A publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas
Spring 2017 Volume 16, Issue 2
FROM FEARFUL TO
WHY CHILD CARE
FASCINATED: SITUATIONAL CENTER STAFF SHOULD
CARE ABOUT THE FLU
Child Care Aware ®
is a publication of
Child Care Aware ®
Angie Saenger, Deputy Director
Julie Hess Design
On the Cover
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!
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.
IN THIS ISSUE
Planning and Preparation........................4
From Fearful to Fascinated:
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.
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
By Fred the Preparedness Dog................17
Separated by Disasters:
NCMEC provides disaster
Social Connectedness and
Check out your library
before and after disasters....................... 22
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.
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
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
FROM FEARFUL TO FASCINATED
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.
is ultimately your
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
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
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
REGULATION FOR CHILD
CARE DURING CRISIS
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
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
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 email@example.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
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
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
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
www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 9
The severe weather
season is upon us.
Are you prepared?
Director, Salina County
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
RESOURCES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
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 22.214.171.124 – Influenza Control, 126.96.36.199 – Influenza Prevention Education,
and 188.8.131.52 – 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
pdf. Accessed January 2017.
3 Save the Children. Disaster Report Card (highlights).
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
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
SEPARATED BY DISASTERS
NCMEC provides disaster
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
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
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
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
ANNA R. HURT
Analyst and Director
of the Disaster Playbook
at the Center for
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
• Helping people fill out
• 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
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
outage is to ensure
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.
“Brighter Futures Begin Here.”
TO ENROLL TODAY!
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
SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR THOSE WHO QUALIFY
TOP Early Learning Centers Locations in
Wichita (South, North and Northwest).
www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 23
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SALINA, KS 67401
PERMIT NO. 122
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,
LIGHTNING: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
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/