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 Programming 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 Disasters • 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 coordinator 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 families Includes family-appropriate housing, schools, child care, mental health, medical care, child welfare, juvenile justice and court facilities 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 children. • 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!