The Institute for Business Home and Safety (IBHS) has organized a campaign to provide informational assistance to parents and caregivers on how to keep childcare programs safer from disasters. The IBHS has available a free kit (in paper or CD version) that can help you identify minor modifications to prepare your program for disasters.
The nonstructural retrofits, or modifications to equipment, supplies, and furniture, can help reduce damage from hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires. The Protecting Our Kids from Disaster Kit focuses on simple modifications such as securing bookcases, pictures and bookcases so they do not fall off walls, latching cabinet doors so that they will not swing open and spill their contents, and making window glass shatter resistant. The program does not focus on repairs or modifications to the building's structure such as the roof support system, beams, columns, and foundation.
The program works with volunteers to make the changes. Parents or community members can be organized to help with the project. The kit includes a checklist outlining what should be done by the volunteers. It also includes a list of necessary tools and materials. Most tasks require simple hand tools such as hammers, screwdrivers, saws, and stud finders. A typical retrofit of a 2,000-3,000 square foot facility takes 10-15 volunteers about one-half day and should cost between $300-$600.
The Protecting Our Kids from Disaster Kit can be used for any size childcare program including home sites.
The Protecting Our Kids from Disaster Kit can be ordered in booklet or CD version by contacting: Protecting Our Kids Coordinator, IBHS, 175 Federal St., Ste. 500, Boston, MA 02110-2222; 877-580-8885 or by visiting the IBHS website, www.ibhs.org.