Wow what a shocking weekend. I never imagined referring to our schools emergency plans (pages 19 & 20 in our parent handbook) and it really felt uncomfortable doing so. As you know Ka Hana Pono Daycare is in the state identified tsunami evacuation zone and it’s for that reason that the center was closed on Friday 3/11/11. Many of us have been wondering how to explain the situation to children – I thought these websites had good suggestions: TALKING TO KIDS ABOUT WORLD NATURAL DISASTERS & TALKING TO KIDS ABOUT TSUNAMI DISASTERS.
In light of this it seems like a good time to remind us all of our Tsunami & Earthquake Emergency Plans.
Our school is an identified tsunami evacuation zone. The following procedures have been adopted in the event of a TSUNAMI WARNING or a LOCAL TSUNAMI-PRODUCING EARTHQUAKE.
1. If a WARNING is issued or a local tsunami-producing earthquake occurs before the daycare center opens, the daycare center will be closed. See the “rule of thumb” comment at the end of this bulletin for determining whether we are open or closed.
2. If a WARNING is issued or a local tsunami-producing earthquake occurs while the daycare center is open, we will attempt to contact the parent for pick-up. We will give the parent a reasonable amount of time for pickup before evacuating.
Should an earthquake of significant magnitude occur on or close to Oahu, our school could be damaged and a Tsunami could be generated which would require our evacuation (see Tsunami evacuation procedures above). We can also anticipate considerable disruption to the City’s road networks. If your children are at Ka Hana Pono Daycare, you may not be able to get together even though you live close by. Please be assured we will take care of the children until you can safely pick them up.
In the event where there is an imminent probability of danger with a minimal evacuation time we will evacuate all children to the Directors home residence in Pupukea at 59-479 Pupukea Road, Haleiwa OR to Dole Plantation depending on the warning & how much time is available to evacuate. Personal contact numbers for the Director are 808-282-2501 or 808-282-0682.
In summary, please be assured that we will take good care of your children during any emergency or disaster. Several suggestions are appropriate:
· A good rule of thumb of school daycare center closures: If it is announced over the radio or television that the public schools are closing, we will also in all likelihood, be closing. Under no circumstance, however, will we close until all children have been picked up by their parents or a designee and until a backup plan is arranged with each parent for each child.
· It is essential that you establish individual and family plans for tsunami, hurricane, earthquake and flooding. These plans should identify what preparatory actions should be taken for each hazard. They should include where shelters are located and how you will travel to them if evacuation advisories are issued, what you plan to do if the family is separated, what type of survival supplies you will need and etc… Such information can be obtained from the Oahu Civil Defense Agency at 523-4121.