Earthplace Preschool Policies and Procedures

Emergency Preparedness Procedures

Earthplace Emergency Preparedness Procedures                        

Earthplace Preschool

 Number of Children 

 The Westport Police, Fire and Health Departments have been contacted. They know that we are a licensed Preschool. On a daily basis the maximum number of children and staff who could be in attendance is as follows:


Group   Name





Chickadees A





Chickadees B


























Additional Staff:

Director, Program Support Staff, Administrative Assistant

 Location of the School:

We have included a map of our location at 10 Woodside Lane, Westport, CT. in the Appendix

Emergency Announcements

Contacting Classes in the Building:

We can announce an emergency through our:

Public Address System/Phones

Walkie Talkies

Fire Alarm System (in each classroom and other parts of the building, it sets off the alarm and alerts the fire department)

In Person

 Emergency Announcements:

Be clear and consise.  Announce the emergency exactly as it is.  Do not use code words.

Learning About Weather or Other Emergencies:

  • Sirens: They are located in Saugatuck shores and are tested monthly. Sirens are used to warn of flood events or other situations which might require evacuation. We do know that in our location we do not hear the siren and should then depend on other means of notification.
  • Radio: Staples Radio WWPT 90.3 FM is the designated radio station for the Town of Westport. Emergency announcements are sent out from this station.
  • Website: The Town of Westport website is updated with emergency information as it is made available by the Westport Emergency Operations Center.
  • Alternate emergency communication: We have a radio that has back-up batteries to keep us informed of emergencies.
  • Weather Alert via Computer: Weather Bug is on the main computer at Earthplace and alerts us to weather emergencies.

Contacting Outside of Earthplace ( Emergency Notification Numbers)

  • Medical, Fire, Rescue: 911
  • American Red Cross: 227-9595
  • Kings Highway School: our remote shelter :341-1800
  • Westport Emergency Evacuation Hotline: 454-6199
  • Bus Company to help with Evacuation:  First Student Bus Company, Wilton, CT : 762-5093                                                                                             
  •  Parent contacts:

Phone Numbers Location: 

  • Group Notebook: Each group has a notebook that contains all of the parents' contact numbers including home, cell and business numbers. This goes with each group at all times, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Originals: These are kept in the main office.

Contact Procedure:                                                                                                                                                                                

One person from each group would be able to call out either using their cell phones or the plug in phone at the desk in the front lobby. This phone will work even if the electrical system is not working.


E-Mail Contact Location and Procedure:

All parent e-mail addresses are in the two computers in the Preschool office.                                    

The Alternate Coordinator e-mails all parents from computer in Preschool office.

4.  Earthplace Site Plan: In Appendix

Posting of Plan:

The Emergency Exit Plan is posted in each room.

Included on the Plan the Location of:

Rooms, Doors, Windows and Obstacles

Fire Extinguishers

Fire Alarms

Two Unobstructed Routes from each classroom have been labeled.

Initial Meeting Places

Remote Meeting Places- Secondary Evacuation Destinations- Front Playground and Executive Director’s House – (located at the entrance of the Earthplace property, 14 Woodside Lane.)

Indoor Safe Space: Natureplace In the event that we must stay at Earthplace, we have indicated that we would stay in the Natureplace.

5.  Disaster Plans

Emergency Management Coordinator: EMC- Preschool Director- Amee Borys

Alternate Coordinators: ACs-Executive, Director -Tony McDowell,  Preschool Assistant – Mary Lynn Maloney

A. Medical Emergency

Who May Administer First Aid

First Aid may be administered to children  by  all staff members who have current certification in the required  American Red Cross Connecticut Childcare First Aid Course ( certification is good for 3 years)

CPR maybe administered to children by all staff members who have current certification in the required American Red Cross CPR (certification is good for 1 year)

Adult First Aid and CPR:  Several staff are also asked to be current with Adult CPR and First Aid. These staff could administer aid to the teaching staff.

Staff Responsibilities and Procedures:

In case of a medical emergency these procedures will be followed:

Attending to Child:

Teacher #1, a trained staff member, attends to the child in need.

Calling 911:

If Teacher #1 feels that calling 911 is necessary, he or she asks a second Teacher #2 to call 911.

