 4

From Fearful to Fascinated:

Situational Awareness..............................6

Small Business Owners

Are You Ready?......................................... 8

Thank you to Child Care Aware ® of America

for partnering with us to garner a variety of

perspectives for an engaging issue of Kansas

Child magazine around the complex topic

of emergency preparedness. We value the

commitment from Child Care Aware ® of

America that is supporting the work of the

Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&Rs)

agencies around emergency preparedness.

For more information contact us.

p. 8

Regulation for Child Care

During Crisis............................................. 8

From Disaster to Triumph

A Personal Experience..............................9

Don’t Wait. Be Prepared......................... 10

Why Child Care Center Staff Need

to Care About Flu Prevention:


The Importance of Including

Children in Emergency

Preparedness Planning.......................... 14

Book Nook.............................................. 14

Being Prepared:

By Fred the Preparedness Dog................17

Helping Children

Separated by Disasters:

NCMEC provides disaster

reunification resources............................18

Social Connectedness and

Community Systems..............................20

Check out your library

before and after disasters....................... 22

Food Safety..............................................23

p. 18

Kansas has seen more declared disasters in



JD, MPA, EMT-P, Senior Director

of Emergency Preparedness,

Child Care Aware ® of America

Andrew Roszak, JD, MPA, EMT-P, serves as the senior

director for emergency preparedness at Child Care Aware of

America. His professional service includes work as the senior

preparedness director of environmental health, pandemic

preparedness, and catastrophic response at the National

Association of County and City Health Officials; at the

MESH Coalition and the Health and Hospital Corporation of

Marion County, Indiana; as the senior preparedness advisor

supporting Super Bowl 46 and the Indianapolis 500; as a

senior advisor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human

Services; on the Budget and HELP committees of the United

States Senate; and at the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Before becoming an attorney, he spent eight years as a

firefighter, paramedic, and hazardous materials technician in

the Chicagoland area. He has an AS in Paramedic Supervision,

a BS in Fire Science Management, a Master of Public

Administration, and a Juris Doctorate degree. He is admitted

to the Illinois and District of Columbia Bars and is admitted to

the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. You can find more about

Child Care Aware of America’s emergency preparedness

work at www.ChildCarePrepare.org, and you can find Andy on

Twitter at @AndyRoszak

The 81,815 square miles that make up the state of Kansas are

unique. From six distinct urban areas to grain storage elevators

and herds of cattle, a drive through Kansas highlights the

geographic differences that define the state. Much like this diverse

landscape, the challenges facing child care providers also can vary

widely. Despite the differences however, one thing is common, the

day-to-day challenges of caring for children are magnified and

compounded during an emergency.

The need to be prepared is evident: Kansas has seen more

declared disasters in the past 10 years than in the 50 years prior.

Recent hurricanes and storms in the country have exposed how

natural disasters can affect child care programs, creating difficulty

for children, families and businesses.


Superstorm Sandy in 2012 affected 11,500 licensed and

registered child care programs in New York—more than half

of the total programs in the state. Sandy also caused the longterm

closure of 697 child care programs in Connecticut, New

Jersey and New York. Some programs were closed as long as

eight months, while others never reopened.


More recently, the Louisiana flooding in 2016 affected at least

88 child care centers in the Baton Rouge area, displacing

more than 6,000 children from child care. Some of these

programs remain closed today.


During Hurricane Matthew last fall, more than a quarter

of the child care providers in Cumberland County, North

Carolina, closed, leaving an estimated 10,200 children

temporarily without child care.

Having an emergency plan, knowing your risks and receiving

emergency preparedness training can greatly help reduce the

challenges that you could face in an emergency.

Severe weather, including tornadoes, floods and winter storms,

made up the overwhelming majority of declared disasters in

Kansas during the past 20 years. Therefore, it is important that an

4 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

the past 10 years than in the 50 years prior.

and Preparation

emergency plan addresses these issues.

It is helpful to think about plans in three distinct categories:

preparedness, response and recovery. These make up phases of an

emergency, each building off the other. The better you prepare for

each phase, the better your overall outcome.

It is helpful to think about plans in three distinct

categories: preparedness, response and recovery. These

make up phases of an emergency, each building off the

other. The better you prepare for each phase, the better

your overall outcome.

In the preparedness phase, begin by creating a plan, discussing

the plan, updating the plan and communicating the plan.

Likewise, if you know severe weather is coming, take proactive

actions to prepare. Having parents pack extra clothing for

the children, canceling outside activities and stocking up on

batteries, food and other supplies are actions that fall under the

preparedness domain. Creating an emergency preparedness kit is

another important step in disaster preparedness.

Responding to a disaster involves putting your plan into action.

A great way to test your response is to conduct drills. Drills

allow you to test plans and identify any gaps. It is much easier

to discover that your plan will not work during a drill, rather

than discovering the problem in the middle of a disaster. One

simple activity to practice is a fire drill. But there are several other

opportunities to practice a plan, some which occur every day. For

example, each day children are dropped off and picked up from

child care programs—a perfect time to practice a reunification

plan and update emergency contact information. Much like other

professionals rehearse lines, scripts, music or practice sports

plays, you should rehearse emergency plans. Practicing and being

familiar with your response will result in being more confident

and less stressed.

For both the mental health of a child and for the financial

stability of our communities, ensuring the continued operation of

high-quality family child care programs is essential. Recovering

from a disaster is not an easy task, however with strong

preparation and practiced response, recovery can be easier.

Making sure that child care providers recover from disaster is

essential, especially in western Kansas, where 27 counties have

only one child care program. A loss of the program serving that

county would be disastrous for children, families and businesses.

Unfortunately, many businesses do not take the time to plan for

emergencies. According to the Federal Emergency Management

Agency (FEMA), more than 40% of businesses never reopen

after a disaster. While this is problematic for many sectors, it is

most devastating on the child care industry—with significant

ripple effects on children and families. Simply put, if child care

programs are closed, parents cannot return to work and recovery

cannot begin.

Family child care operators face special challenges in recovering

from a disaster as they can lose both their business and their

home. Adding to the problem is that the average income for a

child care provider in Kansas is $20,050, which often disqualifies

them for disaster loans from the Small Business Administration.

As private businesses, as opposed to nonprofit organizations, they

are also ineligible for disaster assistance from FEMA.

Beyond the effect on child care providers, a disaster can

have serious developmental and emotional effects on children.

Unfamiliar routines, unusual eating patterns, and removal from

familiar surroundings can all exacerbate the effect. Studies have

found that children affected by large disasters are five times as

Continued on page 7

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 5





Katie Horner is a mother and a

meteorologist with more than 25 years’

experience helping families weather

storms. Horner’s book, “Brainstorming,

A Creative Guide to Help Parents and

Children Through Severe Weather,”

published by Star Publishing 2008, is

available on amazon.com and Barnes and

Noble bookstore. Horner now serves as

the Public Affairs Director for the Kansas

Adjutant General’s department.

Skies darken, clouds boil overhead,

lightning lights up the sky and thunder

booms loud enough to shake your house.

