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NAN: Disaster Planning

Nannies are most often responsible for children while the parents are away from the home, leaving them as a primary decision maker and first responder to the children should a disaster occur when they are on duty. If a disaster occurs, having a well-thought out plan can help to prevent chaos and ensure that the parents and nanny have a coordinated action plan that will result in the prompt reunification of the family.

Save the Children suggests that childcare professionals should have plans that designate:

How to evaluate children and move them to a safe location

How to notify parents or guardians

How to reunite children with parents or guardians

How to assist infants and children with special needs

Nannies should become familiar with the types of disasters that their work areas are most susceptible to. They should become educated on the precautionary measures that they should take, about community warning signals and school disaster policies.

Nannies should meet with the parents to discuss and formulate disaster plans. The nanny and family should practice drills, devise a meeting place, choose an out-of-town relative for immediate contact and discuss what to do if an evacuation is required – including what to do if the parents can’t be reached.

The plan should be reviewed and practiced several times a year. Nannies and parents should ensure that older children know how to help younger children exit the home safely and are familiar with the designated local meeting place. Nannies and parents should also ensure that children know how to dial 911.

Nannies should create a list of emergency phone numbers, including family members, doctors, utility providers and insurance agents. Since power may go out, there should be hard copies of this information easily accessible. The family can also be encouraged to have an out-of-town family member store copies of this list and other crucial documents like home inventories, medical information, birth certificates, wills and financial information.

Create a disaster supply kit for the home and car that includes a battery operated radio, batteries, flashlight, non-perishable foods, water, a first aid kit, blankets, clothing, medications and other basic household items. If caring for infants, formula, diapers and wipes are also necessary. Pack enough supplies to last 72 hours.

Michelle LaRoweNAN: Disaster Planning