If the class is on a trail or not close to the phone, Teacher #2 can walkie talkie the Earthplace front desk and alert them that this is a Code Red and then gives the information that needs to be told to the 911 operator:

Name of Child, Nature of the injury

Our Location: Earthplace, 10 Woodside Lane, Westport, CT

Attending to other children:

Teacher # 3 supervises the rest of the children in the class and removes them from the scene if possible. The teacher-child ratios of 1:4 for 2 year olds and 1:10 for 3 and 4 year olds will be kept by calling a teacher from another class.

Continuing First Aid:

Teacher #1 continues to administer first aid.

Contacting the Emergency Management Coordinator, EMC or Alternate Coordinator, AC:

Teacher # 2 then contacts an EMC or the AC.   

Walkie-talkies are available in each group to be used to aid in this communication. 

Calling the Parents:                 

The EMC or the AC then calls the child's parents to inform them of the situation.

Going to the Hospital:                                  

If the child is to go to the hospital in an ambulance the first Staff Member # 1 goes with the child and brings the Emergency Authorization Form from the group notebook with her.

Primary Site for Emergency Care:

Norwalk Hospital has been informed that we would use their services in an emergency.

Writing the Injury Report:

Teacher # 2 fills out the Injury Report.  This will be given to the parents.

B. Fire: Pull Fire Alarm

Notification of Fire and Initial Procedures:

Fire Alarm: All staff members are responsible for notifying the school of a fire by pulling the fire alarm. This also alerts the fire department that there is a fire at our facility.

Classes Evacuate: The groups would then evacuate by exiting through the closest door as designated on the chart  posted in their rooms and then going to their assigned meeting place.

Sweep of Rooms: This is done by the Alternate Coordinator.                                                          

Initial Fire/Disaster Meeting Place Location:

2’s:Meet by the sandbox on the Preschool playground. (2’s do not attend at the same time as the 3’s)

3’s: Meet by the sandbox on the Preschool playground.

4’s: Meet by the wooden boat on the Preschool playground.

Lunch Club: Meet by the spider web on the Preschool playground.

Groups Meeting Together:

Teachers are advised that if they have children from one group in two different areas, they are to walkie talkie each other and then meet in their designated spot outdoors if it is safe to do so.

Taking Attendance:

Lead teacher takes attendance and reports the results to the EMC, either by walkie talkie or when EMC comes to the group.

Assessing the Situation:

The Emergency Management Coordinator and/or the Alternate Coordinators then assess the situation.

The groups would then be asked to either:

 Stay where they are,

 Relocate to one of two remote meeting places, or

 Return to their rooms.

Two Remote Places to Relocate (Secondary Meeting Places):

In case it is deemed necessary to move further away from the building, or an evacuation from the site is necessary, the two places to meet are:

By the slide and swings on the front playground.

In the open field near the Earthplace exit


The Emergency Management Coordinator or an Alternate Coordinator would then decide, in conjunction with the Westport Fire Department, if further evacuation were necessary.

Contacting Parents Regarding Further Evacuation or Need to Be Picked Up

Parents would be contacted using the staff cell phones and group notebooks that contain the home and emergency numbers of each child. These also include alternate contact people, if the parents cannot be located. If we did not have to further evacuate, parents would be asked to pick up their children at the Executive Director’s house. If we were evacuating to Kings Highway School, the parents would be so informed.

Transportation to Evacuation Site

If the children needed to be evacuated away from the Earthplace property, an agreement with the bus company has been made with First Student Bus Company in Wilton Connecticut.                                                                                                                                                         

C. Taking Shelter in the Building Due to Weather

Alerting the School by Public Address System:

The Emergency Management Coordinator or an Alternate Coordinator would instruct the administrative assistant in the front office to alert the staff via the Public Address system of the immediate need to take shelter in Natureplace, which has been designated by the Fire Department as a safe space, because it has no windows. This could be due to severe thunder and lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or bomb threats.

Alerting the School by Walkie Talkie or In Person:

In case of telephone, and electrical failure the Emergency Management Coordinator and the Alternate Coordinators would split the groups and either walkie talkie or personally tell each group if they were to stay in the building in their room, or go to the Natureplace.

