Managing emergency situations and staying compliant

Severe weather events, like the recent floods and storms experienced across NSW, are a timely reminder for services across the State to update and maintain emergency policies and procedures.

Services are encouraged to regularly review their existing policies and procedures required under regulation 168 (policies and procedures within a service), and regulation 169 (emergency and evacuation procedures).

It is important to keep these up to date to allow for a quick response that may be required during a sudden emergency event.

As with all emergency situations, individuals and services should always follow the directions of local emergency services.

While the regulations require notifications to be made within 24 hours, within emergency situations services should ensure the safety of children, educators and staff as a first priority.

A few things to consider when updating your policies and procedures:

  • Are all staff aware of the current emergency and evacuation procedures? Especially the instructions for what must be done in the event of an emergency as specified in R168 and R97.
  • Are all contact details of the person who is to be notified of an emergency involving a child up to date? (R160)
  • Services that are unable to lodge notifications due to access to the internet or their devices during an emergency should call the department’s Information and Enquiries team on 1800 619 113
  • Services located on a school site should discuss any impacts on their service due to an emergency event with the principal.

There are resources available on the department’s website which are applicable to all service types.

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