It is springtime in Kansas. Will your

children be terrified? Will you be terrified?

A healthy respect for nature is important,

but it shouldn’t leave you paralyzed in

fear. Situational awareness, a plan, and a

calm demeanor can help change you

(and therefore, your child) from

fearful to fascinated.

Situational awareness

is ultimately your

responsibility, and

there are numerous

ways to obtain it,

including local news

broadcasts and weather

reports. Severe weather

threats might include:

flooding, tornadoes, damaging,

straight-line winds or hail,

1-inch or larger. There are on-line

resources as well. I highly recommend

www.spc.noaa.gov This is the site local

meteorologists turn to for severe weather

information, and you have access to it, too.

A NOAA (National Oceanic and

Atmospheric Administration) weather

radio is a must-have. Get one and

have it programmed for your county

and surrounding counties to give you

ample time to prepare. NOAA is a

network of radio stations in the United

States that broadcasts continuous weather

information within a 40-mile radius,

directly from a Weather Forecast Office.

That information includes National

Weather Service warnings, watches,

forecasts, and other hazard information.

It also broadcasts alerts of non-weather

6 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas


emergencies such as national security,

and environmental and public safety.

Have a plan. If a storm is not expected

to cause damaging winds but will contain

heavy rain, lightning and thunder, simply

keep everyone inside. There is no need to

go to the basement if wind is not a threat.

Remember, basic lightning safety inside

includes staying at least three feet from

windows, metal pipes and electronic

devices connected by a cord to an outlet.

Lightning can actually spark through

TVs and video games.

With older children, once you know

everyone is in a safe place, consider

playing the lightning game. When you

see the flash of lightning, count the

seconds until you hear the thunder and

divide by five. That will give you the

distance in miles the storm is from you.

Each consecutive strike will tell you if

the storm is approaching or leaving. It’s a

great distraction and teaches math skills

— bonus! Remember, our planet needs

storms. Lightning is important. It helps

fertilize the land that grows our food.

If hail occurs in the storm, hurray!

It provides another great learning

opportunity and a fun experiment. When

it is safe, have the children gather a few

hailstones. Have an adult run hot water

over a knife and use that to slice the hail

stone in half. Let the children count the

rings. This will tell them how many times

this chunk of ice was blown upward

inside the thunderstorm until it got too

heavy and fell to earth. The bigger the

stone, the stronger the updraft was in the


If tornadoes or damaging, straightline

winds are threatening, you need

to be underground, in a basement. You

should already have your preparedness

backpack down there (See KDEM’s

article). If it is daytime, keep the children

entertained with the lightning game or

other games that are fun and distracting.

All the while, stay aware by monitoring

media, websites or the NOAA weather

radio. If the threat is expected overnight,

consider having a campout in the

basement that night. Make it fun. You

can sleep in a tent, build a fort and make

s’mores … whatever it takes to make it

feel like a special adventure. If a tornado

or damaging wind is imminent, seek

further shelter in a basement closet or

under the stairs, assume the tornado

safety position, cover your bodies with

pillows and blankets and if you have

them, put bike helmets and tennis shoes

on. If you have babies, place them in

their protective car seats on the floor of

the closet you’re in.

Children mirror the behavior

of their adult caregivers. If you are

tense and afraid, they will feel it and

model it. Be calm, stay aware of the

situation and have a plan that includes

learning opportunities, adventures and

fascination. n

Continued from page 5

likely to have serious emotional issues as

those who are unaffected.

Businesses also suffer when child care

is not available. Even without a disaster,

breakdowns in child care are costly to

businesses. Studies show that 65% of

parents’ work schedules are affected by

child care challenges, an average of 7.5

times over a six-month period. While this

might seem inconsequential, the effect

on businesses is immense. Adjusted for

inflation, U.S. businesses lose $4.4 billion

annually due to employee absenteeism

resulting from child care breakdowns. This

problem only gets worse during a disaster.

Simple steps can help aid the recovery



It is vital to meet with your insurance

company to make sure you have the

proper levels of coverage for both

your home and your business.


Work with other child care providers

and your local child care resource and

referral agency to identify alternative

sites and arrangements that would

allow you to continue to care for

children if your program site is



Have a plan in place to communicate

with parents after a disaster.


Have a process to document your

belongings (before a disaster), your

losses (after a disaster), and your

expenses (as you repair/rebuild).

Recovery is a very important issue, and

it is a community-level issue. Making

sure there are plans in place to ensure

the continued availability of child care

is of the utmost importance. After

housing, the biggest barrier for parents

returning to work after a disaster is a lack

of child care. Communities that ensure

the availability of continued child care

services during and in the aftermath of a

disaster can expedite reopening businesses

and re-establishing essential services.

Children can return to a normal schedule

and become reunited with their peers,

thus returning stability and familiarity.

Restoration of child care services also

allows first responders to return to work

more quickly.

In summary, there is still much to do to

increase the overall preparedness of the

child care system. Take the time to review

the excellent articles in this edition of

Kansas Child and think about how your

child care program could become better

prepared for disasters! n

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 7




Risk Manager,

Assurance Partners, LLC

Small Business Owners,

Are YOU Ready?

None of us can predict the future. But we can prepare today

to be in the best position possible for an unforeseen tragedy

or disaster. At a moment’s notice, our lives and our businesses

can be turned upside down. Are you as ready as you can be to

prevent loss from your business being either permanently or

temporarily closed?

Have you planned for the possibility of a fire or tornado? What

about personal injury, for you or a child in your care? Some risks

can be avoided or mitigated, while others will occur regardless of

the safeguards you have in place. Clearly, it is important to take

measures where you can to reduce your potential for loss.

So, are YOU ready? Have you sat down with someone to help

you identify your risks and consider the best way to manage

those risks? If the answer is NO, then I would say that you are

NOT ready.

Why not? There are tools available to you. They might

include new or different insurance coverage, or an assessment

of practices you can put in place to reduce the chance for a bad

outcome. Some business owners do not know where to look for

answers or even what questions to ask. A conversation with the

right professional can help you determine what is right for you.

It is likely that when you started your business, you purchased

insurance and created policies to help you manage your risk.

Have you reviewed that information since? Even if you have

coverage in place, it is important to be sure your coverage and

policies have kept up with changes in your business or industry.

A good insurance company will consider not only the products

it can sell you, but how it can help your business perform safely

and effectively, and how you can be prepared for the unforeseen.

It might be time to contact your agent and ask for a conversation

about risk management.

After the right conversation about your specific needs, your

answer will be “YES,

am ready!” n

Contact Paul at proberts@yourassurance.com

By Rachael Sisson

KDHE Bureau Director, Bureau of Family Health

Child care providers are required to have plans to

provide for the safety of children and staff in the event

of an emergency or disaster. Similarly, under the Kansas

Department of Health and Environment’s Continuity

of Operations Plan (COOP), the Child Care Licensing

Program (CCL) is required to have plans for maintaining

essential services following an emergency or disaster. The

COOP prioritizes daily operations so that following a

disaster the CCL Program is better

able to respond to the needs of

the regulated community

and local health


The need for safe

and secure child care

increases following a

disaster. Parents and aid

workers are in need of

emergency or temporary

care as recovery efforts begin,

child care facilities might have

sustained significant damage or been

destroyed, and facilities not directly affected by a disaster

might experience staff shortages as employees deal with

their needs and needs of friends and family. Therefore, the

CCL Program has developed disaster guidelines to provide

direction to local health departments, child care licensing

surveyors, and child care facilities regarding the care of

children following a community disaster.

