Child Care Center Disaster Response Handbook

Appendix E: Sample Situation Forms

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Appendix E: Sample Situation Forms

Attach a copy of your child care's own incident report form here or describe how you keep record of significant incidents that occur. Our child care's incident reports are kept for (how long).

Included in this section are two sample report forms: a "Child Care Situation Report" form and a "Child Care Situation/Conversation Log". Fill out the form completely and leave no blank spaces. If the information is unknown, state that in the blank. Also included is a log to track disaster drills.
Notes about the Child Care Situation Report:

This form should be used to periodically update responding agencies or other groups about the status and needs of your child care in the event of a serious, widespread disaster.

In the message section, include the following information:

Kind of immediate assistance required

If you can hold out without assistance and for how long

Overall condition of the facility, children, and adults

Names of outside agencies at the site and their actions
Notes about the Child Care Situation/Conversation Log:

This form should be used to keep a running log of the activities taking place during any disaster or crisis response. It will become very important when multiple individuals are responding to the situation.

A permanent log may be typed or rewritten at a later time for clarity and better understanding. If you do this, be sure to keep all original notes and records; THEY ARE LEGAL DOCUMENTS.
The following is a sample of how this log can be used and what information to include:





1:30 pm


Center was evacuated.


1:45 pm

Susy's mom came to center upset and upset Susy's classmates.

Escorted Susy's mom away from children to compose herself and then let her take Susy home.


1:55 pm

Water running out of bathroom.

Sent Becky to shut off the water main.


Appendix F: Child Care Situation Report Form

To: _______________________________ From: ____________________________
Date: _____________ Time: __________ Location: _________________________
Person in Charge at Site: __________________________________________________

This message was sent via: 2-way Radio  Radio  Telephone

 Cellular Phone  Messenger

Description of the Incident/Situation:

Employee/Child Status:

# Absent




Sent to




# Missing

# Unaccounted


# Released

to Parents







Structural Damage (Areas checked for damage/problems and location(s) of problems):

Checked (X)

Problem Area

Location of problems






Heating/Cooling System

Main Building



Post- Disaster Child Care Situation/Conversation Log
Date: _____________________ Incident/Situation: _____________________________





Appendix G: Helping Children Cope with Disaster

Disasters can be very frightening and traumatic, especially for young children. There are several things that you can do to help the children in your care cope with their feelings.
Don’t assume children won’t understand what is happening.

  • Reassure the children that they will not be left alone and that you are there to protect them.

  • Be aware of changes in a child's behavior but also know that some children may not outwardly show their distress.

  • Keep to routines such as meals, activities, and naps, as much as possible

  • Try to keep familiar adults with the children rather than adding volunteers or substitutes for direct child contact.

  • Avoid allowing young children to watch or listen to news coverage of the disaster.

  • If child regresses to earlier physical or emotional behavior… wetting, clinging, crying…treat it calmly and efficiently.

  • Give simple but truthful answers to children's questions and make sure children understand your answers. Don't give more information than the children can use and understand.

  • Give children opportunities to express their feelings through activities such as play-acting, using dolls, storytelling, painting, or drawing. Playacting revenge or aggressive behaviors may be common. Redirect only if it is hurting the child or someone else.
  • Be especially supportive of the children's feelings and need to be close. Give lots of hugs, smiles, and kind words.

  • Reassure children that they are not responsible for the disaster. Listening to children's stories about disasters and feelings may help and they may need to tell the story again and again.

  • If possible, take a moment away from the children and make sure you address your own fears and anxieties by talking with other adults. Be particularly careful to not have children over hear your conversation.

  • Seek professional assistance when needed. The Mental Health Checklist included with this plan on the website and CD may help you in determining the need for additional assistance. Your own knowledge of the child and your instincts about the child's needs will also help you make a decision. When in doubt, call for professional help. (List here names and phone numbers of professionals you may call for help such as child psychologists or other mental health professionals).

In the event of a disaster or crisis, grief counseling may be provided through the Providence Hospice Bereavement Department. The phone number is 425-261-4777.

Other Resources for Helping Children Cope

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Information Resources and Inquiries Branch

6001 Executive Blvd, Rm. 8184, MSC 9663

Bethesda, MD 20892-9663

PTSD/Anxiety Disorders Publications:


Public Inquiries: 301-443-4513

TTY: 301-443-8431


Web site:

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202

Phone: 1-800-USA-LEARN

TTY: 1-800-437-0833


Web site:

Federal Emergency Management Agency

(Information for children and adolescents)

P.O. Box 2012

Jessup, MD 20794-2012

Publications: 1-800-480-2520

Web site:

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

3615 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.,

Washington, D.C. 20016-3007

Phone: 202-966-7300

Web site:
Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Mental Health Information

P.O. Box 42557

Washington, DC 20015

Phone: 1-800-789-2647

TTY: 866-889-2647


Web site:
American Academy of Pediatrics

141 Northwest Point Boulevard

Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-1098

Phone: 847-434-4000

Web site:

American Red Cross

National Headquarters

431 18th Street NW

Washington DC 20006

Phone: 202-639-3520

Web site:

Disaster Training International: Helping Adults Help Children

9400 Ravenna Ave NE # 3

Seattle, WA 98115

***The following copyrighted resource materials are included as separate links on the website or along with the templates and video on the CD:

    1. 20 Ways to Be…

    2. Assessing a Student Need for Intervention

    3. Crisis Resource Material

    4. Parent Handout: Helping Children Cope

    5. Parent Informational Evening Guidelines

    6. Sample Parent Letter

    7. Symptoms and First Aid: Pre School and Kindergarten

    8. The Three Tasks of Grief for Children

    9. Words to Use

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