Hazard mitigation is a term that means to minimize or eliminate the impacts of hazards before they happen. Hazard mitigation is not a onetime thing. It is imperative to continually check areas and objects throughout your facility on an on-going basis. It is recommended that you do a walk-through of your facility at least once a month, or more, checking for any hazards that can be corrected.
Hazard Mitigation Priorities:
Would/could it break and fall and hurt someone?
Would/could it break and fall and block a primary exit from the room?
Would/could it break and fall and keep your program from opening the next day (or soon thereafter)?
Washington State Emergency Management Division has created some great videos for how best to prepare for a disaster and lessen hazards in your building. To view the videos:
Open your internet browser to any search engine of your choice.
Type in: Washington State Emergency Management
Open the link for the Emergency Management Division (usually the first link)
Hovering over the “Preparedness” Link, you will see an option for “preparedness videos”. Click on that link.
The Hazard Mitigation Form on the following page tracks the work done to reduce any hazards in the child care. Copy and complete one form for each room, including classrooms, offices, hallways, storage rooms, and the kitchen.
Earthquake Hazard Mitigation
You can never tell when there will be an earthquake, but you can take steps to reduce or avoid damage, injuries, or loss of life for the children in your care, your staff, and yourself. Preparing for an earthquake includes things you already do to protect the children’s safety and health, such as having a fire extinguisher handy and maintaining your certifications for first aid and CPR. With additional planning and preparation, the children in your care will have a better chance at surviving an earthquake unharmed.
In an earthquake, most injuries and deaths are caused by loose objects in and on buildings. During the shaking, cabinets and bookcases topple, objects fall out of cabinets, and hanging or large plants fall. Door frames and window jams may be bent when walls move. Doors may slam or jam shut, and window glass can shatter, sending broken glass into the room. Light fixtures, sprinkler heads, and other ceiling components may pop out and fall. Objects mounted on the walls (such as clocks, maps, and art work) may shake loose and fly across the room. The electricity may go out, and the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
For more information on Hazard Mitigation and how to secure objects in the room, review “Earthquake Preparedness: What Every Child Care Provider Needs to Know,” FEMA document 240.
Hazard Mitigation Form Name of Room or Area: ______________________________________________
Safety Action Taken
Date and Comments
Tall or heavy furniture is secured to wall studs
Heavy objects are placed low or properly secured
Shelves have adequate lips or strapping, or are lined with sticky material (such as “Grip It”) to prevent items from flying off in an earthquake
Overhead cupboards have safety latches
Chemicals and poisons are stored safely (including: out of reach of children, in closed cabinets, no bleach and ammonia together)
Windows are of safety glass or are adapted to prevent shattering and injury