This study aimed to assess if Michigan child care directors have created disaster management plans, and if local resources were used to develop and implement plans.Methods
From December 2013 to March 2014, the Early Childhood Investment Corporation conducted a survey of licensed child care programs in Michigan. An online survey regarding disaster preparedness and training resources was distributed to the directors of a convenience sample of registered child care centers among the Early Childhood Investment Corporation's statewide network of 11 resource centers.Results
A total of 210 child care programs responded. Most (91%) of respondents had a disaster plan, but 40% did not include accommodations for special needs children, 51% did not have a family/child identification or reunification plan, and 67% did not have car safety devices and a predetermined route for evacuation. Fewer than 9% made disaster plans available online. Few collaborated with local fire (22%), police (27%), or pediatric or emergency medicine organizations (11%). Online modules were the most desirable training format.Conclusions
In a state without mandated child care guidelines for disaster preparedness, a substantial proportion of child care programs were missing critical components of disaster planning. Future interventions must focus on increasing partnerships with local organizations and developing guidelines and training to include plans for special needs children, family/child identification and reunification, and evacuation/relocation.