KDHE does not require licensure for temporary child

care facilities located within emergency shelters established

for the purpose of serving displaced families. In addition,

facilities operated by relief agencies, such as the American

Red Cross, Salvation Army or local organizations, that

provide child care for emergency workers and displaced

children are not required to be licensed. However, safe

and healthy child care practices are to be followed at

temporary facilities. That would include providing attentive

supervision; ensuring basic recordkeeping; implementing

provisions to prevent the spread of communicable disease;

maintaining staff/child ratios necessary to protect children;

and creating an environment that includes structure,

routine, and age-appropriate activities.

Resuming child care within an affected community is a

priority. The goal is to serve displaced children in regulated

child care facilities not directly affected by the disaster. The

Department can support this goal by following guidelines

that allow it to grant allowances to ease barriers following a

disaster. Examples include:

Regulated facilities caring for displaced children are not

required to have immunizations or health assessments on

Continued on page 11

8 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

Fire Destroys

a Saline County

Home & Business

By Jamie Kempke

From Disaster To Triumph

A Personal Experience

Family child care owner Jamie Kempke has provided child care in her home in Saline County for more than six years. She

prides herself on being a seasoned professional in the child care field and knowledgeable in emergency planning and quality

child care practices. In late June 2016, Jamie’s home and business were destroyed by a fire, wiping out everything and leaving

her with nothing. Despite many obstacles, Jamie and her family have been able to triumph over their loss and reconstruct

their lives. Here, Jamie talks about her experience and how it has affected her family and business...

What preparations did you have in place

before the fire?

I had a disaster plan and did monthly fire drills. We

also went over scenarios as a group. I regularly quizzed the

oldest child in care regarding who might be missing from

the group so she would be able to tell the firefighters when

they arrived.

Did you have any plans as to where you might

re-establish your business if a disaster were to

destroy your home?

No, I had no plans, as it never crossed my mind.

What were the challenges of getting your business

up and running again?

A primary challenge for me has been my lack of

knowledge regarding child care licensing requirements.

I learned quickly that a license does not move from one

facility to another! Another challenge has been rebuilding

the quality of my program. All of my age-appropriate

furniture, toys, activities, nap cots, and supplies are gone.

Many things had to be recreated, such as my handbook,

children’s files, disaster plan, and receipts for taxes. Coming

up with these items has been a challenge.

Did you have support from local agencies?

I am very thankful for outreach from Child Care Aware

of Kansas® with regard to my personal concern as well as

their ability to help me open back up and provide me with

needed items/equipment. I am also grateful to my church,

community members, the fire chief and most importantly,

the support from my child care families. I know deep down

in my heart that if I did not have their support in this, I

would have walked away.

How did you explain to the children in your

child care what happened and your plans for

moving forward?

Currently, we talk about the fire openly and use it as a

learning tool. The children know what my new house will

look like (color, windows, playground, etc.) and we take

fieldtrips there. We talk frequently about things/memories

from the old house, and I try to keep a similar schedule.

What would you like other child care providers

to know about planning for any type of disaster?

Get insured—take the time to do the research and

purchased insurance. I made excuses and was not insured

and fully regret that decision.

Create an emergency plan that goes beyond the moment

of the crisis. What will you do tomorrow or even a month

after the disaster?

Understand state licensing requirements.

Make connections with other professionals in the

field and build on those relationships. Early childhood

professionals stick together and they will come to your aid

when you are in need.

Be good to your families—this is paramount. I could

not still be offering care without them. They are my rock!

They are the reason I keep my head above water and keep

swimming. n

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 9

The severe weather

season is upon us.

Are you prepared?

Don’t Wait.



Director, Salina County

Emergency Management

In 2016, there were 102 tornadoes

recorded in Kansas. While there

were no fatalities, people were

injured and homes were destroyed.

Every year, people are affected by severe

weather, despite improved advanced

warning systems. At Saline County

Emergency Management, we partner

with several community organizations

to highlight the importance of making

severe weather preparedness a priority.

We all want the peace of mind of knowing

that our families, friends, homes, and

businesses are safe and protected from

threats of any kind. And while we can’t

control where or when the next disaster

will hit, we can take action by preparing

for emergencies and learning what actions

to take when an emergency strikes.

May 4th, 2017, will mark the 10-year

anniversary of the tornado that destroyed

Greensburg, Kansas. In an instant,

Greensburg was changed forever. An

estimated 800,000 cubic yards of debris

had to be removed after the devastation of

that storm. Following the cleanup, the last

decade has brought remarkable changes.

Although the 2016 population has

not recovered to pre-2007 levels, a

large number of residents took part in

the rebuilding and redesigning effort,

making this city one with the most LEED

(Leadership in Energy & Environmental

Design) certified buildings per capita

in the world! We should never have the

notion that “this will never happen to

me,” because it can, and in some cases,

10 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

Be Prepared.

it will. Tragically, 11 lives were lost as a

result of the Greensburg tornado. Based

on the amount of destruction, that number

could have been much higher. No doubt,

lives were saved with adequate warning,

preparation and response.

Whole-community preparedness

lies in the planning efforts at the local

government level, however preparedness

is the responsibility of every individual.

Severe Weather Awareness Week is

recognized annually in March. This is a

great time for families to take some time

and prepare at home for the potential of

severe weather or other emergencies.

The Department of Homeland Security’s

ready.gov website has some great tools,

tips and tricks for family, individual and

business preparedness. The three steps

to preparedness include: making a plan,

building an emergency supply kit, and

staying informed.

Making a plan

It is possible that your family might not

be together when disaster strikes, so it is

important to think about several situations

when developing your plan. Consider how

you get information on severe weather;

where the safest location is in your home

or community to seek shelter during

storms; how you will reunite with your

family if you are apart during a disaster;

and how you will let your other family

members know you are safe. Taking the

time to talk to children about these types

of situations allows them to be a part of the

process and know what to do.

Building an Emergency Supply Kit

An emergency supply kit is simply a

collection of basic items that your family

might need in the event of an emergency.

We encourage families to assemble a

kit well in advance of any emergency in

case you need to evacuate at a moment’s

notice. Food, water, and other supplies to

sustain your family for at least 72 hours

are important to include. Checklists are

available on ready.gov to help families

decide what items to put in their kits.

Children are encouraged to build their

own emergency supply kits with items to

keep them occupied during an emergency.

Including things such as toys, crayons,

books or games is great way to keep

youngsters calm and more comfortable.

