The Top 5 Things CCR&Rs Should Do After a Disaster

December 29, 2017


prepare for emergencyAs the end of the year nears, CCAoA’s Emergency Preparedness Team has been reflecting on the disasters that struck in 2017. Top-of-mind, of course, are the hurricanes—Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Our team worked directly with CCR&Rs affected by the storms and the providers they serve. This is the last of three blogs on lessons learned and our team’s advice for CCR&Rs about the critical things they need to do before, during, and after a disaster.

Assume that a disaster hit your area, and staff at your CCR&R worked diligently to help affected providers and families. Here’s what you should do post-disaster:

1. Debrief with your staff

  • What happened?
    • What was the incident/disaster?
    • Was it out of our control?
    • Could we have prevented this?
  • What did we learn?
    • Things we did well
    • Things we can do better next time
    • Things we never anticipated

2. Identify the recovery needs of your organization and staff

  • Physical needs
    • Shelter – has your CCR&R or any staff been displaced by the event?
    • Disaster assistance – applying for FEMA aid, recruiting volunteer organizations to help with rebuilding, etc.
    • Financial support
  • Mental health needs – connect your staff with resources in your community to ensure they are getting the support they need.

3. Identify the recovery needs of your clients – providers and families

  • Ensure that mental health support is available
    • Identify consumer education resources/training on how to cope with the aftermath of a disaster and push them out to providers and families. Topics might include:
      • Assessing needs post-disaster
      • Insurance questions
      • Cleaning up/rebuilding after an event
      • Stress relief
      • The importance of self-care
    • If your community lacks such resources, create and lead workshops and/or trainings for providers and families.

4. Integrate lessons learned from the disaster into your operations

  • Update your preparedness/response plans to reflect what worked and what didn’t.
  • Identify any new partners who came to your aid and establish ongoing relationships with them.

5. Report out and reach out

  • Schedule conferences or workshops to help other CCR&Rs learn from your experience.
  • Ensure that the public, providers, partners, and families are aware of the services you offered during the disaster, the challenges you faced, and how you overcame them.

We’d like your input about how to cope with a disaster. Are you part of a CCR&R that experienced one? Please comment your lessons learned and any other helpful tips that might be useful to your peers. 

Explore emergency preparedness resources.

Topics: Systems Building, Best Practices, Health & Safety

Adina Young

Written by Adina Young

Adina Young is the Sr. Communications Manager at Child Care Aware® of America.