Oregon gets bad grade for emergency planning for kids
PORTLAND, Ore. - A group called "Save the Children" gave Oregon low marks for emergency preparedness in its 2014 Disaster Report Card.
Twenty other states received low marks as well.
Oregon's poor score comes from the group's evaluation of how the state deals with child care providers.
The report said Oregon did not meet criteria for the following standards:
- A plan for evacuating children in child care.
- A child care plan for reuniting families after disaster.
- A plan for children with disabilities and those with access and functional needs in child care.
The report said Oregon did meet criteria for one standard:
- A multi-hazard plan for K-12 schools.
The group said Washington met the criteria for all four standards.
Oregon's Office of Emergency Management said different agencies work with different types of child care providers in Oregon, and each agency has its own emergency preparedness requirements for the providers. Some of the requirements for some of the child care providers include having written plans for handling emergencies like fire, floods, earthquakes, and practicing evacuation drills regularly, and keeping written records of the drills.
Save the Children explained its criteria in its report:
Standard 1: A plan for evacuating children in child care
The state must require that all child care providers have a written plan for evacuating and safely moving children to an alternate site. The plan must include provisions for multiple types of hazards. Many states have different licensing requirements and regulations for different kinds of providers.
Standard 2: A child care plan for reuniting families after disaster
The state must require that all child care providers have a written plan for emergency notification of parents and reunification of families following an emergency. Again, a state may have multiple classes of child care with separate regulations and the standard must apply to all regulated child care providers.
Standard 3: A plan for children with disabilities and those with access and functional needs in child care
The state must require that all child care providers have a written plan that accounts for children with disabilities and those with access and functional needs. This standard must go beyond specific classes of special needs that may exist elsewhere in state code - it must include a specific requirement indicating how all children with special needs will be included in the emergency plan. The requirement must apply to all regulated child care providers.
Standard 4: A multi-hazard plan for K-12 Schools
The state must require that all schools have a disaster plan that addresses multiple types of hazards and covers a number of responses, including evacuation, shelter-in-place, and lock-down situations. Mandating fire or tornado drills alone is not sufficient for states to meet the standard since these activities do not address other types of hazards.