Staying informed

Knowing what to do before, during

and after an emergency is a critical part

of being prepared and might make all the

difference when seconds count. Learn

about what hazards Kansans typically

face. There are several short videos that

the Department of Homeland Security has

put together to emphasize the importance

of information and preparedness. Take

advantage of free training that your local

Emergency Management office might

offer on severe weather safety, or request a

presentation for a community group. Ask

questions on how your local government

agency communicates with citizens during

severe weather season.

The most effective means of

mitigating risk to a community

during severe weather season is

individual citizen preparedness.

The more prepared our citizens are,

the quicker communities can recover

from devastating events. We urge you to

react quickly to warnings and threatening

weather situations using the knowledge you

have gained through preparedness efforts.

For more information on preparedness

and severe weather safety tips, visit www.

ready.gov. Don’t wait, communicate.

Prepare now! n

Continued from page 8

file for up to 60 days. In the interim,

facilities are required to obtain as

much information as possible about

the children’s health needs, current

medications, and any allergies.

Healthy adults temporarily living

or working in a licensed facility are

not required to file documentation

of negative TB screening or health

assessment for up to six months.

When no other community options

exist, licensed capacity or staff/child

ratios may be exceeded. Requirements

for adequate supervision and

disease control/prevention must be

maintained, and the licensee remains

responsible for the health, safety, and

well-being of children in care.

Licensed facilities within the

disaster area that have not sustained

structural damage may resume

operations once the area has been

cleared by emergency management

officials, provided the facility has

access to clean drinking water,

electricity, and a working telephone.

Facilities that sustained structural

damage must contact the CCL

Program or the local licensing

surveyor before reopening. An on-site

visit is conducted to assess the safety

of the environment and to provide

consultation and technical assistance.

If the licensee must relocate, the CCL

Program prioritizes the processing of

a new application and the issuing of a

temporary permit or license.

Experience shows that child care

providers play a critical role in the

long-term recovery of a community

following a disaster. Safe and

secure child care settings stabilize

the environment for children while

parents clean up and repair damaged

homes in order to return to work.

Furthermore, child care providers

assist families and children with

restoring normalcy to daily lives.

As always, the CCL Program works

in partnership with local licensing

surveyors to support and assist Kansas

children, families, and providers. For

more information about child care

disaster guidelines, contact the local

child care licensing surveyor or the

Kansas Department of Health and

Environment. n

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 11


Reviewed by Timothy Shope, MD, MPH, FAAP,

member of the AAP Council on Early Childhood


Why Child Care Center

Staff Need to Care

About Flu Prevention

Every winter, influenza (the flu) ravages both

adults and children, spreading like wildfire

throughout the community and leaving many at

home, in bed, feeling awful for days. Child care

centers are affected because the influenza virus is

highly contagious, and children are apt to spread the

virus unknowingly both to their peers and to adults.

In fact, because children in group care are more

likely to catch and spread viruses, like the flu, they

can bring these viruses home and pass the flu on

to their siblings, who go to school and transmit the

virus more broadly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

since 2004, the number of children who die yearly in the

U.S. during a normal flu season has ranged from 37

(2011-2012 season) to 171 (2012-2013 season).

Approximately 25% of all children in the U.S.

spend significant time in center-based early

education and child care. Children in group child

care spread infectious diseases at higher rates than

children in other settings because of the social

nature of group child care. There is no way to

completely prevent the spread of influenza in early

education and child care programs, but programs

can play an important role in lessening the effects.

Despite all efforts, some children in child care

are likely to develop influenza. While no one can

guarantee that a child or caregiver will not become

infected, child care staff and early education and

child care leaders can help prevent the spread

of influenza. Three recommended methods for

controlling the spread are: influenza vaccine,

infection control, and exclusion (sending children

home). Prevention can save lives, reduce hospital

visits, and prevent parents from losing time at work.

Seasonal influenza vaccines are the best available

protection against influenza. The influenza virus

strains can change each year, so the vaccine also has

to change to cover the anticipated new influenza

viruses. That means protection from the vaccine lasts

for only one flu season. So, get vaccinated every year.

Everyone should be reminded of proper cough/

sneeze behaviors. Children and adults should

ideally cough into an elbow or shoulder so that the

germs do not end up on the


Increasing the frequency

of handwashing and hand

sanitizing during flu

season might help reduce

infection. Frequent cleaning

and sanitizing of surfaces

might help decrease the

spread of germs.

Because we cannot

tell which children have

influenza infection versus

common cold viruses, it

is best to make decisions

about exclusion (i.e.,

sending a child home

from child care) based

on the child’s symptoms.

Children and people

with weakened immune

systems can shed virus for longer than others, and

might still be contagious past 7 days of flu illness,

especially if they still have symptoms. Parents

should be informed that any child with respiratory

symptoms (cough, runny nose, or sore throat) and

fever should be excluded from child care or kept

at home during flu season. The child can return

after the fever has resolved without using feverreducing

medicines, and when the child is able to

participate in activities and be cared for by the staff

without compromising their ability to care for other

children in the group.

What the health care community most worries

about is pandemic influenza. An influenza

pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus

emerges and spreads person-to-person around the

world. Because it is new, most people do not have

immunity to it, and a vaccine takes many months

to develop. The most recent influenza pandemic

occurred in 2009. Worldwide, this pandemic killed

12,469 people, which was relatively mild compared

to other influenza pandemics. Ten percent of these

deaths occurred in children 0-18 years of age.

Pandemic influenza is a potentially devastating

global health event, and young children in child

care centers are a vulnerable group, at increased risk

for illness and death. In addition to preparing for

seasonal influenza, centers should take additional

steps to prepare for pandemic influenza.

12 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas


In a severe pandemic influenza, public health

agencies might recommend closure of schools

and child care centers, because other methods of

flu control, such as immunizations, are not being

effective. Center directors should be aware of

who has the authority to close their center, how

they will be notified, and how they can maintain

communication with parents remotely by email or

social media. In the event of center closure, parents

will need an alternative care plan for their children,

especially if they are essential workers (for example,

health care workers).

In 2008 and again in 2016, the American

Academy of Pediatrics conducted nationwide

telephone surveys of directors of licensed child care

centers (including preschools and Head Start) to

learn more about center directors’ thoughts on the

best ways to prepare for seasonal and pandemic

influenza. The survey revealed that much work

needs to be done to prepare for pandemic influenza

in the child care setting. Very few child care center

directors reported that they had taken any actions

to prepare their centers for pandemic influenza.

The findings of this study suggest that efforts to

increase pandemic influenza preparedness among

U.S. child care center directors should focus on

increasing awareness and knowledge of pandemic

influenza by developing more effective ways of

distributing information and conducting training. n


Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards:

Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs (http://cfoc.nrckids.org/)

was developed by leaders in pediatrics, public health, and the child care field

working together to review the literature and develop standards based on

research, knowledge, and experience. Each standard is backed with references

and a rationale. Review the influenza standards for additional information,

including – Influenza Control, – Influenza Prevention Education,

and – Written Plan for Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza.

The recently updated American Academy of Pediatrics manual, Managing

Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools: A Quick Reference Guide

(4th Edition), provides child care center directors, teachers, and caregivers

with important information about the prevention and management of

infectious diseases in group care settings. The manual contains helpful

guides, including quick reference sheets on prevention of infectious diseases.