The walkie-talkies are kept in the front office, Preschool office and each classroom.

Natureplace:  Gather all children in Natureplace, the safest place in the building.

Alerting Parents: Use cell phones to inform parents of the need to take shelter.

Shelter Supplies

Location of Shelter Supplies:

Room 12. The key is kept with other Preschool keys in Preschool office. We have water, flashlights, batteries, portable radio, toilet paper and blankets.

Preschool kitchen. We have food for 72 hours for the maximum Preschool population.

Procedure for Getting Supplies:

One teacher from each room is asked by the lead teacher to go to room 12 and kitchen to bring supplies to Natureplace. 

Important Information about Children:

Group Notebooks: Include Group List with Telephone Numbers, Attendance Record, Emergency Authorization and Authorization for the Administration of Medicine Forms.

D. Evacuation: Staff Responsibilities in Case of Need to Evacuate From the Building or From the Remote Site:

 Emergency Management Coordinator: Preschool Director

 Initial Announcement: with the Alternate Coordinators’ help, makes the initial announcement, either

In person or by

Public Address System: instructs the building administrative assistant in the front office to make the initial announcement via building announcement system or by

Walkie Talkie: uses it to announce the need to take shelter.

Attendance: checks with each group to make sure that all are accounted for and pass this information to the Alternate Coordinator.

Makes Decision to Move From

Initial evacuation site on Preschool playground (in case of a fire evacuation), or to

Natureplace (in case of weather or other evacuation), or to  

Secondary Site at front playground, or to open field.

Evacuate Site: makes decision with Fire Department (if in communication with) to evacuate to off-site shelter at Kings Highway Elementary School.

 Calls Kings Highway to alert of evacuation.

 Calls bus company to alert to need to come and pick up the children and the teachers.

Communication with Parents: gives the direction to teachers to contact parents and the message to be communicated.

Contact with Fire, Police and Other Emergency Rescue Teams.

Alternate Coordinator -Administrative Assistant                                                                                                                       

 Works in Conjunction with the EMC

Walkie Talkie:takes this with her.

 Meets Emergency Teams:  goes out front to meet the teams and passes on information from director

Teacher Responsibilities

Lead Teacher:

Brings the Group Notebook and a Walkie Talkie.  The Group Notebook includes a group list, children’s individual Emergency Authorization Form, Authorization for the Administration of Medication forms (in case of allergies) and the Emergency Procedure Plans.                                                                                                                                                                          

  Assigns: the two assistants to either be Teacher #1 or Teacher #2. Their responsibilities are:

Teacher # 1:

Carries First Aid Kit,  

Closes windows and doors and turns off the lights and ventilation system in the room,

Makes final sweep of room, and

Carries walkie talkie.

Teacher # 2:

Carries fanny packs with children's medications, and

Carries walkie talkie.

Takes Attendance:  immediately upon arriving at the evacuation. At each step in the evacuation process an attendance check is done, including arrival at King’s Highway.

Waits for the Emergency Management Coordinator or Alternate Coordinator: to come to them or to contact them by walkie talkie to check attendance.

 Coordinates Teachers in Class to Contact Parents: once the evacuation or taking shelter has begun, one staff member from each groupwould begin to call parents on his or her cell phone to let them know the plan for their children.

E. Lost Child Procedure- Code Blue

Policies to Prevent a Lost Child:


Attendanceis taken at the beginning of each class. 

All teachers are made aware of how many children are in the class that day. 

When children leave early or come late, the attendance book is immediately updated and all of the teachers in the group are alerted to the change in the number of children present.

Counting Children

When changing to another room or going outside or coming inside, the children are counted by all           teachers present and the teachers agree that this is the correct number of children present.


When walking on a trail or through the building there is always a teacher in the lead and a teacher in the rear- as the last in the line.

When a Child is Lost:

When the realization is made that a child is no longer with the group, the following procedure is followed.

Communication to Rest of Preschool and Building:

Lead Teacher walkie talkies everyone that it is a Code Blue, and the number of children missing from the class is stated.

Receptionist announces a Code Blue to the entire building over the public address system.

