National Commission on Children and Disasters

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					                   Children and Disasters:
           How Can States Meet Their Unique Needs?

                   Mark K. Shriver, NCCD Chairperson
                   Hon. Sheila Leslie, NCCD Member

Presented to the Executive Committee Task Force on Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
National Conference of State Legislatures
Annual Legislative Summit
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
July 23, 2009



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       Why Form a National Commission on Children and Disasters?

   Children make up 25% of the population, yet have unique needs often
    overlooked in disaster planning and management

   University of Arkansas study: 1,318 pre-hospital emergency medical services
    agencies surveyed nationwide, 248 (13%) had specific disaster plans for
    children

   Save the Children 2009 report: 7 states require basic emergency preparedness
    requirements for schools and child-care facilities

   Federal Emergency Management Agency: Presidential disaster declarations up
    47% since 1980’s


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                   The Cycle of “Benign Neglect”

   Disaster training, exercising, medicines and equipment intended
    for adult populations
   Children = “little adults” lumped into broad categories: “at-risk”
    “vulnerable” “special needs”
   Children regarded as liabilities in disasters, not assets
   Pets, not children, are a priority in funding for disaster planning
   Recovery = rebuilding infrastructure rather than young lives
   Accountability: Who is specifically responsible for needs of
    children before, during and after disasters?


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                       Commission Overview

Independent: Authorized by Congress under the Consolidated
Appropriations Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-161)

Bi-partisan: 10 members appointed by President Bush, Senate and
House leaders

 Balanced: Expertise drawn from multiple disciplines: pediatrics,
state and local emergency management, non-governmental
organizations, and state legislature
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                        Commission Purpose

  Examine and assess children’s needs related to preparedness,
response and recovery from all hazards

 Identify, review, and evaluate existing laws, regulations, policies,
and programs

  Identify, review, and evaluate the lessons learned from past
disasters

   Report findings and recommendations to President and Congress

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                  Timeline of Commission Operations

   First public meeting on October 14, 2008

   Public meetings held on a quarterly basis

   Next public meeting scheduled for September 2009

   Interim report due to the President and Congress October 2009

   Final report due to the President and Congress October 2010
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                        Subcommittee Structure

 Evacuation, Transportation, and Housing
Chairperson, Bruce Lockwood, Bristol-Burlington (CT) Health District

 Pediatric Medical Care
Chairperson, Dr. Michael Anderson, University Hospitals (Cleveland, OH)

 Education, Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice
Chairperson, Hon. Sheila Leslie, Nevada General Assembly

 Human Services Recovery
Chairperson, Dr. Irwin Redlener, Columbia University
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                        Child Care Disaster Planning
                        2009 Save the Children Report

  Only 7 states have laws or regulations requiring licensed child care
providers to have comprehensive written emergency plans in place
addressing evacuation, reunification and accommodating children with
special needs

   Only 21 states require licensed child-care facilities to have a designated
site and evacuation route in the event of a disaster

  Only 15 states require licensed child care facilities to have a reunification
plan for children and families in the event they become separated during an
emergency
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                     Child Care Disaster Planning
                           Recommendations
   Establish child care licensure requirements that ensure
    comprehensive emergency preparedness, response and recovery
    plans

   Minimum standards: Shelter in place, evacuation,
    communication, family reunification, continuity of operations
    and considerations for children with special needs

   Provide federal funding support for training and technical
    assistance to child care operators and staff

   Tie child care disaster plans to local and emergency
    management plans
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                          School Disaster Preparedness
                               2007 GAO Report
 17 states reported having no laws or policies requiring school districts to have
emergency management plans

   In only 9 states, K-12 school districts receive state funding, guidance and training
for emergency management planning

 School districts have not widely employed procedures for continuing student
education in the event of an extended school closure such as might occur during a
pandemic flu outbreak

Over   one quarter of school districts never trained with first responders

Over two thirds of school districts do not regularly train with community partners
on how to implement their school district emergency management plans
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                       School Disaster Preparedness
                           Recommendations

   Encourage collaboration with local and state emergency managers and
    community partners

   Incorporate basic preparedness concepts into school curricula

   Support “psychological first aid” training programs to build the
    resilience of teachers, parents and children

   Support academic and mental health needs of children in a post-
    disaster environment


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                     Pediatric Medical Countermeasures

 As of June 15, 2009, 26 states have not purchased their full allocation of
antivirals to ensure a capability to treat 25% of the state’s population
(Available at www.flu.gov)

Rates of influenza virus infection, including H1N1, are highest among
children, and rates of serious illness and death are highest particularly
among children less than 2 years of age

Children are not simply “small adults” and are likely to require child-
appropriate doses of antivirals, such as flavored liquid doses


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                     How Can State Lawmakers Take Action?
   Hold oversight hearings
      Does/should your state require comprehensive disaster plans for child care
     operators? After-school programs or summer camps?
      How prepared are your schools to address disasters, especially the academic
     and emotional needs of students after a disaster?
      Assess the stockpile of medical countermeasures in your state. Are there
     pediatric medical countermeasures available?
      How does your state intend to spend its allocation of federal supplemental
     H1N1 funds? Is the focus of hospital and public health planning on children?

Get   your constituents involved!
       Highlight the need for parents to create a disaster plan for their family
       Urge parents to review the disaster plan for their child’s school or child care
      facility
       Make sure schools, child care and parents have accurate H1N1 information
      Go to www.flu.gov
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                                 How Prepared is My State?

   Child Care:
        2009 Save the Children Report- “The Disaster Decade: Lessons Unlearned for the United States”
         http://www.savethechildren.org/publications/usa/disaster-decade-lessons.pdf

        National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center-
         http://nccic.acf.hhs.gov/topics/topic/index.cfm?category=2&npp=50&sortby=&topicid=26&cp=1


   School Emergency Planning:
        2007 GAO Report- “Emergency Management: Most School Districts Have Developed
         Emergency Management Plans, but Would Benefit from Additional Federal Guidance”
         http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d07609.pdf

   Pandemic Flu Preparedness:
        2009 Report to Homeland Security Council- “Assessment of States’ Operating Plans to Combat
         Pandemic Influenza” http://www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/states/state_assessment.html




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