Detailed chapters address infection control measures, immunizations,

and inclusion/exclusion criteria. Order the manual here: https://shop.aap.


For additional influenza information, see the American Academy of Pediatrics

“What’s the Latest with the Flu” messaging series. These messages are

developed monthly from September through May. The purpose is to offer

a quick snapshot that addresses the current situation with the flu and

offers links back to American Academy of Pediatrics and/or Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention resources. See https://www.healthychildren.




Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Child Care and Preschool

Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist. 2006. Available at: https://www.

acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/occ/cdc_pandemic_checklist.pdf. Accessed,


American Academy of Pediatrics: Preparing Child Care Programs for

Pandemic Influenza. Available at: https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-


Care-Programs-for-Pandemic-Influenza.aspx. Accessed, 02/14/2017.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Action Steps for Child Care and

Early Childhood Program Providers to Prevent the Spread of Flu. Available

at: https://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu/childcare/toolkit/pdf/actionsteps_

preventflu032410.pdf. Accessed, 02/14/2017.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC Guidance on Helping Child

Care and Early Childhood Programs Respond to influenza during the 2009-

2010 Influenza Season. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/childcare/

guidance.htm. Accessed, 02/14/2017.

For more information, email the American Academy of Pediatrics at


www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 13

The Importance of

Including Children


Health Communications

Specialist, Center for Disease

Control and Prevention

Jessica Franks is a Health

Communications Specialist for the

Children’s Preparedness Unit in

the Center for Disease Control and

Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Human

Development and Disability. She has

participated in CDC’s response efforts for

Zika virus, Flint, MI, water contamination,

and Hurricane Matthew. Her goal is

to champion the needs of children in

emergency preparedness and response

by integrating children into public

health planning at the federal, state, and

local levels. She previously served as a

disaster preparedness specialist for youth

in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jessica

holds an undergraduate degree in Spanish

from Clemson University and MPH from

San Francisco State University.

As a child care provider, you have

chosen a profession of caring for children,

and you try your best to protect them

every day. It is impossible to prepare for

all possibilities, but there are many things

you can do to keep them safe. By including

children’s needs and children themselves

in preparedness planning, you can help

yourself and the children in your care be as

ready as possible for an unexpected public

health emergency.

Children have unique needs, that make

them especially vulnerable in times of

disaster. Parents, educators, and child care

providers who can recognize these unique

physical, developmental, and emotional

characteristics will be better able to help

children stay safe in emergencies.

Recognizing the Unique Needs

of Children in Emergencies

Each year, millions of children

worldwide are affected by public

health emergencies, 1 which often affect

children more than adults or might even

specifically target children. These public

health emergencies, or disasters, come

in various forms, such as natural events:

severe weather, earthquakes, fires, floods,

and tsunamis, as well as disease outbreaks

and man-made events such as acts of

terrorism. 2

In the United States, 69 million children

are separated from their parents or

caregivers every work day to attend school

or child care. However, basic emergency

plans for schools and child care providers

are not mandated in 18 states and the

District of Columbia. 3 It is not a question

of whether the next natural or man-made

disaster will happen, but when it will occur

and how it will affect children.

In 2013, the Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention (CDC) created

a special team that focuses entirely on

the unique needs of children in disasters.

The Children’s Preparedness Unit (CPU)

works to highlight the needs of children

in emergency preparedness and response

Books That Calm

By Alice Eberhart-Wright,

Child and Family Specialist

In a career spanning more than 50

years, I have come to recognize that an

emergency is different for every individual.

For children, emergencies might be

moves, changes in family, the loss of a favorite pet or toy, or even

something that interfered with an anticipated fun event. For

adults, an emergency might mean anxiety, depression, or a host

of stresses that interfere with the ability to do and say the right

things at the appropriate times. Here are a few books that are

designed to calm the souls of all ages.

Will It Be Okay?

Written by Crescent Dragonwagon and illustrated by Ben

Shecter, Will it Be Okay is out of print, but it can be purchased

used at several online sites. It deals, in a fanciful way, with a

child’s specific, crazy little fears. “But what if snakes come in the

night?” “You keep a flute by your bed and play a song, and the

snakes hear, and are quiet,

and happy, and love you.” A

child’s fears should be heard,

and the response should be

loving. This book can make

all things less scary and

help prevent feelings from

escalating out of control.

The Way I Feel

The Way I Feel, written and

illustrated by Janan Cain, is a

wild, colorful paperback that

has few words but provides

powerful pictures that invite

conversation. Just what is

jealousy? A child sits in the

dark on the outside steps as a parent joyfully plays with a toddler

inside the lighted room. The eyes and tight-lipped expression

show how unpleasant it is to feel jealous. Word books help

children understand and better communicate what they feel.

14 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

in Emergency Preparedness Planning

by including children’s needs in public

health planning at the federal, state, and

local levels. CPU’s team of pediatric

and preparedness experts has overseen

matters related to children’s health

during CDC emergency responses,

such as H1N1 (swine flu) (2009-2010),

Ebola (2014-2015), Zika virus (2016),

and Hurricane Matthew (2016).

CPU recognizes the need to improve

planning to protect children’s health in

emergencies. Children under 18 make

up a quarter of the U.S. population. 4 The

CPU remains committed to addressing

their needs during disasters and

exploring new ways to include children

in emergency preparedness efforts.

How to Include Children in

Disaster Planning

Preparedness planning that

accommodates the needs of children is

an ongoing challenge. Despite increasing

Continued on page 16

When visiting one of

my CASA children at

her school during lunch

hour, I was amazed to

see her focus on a word

bulletin board that had

big, colorful feeling

words. “I am disgusted,”

she said. “Why are

you disgusted?” I ask.

“Because of broccoli,”

she replied. “It disgusts me.”

Her interest and grasp of feeling words is critical in helping

her deal with the trauma in her life. She talks to teachers, foster

parents and me in language filled with feeling words. They are

helping her deal with the recurring emergencies she experiences.

Never Ask a Bear

Finally, Never Ask a Bear, written by Louise Bonnett-

Brampersaud and illustrated by Doris Barrette, might be as much

for adults as it is for children. It’s all about how to deal with a

naughty bear who

slams doors, makes

messes, destroys

furniture, scares little

brothers and sisters,

etc. It reminded

me of the adoptive

parent of a 2-yearold

who was able

to laugh as she told

me how the child

broke two eggs in the kitchen

and sprayed cologne all over the bedroom. Fortunately, mom

recognized that tantrums are a normal developmental stage.

These books offer some tools to understand and cope with

a variety of emergencies that could become major problems.

The best approach is a combination of taking the emergency

seriously, listening carefully, and reading books that will help,

often offering humor to balance the difficult stuff. However, the

real key is to hold children close while reading to reinforce the

healing message. n

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 15

The Ready Wrigley activity book series provides

age-appropriate preparedness messages to help

children understand what might happen in

disasters and what they can do to stay

safe. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/phpr/


to learn more.

Continued from page 15

efforts, children continue to be inadequately represented in

preparedness planning exercises and material development.

