Guest Blog: Iowa CCR&R’s Emergency Preparedness Campaign

May 03, 2023

 EP Text update

CCAoA welcomes guest blogs that provide important insights and information about the child care field. 

This guest blog features how Iowa’s CCR&R Emergency Preparedness statewide team came up with a plan to help increase severe weather awareness within their communities. 

Winds up to 120 mph, traveling 770 miles, wreaked havoc on much of the Corn Belt. Yup, the derecho! (A derecho is a line of intense, widespread, and fast-moving windstorms and sometimes thunderstorms that move across a great distance and are characterized by damaging winds.)  It flew across Iowa back in August of 2020 and was devastating. This significant derecho event caused widespread power outages, damaged structures, toppled semi-trailers and flatted crops over most of Iowa. With only hours of notice from the weather service, we learned an important lesson: Prepare now to protect later! 

Not only is an emergency preparedness plan required for licensing and registration in our state, but it is helpful for both children and providers to know what to do in the event an emergency strikes. These things often happen quickly, so knowing what to do and practicing drills for a variety of situations like fires and severe weather can help avoid panic and make sure children remain calm and safe. 

Our CCR&R Emergency Preparedness workgroup started to plan a special campaign to observe Iowa’s Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 27-31, 2023. Springtime can come with a lot of severe weather and we wanted to make sure all child care programs were prepared. This week-long focus on emergency preparedness hopefully helped child care businesses prioritize writing and testing their plans!  

Planning started with our brainstorming session to review themes, language and marketing supplies needed: 

  • Theme:  #TogetherWeWill…Be Ready! 
  • Language:  Iowa Child Care - Preparing Now to Protect Later 
  • Marketing: efforts included news announcements on our website and social media accounts.  105 posts were shared across eight platforms
    • Social media content included:  (1)
      • Monday – Severe Thunderstorms – do parents know your plan?
      • Tuesday – Warning Reception – do parents have a plan? 
      • Wednesday – Tornadoes – do you have a shelter-in-place location? 
      • Thursday – Preparedness – do you know your area Emergency Manager? 
      • Friday – Flooding – do you have an evacuation plan? 
      • Giveaway – Show us you have tested your Emergency Preparedness plan this week - submit a photo to be entered to win a lantern, first aid kit, whistle, etc. 
  • EP Card 2023_Page_1 Texting campaign
    • 48 texts of tips and reminders were scheduled twice a month for two years
    • 4,582 Postcards: Sent to providers announcing the text campaign and featuring a QR code to our Emergency Preparedness webpage that offers tools and resources to create a plan
    • 5,706 Emails: sent to all providers and partners announcing our new text campaign 
    • 5,000 Event cards: were  utilized during site visits, training or event to invite programs to join the text campaign 
    • 70 Social media posts: six months of posts to invite folks to sign up for the text campaign 

The CCR&R Emergency Preparedness workgroup is hopeful our marketing efforts will increase awareness for severe weather and the need for Iowa’s child care programs to be prepared for all types of emergencies. Templates, tools and videos are available on our website at to assist other providers and CCR&Rs with creating and updating Emergency Preparedness plans!  

Learning how to respond to and recover from emergencies can save lives! 

EP Postcard FY23_Page_2  

Topics: emergency preparedness

Bobbi Riedemann

Written by Bobbi Riedemann

Bobbi Riedemann is a Communication Specialist for Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R). She started her journey with public service in 2009 at Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Inc., a Community Action Agency in Iowa. In 2014, she was led to service for CCR&R, a program of Mid-Sioux. Bobbi has a passion for helping build skills and work environments where team members can thrive. Through her years of experience, she has learned that a healthy, accountable, solution-focused team is one of the most powerful tools for success.