Call 911 Immediately:

The Emergency Management Coordinator or the Alternate Emergency Coordinator provides the following information:

Child’s name and age

Address of Preschool: Earthplace, 10 Woodside Lane, Westport, CT

Child’s address

Physical and clothing description, including any distinguishing marks

Medical status if appropriate

Person with whom the child was last seen.

Notify Parents of Missing Child: The EMC or AMC

All classes go into Lost Child Procedure:

Indoors: the teachers lock the doors from the inside and gather the children into a group time and take attendance.

Outdoors: the teachers gather all of their class into a group sitting down, take attendance and then go to their classroom.

Sweep of the Premises:

Playground: the EMC does a sweep of the playground and building.

Preschool:  the AC does the sweep of the Preschool.

Classroom: a teacher in each room does a sweep of the classroom. 

Building: employees all check their areas and report to the EMC.

Maintenance Coordinator: checks the common areas and downstairs areas.

Meeting the Police:The AC goes to meet the police at the front of the building.


All classes stay in a lock-down situation until the police tell us otherwise or the child is found.

Sweep of the Property:

A search of the parking lot and the trails is done with the help of the police and Earthplace staff.

Reporting Incident:

Report incident to Connecticut Department of Public Health (1-800-282-6063) and the Department of Children and Family Services (1-800-842-2288).

Complete a written incident report at the earliest opportunity.

F. Lock-Down Procedure- Code Black

All staff members are responsible for alerting the building for the need of a lock down.

The Reasons for a Lock-Down:

Suspicious person

Individual with a weapon

Loud unexplained noise

Angry person

Person trying to see or pick up child who is not allowed to do so

Alert from town that a lock-down is necessary

Lock-Down Notification:

Staff member gets on walkie talkie and calls for a Code Green and indicates the unsafe area.

Staff at front desk page entire building calling for a Code Green and indicates the unsafe area.

AC calls 911 with the help of the person who knows what the problem is and alerts police of lock-down.

Lock-Down Procedure:

Teachers gather their students in their classrooms.

If a classroom is not a safe place, the teachers bring their students to another classroom.

If the children are outside, go to a safe classroom.

If the children are in Natureplace, stay and put the space into lock-down, by locking all outside doors and go into the movie area.

Lock the doors

Pull the shades 

Take attendance

Teachers keep the classrooms in lock-down until the Westport Police Department advises them otherwise

6. Sharing, Practice Drills and Updating the Plan

Sharing Plan:


The plan will be shared with the staff yearly at a meeting.

Each staff member will be given a copy of the plan for their Personnel Handbook.

The plan will be in each class book.

When new staff members are hired, the plan will be discussed with them.

When the EMC or AC change the plan, all of the above will be updated. 


The plan will be included in the Parent Handbook.

It will be posted on the Preschool Bulletin Board.

It will be discussed at a parent meeting.

Westport Fire Department, Westport Police Department and Weston-Westport Health District:

The plan will be shared with these entities and their advice on the effectiveness of the policies will be solicited. Policies will be changed in accordance with their expert advice.

Fire Drills:  

The staff and children will conduct Fire Drills on a monthly basis.

Taking Shelter Drill, Lock-Down Drill, Lost Child Drill and Evacuation Drill: each will be practiced once a year by the teachers.

7. Items and Procedure Checklist for All Emergencies

Lead Teacher:

Group Notebook

Walkie Talkie

Leads Class Out

Takes Attendance

Assigns Teachers to be #1 or #2

Assigns one teacher to get shelter supplies from kitchen and room 12 when needed.

Teacher #1: 

Carries First Aid Kit

Closes windows, doors, lights and ventilation system

Does Final Sweep

Helps to call parents with cell phone if evacuation has taken place.

Teacher #2:

Carries Medication Fanny Packs and Walkie Talkie

Helps to call parents with cell phone if evacuation has taken place.


Emergency Management Coordinator- Preschool Director

Takes walkie talkie from front office.

Communicates with each group and with the AC in regard to attendance and need for further evacuation.

Communicates with Fire, Police or Health Department when needed.

Alternate Coordinator Checklist

Gets master notebook from the Lunch Club room.

Does classroom sweep.

Goes to front of building to meet fire trucks, ambulance, and/or police.

Communicates with EMC.

E-mails parents of emergency status when possible.

Staff Members Bring Cell Phones