Amberley O.S.H.C.

Children are our future, We are dedicated to their success!

7.6 Natural Disasters

We shall be prepared and equipped to manage the impact of natural disasters on Amberley OSHC.

Relevant Laws and other Provisions

The laws and other provisions affecting this policy include:

  • Education And Care Services National Law & Regulations 2011
  • Queensland Work Health & Safety Act & Regulations 2011
  • Australian Bureau of Meteorology bom.gov.au
  • UK Severe Storm Service bbc.co.uk
  • Queensland Department of Emergency Services emergency.qld.gov.au
  • Queensland State Emergency Service (SES)
  • Queensland Disaster Management Guidelines 2005

Procedures

A Natural Disaster shall be defined as “an event involving the natural environment that has the potential for widespread property damage and threatens human life.” And shall include (but not limited to):

  • Cyclone
  • Bush fire
  • Tsunami
  • Earthquakes
  • Floods

The following pre-emptive measures shall be undertaken:

  • Amberley OSHC shall have sufficient clean storage containers to hold enough water for each person present for 24 hours
  • Amberley OSHC shall consider holding a small store of long-life non-perishable food items in the event of a prolonged lockdown.
  • Amberley OSHC shall have sufficient blankets and/or covers on hand to provide warmth if required.

In the event of a broadcast warning of an impending event, the Nominated Supervisor shall determine if Amberley OSHC will operate during the warning period.

If the decision is made to cease operation during the course of a normal operating day, contact will be made with parents and carers to advise of the decision and arrange for children to be exited.

If time allows, staff shall undertake the following:

  • All objects that could become hazards during high winds must be anchored or moved indoors;
  • Doors and windows should be firmly locked;
  • Electrical power to the building must be disconnected and all electrical appliances switched off prior to leaving the building;
  • Documents, paper records and computer records shall be secured or moved off-site to a secure location;
  • Any hazardous substances shall be relocated to a secure location to minimize the risk of site contamination;
  • If time permits the Nominated/Certified Supervisor shall determine if further protective measures shall be undertaken, such as windows being re-enforced with suitable material such as timber or sheet metal.

In the event of a natural disaster occurring with insufficient warning for Amberley OSHC to cease operation then the Nominated Supervisor shall:

  • Advise Emergency Services/local council of the status of Amberley OSHC and then seek advice as to the appropriate response;
  • Determine if evacuation or lockdown procedure is required;
  • Actively reassure the staff and children;
  • Ensure that staff and children are kept away from windows and glass;
  • Monitor the situation and keep all staff informed as to the required actions;
  • Ensure that any electrical devices that are not required are switched off (including lights);
  • The nominated Supervisor shall determine if the event has passed;
  • No staff or children should go outside unless the nominated Supervisor or a suitably qualified person (such as a Police Officer or State Emergency Service supervisor) has given the instruction.

All persons will remain inside until the determination by the Nominated/Certified Supervisor that the event has passed and if it is safe to do so, and other senior staff shall visually examine the outside of the building and grounds area to determine any immediate hazards.

In the event of a severe event with a large amount of damage to Amberley OSHC and surrounding area, the Nominated/Certified Supervisor shall:

  • Contact local emergency services agencies and seek advice on appropriate response;
  • Attempt to re-establish basic services such as water, toilets, telephone and electricity supply;
  • Conduct a risk assessment of damaged areas and implement appropriate short-term control measures, such as exclusion areas and glass clean up;
  • Brief children and staff as to potential electrical hazards;
  • Restrict water consumption to water that has been stored in containers;
  • Children must not be allowed to play in floodwaters or near places with drains;
  • A safe passage from Amberley OSHC to either a car park or a street near Amberley OSHC must be established (this can include predetermined evacuation routes).

In the aftermath of a natural disaster, normal operation of Amberley OSHC shall only be undertaken when it is safe to do so.

All workers, children and families shall be given access to professional counselling services to assist in recovery from any psychological trauma experienced.

A program of monitoring staff and children for signs of post-traumatic stress disorder shall be undertaken for at least six months following the return to normal operation.

Reviewed 6 April 2015


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