There are limited preparedness planning materials specifically

about children, and even fewer developed especially for children.

To teach children the basics of staying safe in emergencies, child

care providers and educators can include children in the activity

of making a disaster kit, as well as planning a school evacuation

route. Parents also can get involved by doing these activities at

home. Tailoring the activity and conversation to a child’s age and

developmental stage can be a fun and empowering activity for

children, making them feel included and safe.

CDC’s Child-Focused Efforts

It is not always easy to know how to best equip children for a

disaster. To help, CDC developed a useful tool that is targeted

specifically to children ages 2-8 years. The Ready Wrigley activity

book series provides age-appropriate preparedness messages

to help children understand what might happen in disasters

and what they can do to stay safe. The messages are intended to

reach parents as well, and to help build appropriate preparedness

practices in the home. The books include fun activities to help

children learn about preparedness and how to respond in

emergencies, including winter weather, earthquakes, hurricanes,

extreme heat, tornadoes, lead-contaminated water, and mosquitoborne

diseases. Two new books about flood recovery and

influenza (the flu) are currently under development and will be

released in 2017.

Next Steps for Child care Centers

In addition to supporting individual preparedness for children

and families in the home, it is also important for schools and child

care centers to build key preparedness components into their

disaster plans and practice them regularly. These include ensuring

safety, connecting with state and local emergency responders,

notifying parents and caretakers, and reuniting families after a

disaster. 5 Practice drills are important for both staff and children,

as they help staff feel more natural in their response roles and

the idea of a disaster becomes less frightening to children. These

preparedness components and practice drills help ensure the

safety and wellbeing of children, whether at home or away.

State Emergency Management and Public Safety Resources are

available at http://www.kansastag.gov/kdem_default.asp

It is important for child care providers to remember that a

child’s reaction to danger or a threat is influenced by his or her

stage of development. Recognizing how children understand


1 Masten AS, Osofsky JD. Disasters and their impact on

child development: introduction to the special section.

Child Dev. 2010;81:1029–1039. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-


2 University of California San Francisco Child care Health

Program. California Child Care Disaster Plan: Annex to the

State of California Emergency Plan. 2016. http://cchp.ucsf.

edu/sites/cchp.ucsf.edu/files/CA-Child care-Disaster-Plan.

pdf. Accessed January 2017.

3 Save the Children. Disaster Report Card (highlights).

2015. http://www.savethechildren.org/site/


Disaster_Report_Card.htm. Accessed January 2017.

4 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),

Health and Human Services (HHS), American Red Cross,

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

(NCMEC). Post-Disaster Reunification of Children: A

Nationwide Approach. 2013. https://www.fema.gov/



+A+Nationwide+Approach.pdf. Accessed January 2017.

5,6 Goltin G., Tunik M., Treiber M., Cooper A. Pediatric

Disaster Preparedness: A Resource for Planning,

Management and Provision of Out-of-Hospital Emergency

Care. Center for Pediatric Emergency Medicine, New

York University School of Medicine. 2008. http://www.


emergency%20care_web.pdf. Accessed January 2017.

7, 8, 9 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Ideas for talking to your children about Zika. https://www.

cdc.gov/zika/pdfs/zika-ttykids.pdf. Accessed January 2017.

American Academy of Pediatrics. Blueprint for Children.

(Page 62). 2016. https://www.aap.org/en-us/Documents/

BluePrintForChildren.pdf. Accessed January 2017.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Caring for Children in a Disaster. https://www.cdc.gov/

childrenindisasters/index.html. Accessed January 2017.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Office

of Public Health Preparedness and Response: Ready

Wrigley. https://www.cdc.gov/phpr/readywrigley/books.

htm. Accessed January 2017.

16 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

Below are a few available resources to help child care and early

educators include child preparedness and the unique needs of

children into all stages of emergency preparedness and disaster

planning. These can also be found on Child Care Aware ® of

America’s childprepare.org site:


How to Plan for Emergencies and Disasters: A Step-by-Step

Guide for Child Care Providers: Includes information aimed

at helping child care providers develop an emergency plan

by identifying local hazards, defining emergency roles and

responsibilities, connecting with emergency services in the

local area, gathering emergency supplies, and practicing

reunification, relocation, and drills.


Emergency Plan Library: Includes a variety of forms, templates,

worksheets, and checklists to assist child care providers with

emergency preparedness planning.


Free FEMA Course: Multi-hazard Planning for Child Care:

Covers the steps to help child care providers prepare for

incidents to ensure the safety of the children at their site.


Head Start Emergency Preparedness Manual, 2015 Edition:

Provides tools and resources to assist with emergency

preparedness, response, and recovery.

disasters, as well as using age-appropriate language to discuss any

fears or doubts they might have, will help them to adjust to the

situation and also improve their sense of safety. 6 Children’s verbal

communication abilities are still developing, and might limit them

from effectively sharing their fears, doubts, pains, or symptoms.

For this reason, it is important to pay attention to other forms

of expression, such as irritability, sleeplessness, and changes in

behavior or appetite. 7

Children’s abilities to cope with stressful or frightening

situations improve when they know more about what is

happening and feel that they are able to help protect those closest

to them. 8 It is important for child care providers to let children

speak about their fears and find out what they know in order to

help correct any false information. Limit children’s exposure to

news sources about any disaster, as the continuous messaging can

make the situation seem worse than it actually might be. 9

No matter how much we plan, conduct practice drills, or watch

the news and weather forecasts, it is nearly impossible to be 100%

prepared for any disaster. There is always something more we

can do to include children in preparedness planning. Allowing

children to take charge of their own preparedness through childfocused

educational materials and age-appropriate discussions

provides a greater opportunity for them to be ready when the next

disaster strikes. n



Article provided by Fred’s Handler, Michael McNulty,

Director of Homeland Security Operations

One of the most important things we can do for our children

is to teach them how to be prepared. We know that weather

affects our lives every day. It determines if we go to school,

what we wear outside, if we can we play sports and so many

other decisions. Teaching children to prepare for weather,

strangers, fire, and other emergencies will help keep them safe.

One of the things I do when I’m out and about talking to

kids is ask them to think about what they should do in case

of an emergency. In many cases our first decision needs to

be whether to take shelter or to evacuate. If we have to take

shelter, where are we going? Do we go to the basement, an

interior room with no windows, or another spot in our house

or apartment? If we have to evacuate, where are we going?

Do we go to a neighbor’s house, down the street, out of town,

or another safe location? Teaching children how to decide

what to do and giving them a way to think about where a safe

place is, and why that place it is safe, helps hone important

decision-making and safety skills.

We should also teach our children the importance of

having an emergency kit for their family. Whomever their

family includes—them, mom, dad, grandparent(s), dogs,

cats, siblings—the kit should include emergency supplies

for everyone. Basic kit items include: food, water, first aid

supplies, cell phone charger, flashlight, glow sticks, and a

favorite game. Challenge the kids to think of their favorite

game or family activity to put in the emergency kit so they

have something to do while in shelter or evacuating.

