How to Create a Daycare Emergency Kit

by Carla on September 8, 2009

Daycare providers are responsible for the health and well being of young children. Your childcare center must be able to keep children safe and daycare providers must be thoroughly prepared for emergency situations like earthquakes. The first 72 hours after a disaster like an earthquake are crucial. The emergency lock down kit should contain the basic survival supplies to get your daycare center through the first 72 hours after any disaster situation.

If you live in the state of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, or Oregon you are at a high risk for an earthquake of magnitude 3.5 or higher to strike. Daycare centers should have the following emergency lock down supplies for a classroom of about 30 children:

Energy food bars (30)

Water Purification Tablets (10)

Individually Packaged Water Pouches (30)

Survival Whistle

Am/FM radio (battery operated)



Emergency bright stick

6′ x 8′ Blue Tarp

Roll of Duct Tape

Hand sanitizer

Toilet bags (2 or 3)

Roll of Toilet Paper

Wet Naps or Baby Wipes

Latex-free Gloves

Portable First Aid Kit

Large mylar blanket

Many emergency lock down kits come in a 5 gallon bucket with a toilet seat lid.

When children are locked down in an emergency situation, they need activities to stay calm and occupied so that you can focus on keeping them safe. When enrolling families in your child day care center, encourage parents to also gather simple entertainment items in a small back pack and keep it in the child’s cubby in case of emergency. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends including the items in a survival activity kit:

  • A few of the child’s favorite books
  • One or two board games
  • A deck of cards
  • Crayons, pencils or marking pens and plenty of paper
  • Scissors and glue
  • Two of the child’s favorite toys such as a doll or action figure
  • A puzzle the maximum number of pieces as are developmentally appropriate
  • The child’s favorite stuffed animal or puppet
  • The child’s favorite blanket or pillow
  • Pictures of the child’s family and pet
  • A small box with a few treasures that make the child feel special.

In the fall, many preschools and childcare centers are requiring children to purchase a personal back to school emergency kit for about $8 to $10. It contains prepackaged, processed foods that will feed the child for a day or two and are usually sold at your local grocery store.

About Carla

Carla Snuggs has written 88 post in this blog.

Carla is a freelance writer from Southern California. She has a B.A. in early childhood education and a Master of Library and Information Science degree specializing in public librarianship and youth services.

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