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Books for Emergency Preparedness and Crisis Management in an Early Childhood Setting

September 1st, 2023 | 2 min. read

By Lisa Williford

As schools and childcare centers move past the pandemic, administrators and educators must still be prepared for the possibility of emergencies like fires, storms, flooding, and even active shooters. For National Preparedness Month, we have curated this list of resources for emergency preparedness and crisis management in an early childhood setting to help empower staff, develop emergency action plans, and reduce potential damage and harm.


Preschool Preparedness for After a Disaster

You can’t stop a disaster from happening, especially when Mother Nature is the force behind it. But, you can limit the amount of time your early childhood program is closed, pick up the pieces, and return to normal as quickly as possible. The key to serving children and their families again quickly is advanced planning. Preschool Preparedness for After a Disaster, the third book in the Preparing for the Unexpected Series, will help your center get up and running after the worst has happened.

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Preschool Preparedness for an Active Shooter

No education professional wants to think about an active shooter on campus. Recent tragic events illustrate a clear and imminent need to prepare educators for these threats. Public institutions are required by law to follow rules and regulations to train for emergency responses, and several states have enacted or are considering enacting regulations specific to early childhood programs. Are you and your school prepared?

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Preschool Preparedness for an Emergency

Preschool Preparedness for an Emergency, the second book in the Preparing for the Unexpected Series, will train you for worst-case scenarios such as storms, flooding, earthquakes, epidemics, tornadoes, and fire. Emergency-preparedness expert Andrew Roszak will teach you how to develop and test emergency action plans, reduce potential harm or damage, and satisfy licensing and other regulatory requirements.

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The Crisis Manual for Early Childhood Teachers

How to Handle the Really Difficult Problems

This go-to book teaches effective strategies for addressing the most challenging problems you may encounter as a teacher, such as the death of a family member, domestic violence, substance abuse, sex abuse, homelessness, natural disasters, and children with HIV/AIDS. Chapters for each crisis include describing the problem, insights from child development, when to seek help, how to respond, and suggestions of organizations and individuals you can turn to for help.

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Preparing for Disaster

What Every Early Childhood Director Needs to Know

Based on Cathy Grace and Elizabeth Shores’ experiences working in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, Preparing for Disaster explains the steps directors can take to insure the safety of their program and the children they care for in the case of a catastrophic event. With forms, worksheets, staff-training workshops, and task lists, as well as helpful guidelines and insights, this groundbreaking guide is filled with practical advice and information to prepare for and respond to universal disasters like fires, epidemics, and regional disasters such as tornadoes and earthquakes.

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After the Crisis

Using Storybooks to Help Children Cope

When a crisis shakes a child’s life, it is often up to teachers to recognize and identify signs that the child is suffering from continuing stress, and to help parents make appropriate decisions regarding next steps. The companion book to Preparing for Disaster, After the Crisis is full of discussion starters, writing activities, and art activities that can be used in conjunction with 50 children’s books to promote children’s ability to cope and heal.

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Preschool Health & Safety Matters

This easy-to-use manual provides educators with the information they need to ensure that the children in their care are safe, while they learn the best practices to stay healthy for life. With suggestions, ideas, activities, and ways to involve families at home, Preschool Health and Safety Matters covers topics such as hygiene, injury prevention, mental health, diversity, nutrition, and safety.

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Author(s)Jody Martin, Elizabeth Shores, Cathy Grace, Karen Miller, Andrew Roszak, JD, MPA

Lisa Williford

Lisa Williford, an experienced marketing event coordinator, served with Kaplan Early Learning Company and Gryphon House from 2020 - 2023.