Most disaster situations are over in seconds, minutes or hours but help may not reach you for several hours or even days. Basic services that we count on every day – water, electricity, sewer, gas and telephone – may not work for days, weeks or longer. When basic services are not available, or if you have to leave an unsafe space, it’s important to have a well-stocked emergency supply kit with items to help you provide for the children in your care.
Emergency Supply Kit Contents
Emergency supply kits are also sometimes called “grab and go,” “ready to go” or “bug out” kits/bags. Two types of emergency supply kits are recommended to be used based on the situation you are faced with.
- A portable kit that can be taken as you evacuate your child care program
- A 72-hour kit that is kept in your child care space for shelter-in-place situations
Every child care program is unique so prepare your kit to accommodate the needs of your current and enrolled children and staff. Keep in mind that these needs may change frequently. State requirements differ, so be sure your emergency supply kit is in compliance with those requirements as well.
Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies should also have emergency supply kits. Keep these tips in mind when building emergency supply kits:
- Provide enough supplies for the maximum number of people who might be in your office at one time.
- Think about the needs of staff who travel during the workday and make sure they have access to emergency supply kits in their vehicles.
For more in-depth information on Emergency Supply Kits, visit the Emergency Child Care & Technical Assistance Center.