May 3, 2011
Child Care and Residential Care Providers,
The Department of Children and Family Services is closely monitoring the situation regarding potential flooding on the Mississippi River and Louisiana's other waterways. Additionally, severe storms have recently impacted several parishes and hurricane season is now less than a month away.
In light of these scenarios, DCFS would like to remind providers to ensure that written procedures for emergencies and evacuations are updated and that you and your staff are adequately trained, equipped, and prepared in the event a hurricane or other disaster occurs.
In the event that a hurricane or other disaster occurs and produces widespread evacuations and extensive property damage, action may need to be taken to help ensure the safety of all individuals being cared for by licensed providers.
According to Class A Child Care regulations, a child care center's director shall ensure that written procedures for emergencies and evacuation as appropriate for the area in which the center is located such as fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, chemical spill, train derailment, etc. are available.
Class B Child Care facilities require personnel to be trained in emergency and evacuation procedures appropriate for the area in which the center is located.
Child Residential facilities are required to have written overall plan of emergency procedures that provides for evacuations, staffing, training and access to necessary supplies, equipment and medication.
If a disaster occurs and you are in an impacted parish, it may be necessary to suspend your license until your facility can be verified as safe to provide care. This may be accomplished by a required State Fire Marshall inspection, State Health inspection, On-site Licensing inspection and/or other agency-mandated procedure to ensure the safety of children in your care. Your license would remain suspended until your facility is verified as safe.
If such a disaster occurs, you should check the DCFS website
to determine if your facility or home is located in an affected parish and for additional information and instructions. In addition, licensed providers should contact the DCFS Licensing Section as soon as possible once the hurricane or event has passed for information related to continued operations.
If you have any questions about your emergency preparedness plan, please contact the Licensing section at 225-342-9905.
Director, DCFS Licensing