These preparedness skills can last a lifetime for our

youth and will help them be ready to face whatever comes

their way. n

Peek L, Stough LM. Children with disabilities in the context

of disaster: a social vulnerability perspective. Child Dev.

2010;81:1260–1270. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01466.x.

Save the Children. The Unique Needs of Children in

Emergencies. A Guide for the Inclusion of Children

in Emergency Operations Plans. 2007. http://www.



Accessed January 2017.

United Nations Children’s Fund Office of Research –

Innocenti Research Centre. Promoting the Rights of

Children with Disabilities. 2007. http://www.un.org/esa/


Accessed January 2017.

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 17

The figure is staggering: 5,192 displaced children were reported

missing from their parents during hurricanes Katrina and Rita

in 2005. It took six months after those storms made landfall to

reunite the last child with family members.

A significant number of children made disaster shelters their

homes until their legal guardians were identified and located.

Some of these children were either too young or too traumatized

to speak for themselves, making their identification more


Keeping tabs on the unaccompanied minors also proved

difficult because some were passed from agency to agency or

across state lines with little or no paper trail. Families also traveled

from state to state to flee the disaster areas.

Local law enforcement, social services, and emergency

management agencies were inundated with competing priorities

and other human service-related needs. All of these factors added

to reunification challenges and delays.

National Registry to the Rescue

Following Hurricane Katrina, Congress authorized the National

Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to establish

the National Emergency Child Locator Center. As stated in the

2006 Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act, this call

center is designated to support an influx of child reunificationrelated


Working with the Federal Emergency Management Association

(FEMA), NCMEC developed the Unaccompanied Minors

Registry (UMR), a free, online data collection tool that makes

the swift reunification of children a top priority. UMR creates a

Helping Children


NCMEC provides disaster

reunification resources

central location for information on children separated as a result

of a disaster. UMR’s national portal is continuously available to

reunification experts as well as the general public.

Keeping Minors from Harm

When children become separated from those who best

understand their needs, their stress levels make it much more

difficult for them to cope. If not planned for or properly protected,

these minors might be susceptible to maltreatment, abuse,

kidnapping, and in the most extreme cases, exploitation.

NCMEC offers technical assistance to emergency management

and law enforcement agencies, disaster relief organizations, social

services agencies, and faith-based communities to help reunify

children with their parents or legal guardians. With resources and

a network of partnerships, NCMEC helps to alleviate the burden

on these agencies to field, assess, and investigate phone calls

and inquiries that could take large amounts of time, energy, and

resources a local government or state might not have to reunify

families in the midst of a disaster.

NCMEC, which was established in 1984 as a nonprofit

organization, has created a public/private partnership to build

a coordinated, national response to the problem of missing and

sexually exploited children. It also has established a missing

children hotline and serves as the national clearinghouse for

information related to these issues.

Using NCMEC’s UMR tool for reunification is essential to

a leading-practice approach that is outlined and endorsed by

reunification leaders in the publication, 2013 Post-Disaster

Reunification of Children: A Nationwide Approach. n

18 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas


Manager, Emergency

Preparedness & Response,

National Center for Missing

& Exploited Children

Sharon began her emergency management

career with the American Red Cross in

Greater New York immediately following

the tragedies of 9/11. She spent the next 12

years working and volunteering with the

Red Cross disaster response units in both

New York and later at their headquarters

in Washington D.C., where she supported

critical emergency services—sheltering,

mass feeding, the distribution of bulk relief

items, and reunification information for the

entire country.

Sharon also spent numerous years working

for the New York City Office of Emergency

Management as a human services planner

and member of the external affairs unit

helping to coordinate assistance during

several large-scale emergencies in the New

York City area. She also managed the city’s

Community Emergency Response Team

(CERT) program, which at its peak reached

275 trained members.

In addition, she spent several months prior

to hurricane season each year working for

the City University of New York training

city employees to manage emergency


Sharon has a vast knowledge of

disaster planning and operations

management, coordinating

response efforts and training

large workforces. Sharon is also

a member of the International

Federation of Red Cross and Red

Crescent Societies, which responds

to international humanitarian crises.

She holds double Bachelor of Arts

Degrees in Public Communications and

Psychology from American University. She

also holds a Not-For-Profit Management

Certificate from Columbia University’s

Graduate School of Business.

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 19

Social Connectedness


Disaster Management

Analyst and Director

of the Disaster Playbook

at the Center for

Disaster Philanthropy

Anna R. Hurt is the disaster

management analyst and director of

the Disaster Playbook at the Center

for Disaster Philanthropy. She and her

two sons reside in Manhattan, Kansas.

She can be reached at anna.hurt@


There is a common tongue-in-cheek joke that those of us from

Kansas are fond of repeating. We say that you really know if

someone is from Kansas when the tornado siren sounds and they

go out in the front yard. If you’re from the Midwest, you know the

dangers of tornadoes--most of us have lived though one or helped

friends and neighbors pick up debris and put their life back

together after a funnel ripped it apart. But we also know tornados

happen so often that we can’t help but taunt them a little.

A few years ago, a storm was rolling through the countryside

where I lived. I could see the storm line, not far away, but far

enough that we weren’t getting pounded with rain just yet. A tiny

funnel materialized above the field across from my house. So, in

true Kansas form, I picked up my camera and stood in the yard,

taking pictures of it. Meanwhile, my 10-year-old son hauled our

storm cooler of flashlights, dry goods and water down into the

cellar, along with a stack of blankets. He put our cat into her

kennel and took that down the stairs as well. Then he came to

our front door and yelled at the top of his lungs, “Mom, you have

exactly five seconds to get inside!”

I always laugh when I tell that story, but internally, I chide

myself that he did all the things I should have been doing as his

parent. Remembering that moment also reminds me that I can

be grateful my son knew exactly what to do. If, for some reason,

I hadn’t been there, he did all the right things. He knew where to

go and what to take with him.

That is the essence of preparedness. However large the scope–

whether it is for a family, a business, a community, or a state–

preparedness is knowing what disaster might happen in your

backyard and understanding what you need to do when it happens.

So, what is the preparedness payoff?

Families and communities that are prepared suffer fewer

casualties and injuries in a disaster. Why? Because they are both

aware of the correct things to do and take actions accordingly

when a disaster happens. They have a plan that predetermines

where to go, how to reunite after a disaster, and what to take with

you when one happens.

For families, there is a disaster kit in their home with food,

water, and essential medicines.

For communities, there must be social connectedness and

community systems in place that will continue to operate or

become operational very quickly after a disaster. This includes

first responders, emergency managers, and elected officials who

initiate and carry out response systems during a disaster.

Families must figure out where they plug into their community

disaster plan and how they will receive information and work with

20 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

and Community Systems

their neighbors in those early hours after a disaster. Practicing a

plan is just as important as having a plan.

There is a fine line between preparedness and mitigation.

Preparedness includes the planning, exercises and actions you

take to lower the probability of a scenario happening (you or your

family being harmed by a disaster). Mitigation includes actions

taken to lessen the severity of the consequences of a disaster. This

might be building stronger infrastructure, homes built to disasterresistant

codes, or the implementation of better warning systems.

