We encourage all schools and childcare facilities to have a plan in place, as well as emergency supply kits and means to notify staff and parents during an emergency. Your planning is crucial in ensuring students and staff are kept safe in a time of crisis.

Children in line

Make a plan

Your facility‚Äôs disaster plan should describe and document all program policies and procedures related to disaster planning, response, and recovery. Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS), a partner of the US Department of Education provides comprehensive guides and examples for developing emergency plans for schools and care providers.

Know your site

It is important that your faculty and staff are familiar with your facility, including each room, floor, and outdoor area. In an emergency it is important that your staff is comfortable with the location of exits, assembly areas, and emergency supplies.

Create a phone tree and emergency contact list

Creating a phone tree is an effective way to notify parents and guardians during an emergency. Guidance for creating a phone tree can be found in our Nuclear Power Plant Emergency Planning for Schools and Childcare Providers brochure. Have your emergency contact list on hand if you need assistance from outside agencies during an emergency.

Build an emergency supply kit

In an emergency you may need to be able to feed and care for staff and children for at least 72 hours without assistance. Our Emergency Supply Kit List can help you create your kit.

Plan for children with disabilities or access and functional needs

If your facility serves children with disabilities or access and functional needs, pay extra attention to any specialized equipment requiring a power source, medications, and vehicles that can accommodate equipment such as wheelchairs.

Know how you will be notified

Become familiar with the systems on the Alert and Notification Page that may be used to notify you in an emergency. If you are a private school or childcare provider, we also encourage you to send in the Private Schools and Childcare Providers Response Card so that we have your facility information on hand in case of a disaster. 

Engage your staff and students

The FEMA Ready Campaign for Educators is an excellent resource for teaching students what to do before, during, and after an emergency while fostering skills such as problem solving, teamwork, and communication.