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Natural Disasters: Is your family prepared?

Target is the Founding Sponsor
of the National Emergency
Child Locator Center.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) reminds families that it's important to plan for your family's safety.

Families may become separated during the chaos of a natural disaster, especially when evacuation is required. NCMEC offers the following recommendations to all families potentially impacted by a natural disaster:  

  • Know where your kids are at all times.
  • Stay together.
  • Take photos of your children with you when evacuated.
  • Give children identification information to carry with them, including the child’s name, date of birth, address, phone numbers, etc. If a child is too young or otherwise unable to speak for him- or herself, consider writing his/her name, date of birth, parents’ names, home address, and telephone/cell numbers somewhere on the child’s body in indelible marker.
  • E-mail digital photos of all family members to extended relatives and/or friends.
  • Photocopy important documents and mail to a friend/relative in a safe location.
  • Make a plan with your children, so they know what to do if your family becomes separated during an evacuation.

National Emergency Child Locator Center

In October 2006, Congress and President George W. Bush created the National Emergency Child Locator Center (NECLC). NECLC will be operated by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children when a national disaster is declared by the President, to assist in the location of children and the reunification of families resulting from the disaster or subsequent evacuations.

In the event of a natural disaster, the National Emergency Child Locator Center will:

  • Establish a toll-free hotline to receive reports of displaced children;
  • Create a website to provide information about displaced children;
  • Deploy staff to the location of a declared disaster area to gather information about displaced children;
  • Provide information to the public about additional resources;
  • Partner with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies; and
  • Refer reports of displaced adults to the Attorney General’s designated authority and the National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System.


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