These types of actions often go the furthest in saving lives and

preventing or lessening damage to property in a disaster.

It’s an unfortunate reality that nearly all of us will be affected

by disaster. In the first six weeks of 2017, there already were 11

federally declared disasters. There were 103 federally declared

disasters in 2016. Those numbers don’t include the smaller

disasters that didn’t meet federal guidelines, but still devastated

communities and upended lives. These numbers make talking

about being disaster-ready in our homes, schools, businesses, and

communities more important than ever, because it’s something we

might have to face at any time and with little or no notice.

Are you ready?

If you are a family member or teacher working with children,

I encourage you to look into some of the resources available to

you at www.ready.gov. If you work with children even a little,

you know they, just like my son, often are the first push to getting

mom and dad moving on things such as disaster preparedness

(just like my son). If you’re an organization, business, or funder

working on being better prepared, you should spend some time

at www.disasterplaybook.com. Here, you can develop your own

personalized playbook of disaster resources that will help you be

ready when disaster strikes. n

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 21

Check Out Your Library

Before and After Disasters

By Robin Taylor, Stacey J. Arnesen and Siobhan Champ-Blackwell

Librarians Prepare and

Respond to Disasters!

Reach out to your library to assist with:

• Providing Wi-Fi and

charging stations

• Helping people fill out

reimbursement forms

• Organizing stress relief

activities for families

• Setting up story time for kids

• Providing a calm, safe place for

people to connect and organize

Every community is vulnerable to

disasters: extreme weather, fires, chemical

spills, the list goes on. Luckily, most have

a local resource to help them prepare and

respond to those disasters: their public


Libraries have evolved over time, no

longer offering just books, magazines, and

newspapers. Libraries today provide so

much more: computers, internet access,

training, community programs, office

space for local government agencies, story

time, etc. At the core of every library’s

mission is a commitment of service to

its community. Professional library staff

provide these services, all designed to

improve the lives of patrons with access to


When Hurricane Katrina struck, people

were required to submit forms to FEMA

online. Because so many lost their homes

or did not have a computer, libraries

provided the computers and internet

access, and librarians helped patrons

complete the necessary forms.

After Superstorm Sandy, public libraries

in New Jersey offered a place for parents

to charge their phones and computers as

well as complete online forms, while their

kids attended story time or relaxed with a

book or video.

Responding to a gas leak in 2015,

the Los Angeles Porter Branch library

remained open and provided regular

services, but also offered meditation and

yoga classes for stress relief, information

on the leak itself, and financial information

about relocation costs for people forced to

evacuate their homes during the leak. 1

Libraries have also been helpful

in responding to communities that

experienced violence or a protest. Libraries

have provided information, social services,

access to hotlines, lectures, and more

coping resources for members of their

neighborhoods affected by tragedies of

shootings and violence. 2

These libraries were able to quickly

provide those services because they

developed response plans before anything

happened. Libraries routinely collaborate

with outside agencies, and have developed

networks of partners to call on when

disasters strike. Are you connected to

your local library? Do you have ideas on

how you can partner on outreach efforts

before and after a disaster occurs in your

community? Talk to your local library today

and become part of the solution before a

disaster strikes the families you serve!


“Providing Calm in the Chaos” (April 5,

2016) American Libraries, a publication of

the American Library Association. https://




“Libraries Respond to Recent Crises” (July

11, 2016) American Libraries, a publication

of the American Library Association. https://


Robin Taylor, ICFI contractor, is a librarian

supporting the Disaster Information Management

Center in the division of Specialized Information

Services at the National Library of Medicine. Robin

selects electronic resources about disaster health

for inclusion in the Disaster Lit database, and

provides communications support for the website,

mailing lists, and social media.

Stacey J. Arnesen is the Chief of the Disaster

Information Management Research Center in the

Specialized Information Services Division of the

National Library of Medicine, NIH. She has worked

at NLM for 30 years, the last 12 years in the area

of disaster information management. Her work

includes the coordination of a number of tools and

resources to improve access to disaster medicine

and public health information, including disaster

health literature, tools and apps for hazmat and

CBRN incidents as well as disaster information

management research.

Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, Librarian, working at the

National Library of Medicine Disaster Information

Management Research Center, is the Managing Editor

for Disaster Lit ® , a database of disaster medicine grey

literature for first responders and receivers. Siobhan

provides training and presentations on locating

credible disaster health information and manages

the external communication tools of the project,

including social media.

22 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas


Generally, a refrigerator can hold its temperature without

power for around 4 hours. A full freezer can hold temperature

for approximately 48 hours. These times decrease if the doors are

opened, so keep them closed as much as possible.

The key to food

safety following a

prolonged power

outage is to ensure

the temperature

of food stays at 40

degrees or below.

Food in a freezer

may be safely

refrozen if the food

has ice crystals

or stays below 40


For food in refrigerators, a good rule of thumb is to throw out

anything that has been above 40 degrees for 2 or more hours.

This includes meat, poultry, fish, lunch meat, milk, and eggs. As a

general rule, if there is doubt – then throw it out!

For more information, view the U.S. Department of

Agriculture’s Keeping Food Safe in an Emergency page.

Source: http://usa.childcareaware.org/advocacy-public-policy/crisis-anddisaster-resources/caregiver-and-ccrr-tools-publications-and-resources/foodsafety/


“Brighter Futures Begin Here.”


522-TOPS (8677)


Fun learning opportunity for

children ages 1-5

May 30 - July 28, 2017

7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., M-F

Offered at all three

TOP Early Learning Centers locations


TOP Early Learning Centers Locations in

Wichita (South, North and Northwest).

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 23




SALINA, KS 67401


PO Box 2294, Salina, KS 67402-2294


Call Toll Free 1-855-750-3343

Lightning kills more people than tornadoes.

It is not safe outside when thunderstorms are in the area.

When Thunder Roars,

Go Indoors


According to The National Weather Service/NOAA, lightning kills an average of 49 people in the United States each year

and severely injures hundreds more. Although most lightning occurs in the summer (July is generally the month with the

most lightning), people can be struck at any time of year.

Lightning strikes often occur in the afternoon. In fact, two-thirds of all lightning casualties occur between noon and 6 p.m.


NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area!


If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.


When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter.

Make a lightning safety plan: the best way for you to protect yourself

from lightning is to avoid the threat

You simply don’t want to be caught outside in a storm. While some people move inside at the first signs of a

thunderstorm, many people wait far too long to get to a safe place. Some wait until the thunderstorm is overhead and it

starts to rain. Others, due to poor planning, are caught outside and can’t get to a safe place. Unfortunately, these delayed

actions lead to many of the lightning deaths and injuries.

Have a lightning safety plan. If you have plans for outdoor activities, be sure to familiarize yourself with the latest weather

forecast before heading out. Consider taking a portable NOAA Weather Radio or AM/FM radio with you. Cancel or

postpone activities early if thunderstorms are expected. Monitor weather conditions and get

to a safe place before the weather becomes threatening.

For more information, visit: http://usa.childcareaware.org/advocacy-public-policy/crisisand-disaster-resources/lightning/

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