Children and Disasters

Children and Emergencies
March 18, 2010
Resilient & Ready Communities
Save the Children
Domestic Emergencies Unit
Goal: Reduce Risks for Children
• Advocacy & Policy Change
– Chair the National Commission on Children and Disasters
– FEMA’s National Advisory Council
– National and State VOAD Member
• Preparedness, Response and Recovery
Save the Children
Domestic Emergencies Unit
Resilient & Ready Communities Initiative
Addressing Children’s Needs in Emergency Operation Plans
Briefing Emergency Relief Organizations and Officials
Coordinating county-specific Children and Emergencies Working Groups
Developing community capacity : Temporary Respite Care
Providing Disaster Risk Reduction Programs
• Resource:
– “Children in Emergencies Planning Guide”
to assist local and state emergency planners
Children’s Unique Needs in Emergencies
Children are not “little adults.”
They have unique needs that must be addressed
to ensure their safety and well-being:
 Physical protection
 Psychosocial protection
 Cognitive protection
National Progress for Children
National Commission on Children and
Authorized under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008
The Commission is tasked with:
Conducting comprehensive study examining children’s needs
Reviewing / evaluating existing laws, regulations, policies, programs
Reviewing, and evaluating the lessons learned from past disasters
Reporting to the President & Congress on its findings & recommendations
Appendix C: “Supplies for Infants and Toddlers in Mass Care Shelters and
Emergency Congregate Care Facilities” (NCCD Interim Report)
– Essential Items to support children’s safety and well-being
National Progress for Children
FEMA and Administrator Fugate’s Commitment:
• Children’s Working Group
• DHS 2010 HSPG Supplemental Resource:
Children in Disasters Guidance
• No Unfunded Mandates
National Progress for Children
National Standards & Indicators for Mass Care
• Standards and Indicators for Disaster Shelter Care
for Children (ARC)
– Temporary Respite Care for Children
• Shelter Guidance (STC)
– Low Cost and No Cost Guidance to mitigate risks
• Counting Children
• Family dormitory areas
• Private breastfeeding area for women
Suggested Child-Focused Checklist
 Emergency Planning and Training
Include needs of children across
emergency training and exercises
Designate individual as children’s needs
Provide staff with briefings on children’s
unique needs and how they can protect
and support children in their role
Suggested Child-Focused Checklist
 Evacuation
 Include child-tracking and family-reunification procedures in
emergency plan
 Mass Care
 Provide safe shelter environments for children and families,
including access to essential, age-appropriate supplies Includes
 Physical and Mental Health
 Capability of hospital Emergency Departments to provide effective
care for children
 Basic psychological first aid training for emergency personnel to
assist children
Suggested Child-Focused Checklist
 Disaster plans for child care facilities
 Evacuation, reunification, children with disabilities or special
medical needs training and drills
 Plans on file with state and local emergency management and
licensing offices
 Plan for establishing emergency child care
 Long-term disaster recovery plan for children and
 Includes family-appropriate housing, schools, child care, mental
health, medical care, child welfare, juvenile justice and court
How can you address children’s
needs in emergencies?
• Make it a priority in your organization to improve
emergency planning/response to meet the needs of
• Review guiding documents
• Participate in your upcoming, county-specific
Children and Emergencies Working Groups.
• Contact me to set up trainings for your
organization’s personnel and volunteers in
– Temporary Respite Care
– Briefing on children and emergencies
Questions? Comments?
Gabriel Martin Nehrbass
Program Specialist
Resilient & Ready Communities
Domestic Emergencies Unit
Cell: 228.342.5180
[email protected]
Thank you!
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