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Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response
National Commission on Children and Disasters: 2010 Report to the President and Congress

Appendix A. Study Approach

The Commission was charged with conducting "a comprehensive study to examine and assess the needs of children as they relate to preparation for, response to, and recovery from all hazards, building on the evaluations of other entities and avoiding unnecessary duplication by reviewing the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of these entities."426 Four main components comprised the Commission's approach to conducting this study.

First, Commission staff and contractors searched academic databases and government and non-governmental Web sites to identify existing research, reports, policy positions, guidelines, and recommendations and identified gaps in the professional literature related to children and disasters. Relevant documents, including abstracts where available, were entered into an EndNote® X2 database, which serves as the Commission's library.

Second, Commissioners and staff conducted three field visits to gather insights, lessons learned, and best practices from State and local jurisdictions affected by disasters. The first was held in Baton Rouge, LA, in January 2009 to discuss lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and discuss strategies to improve disaster case management services. The second was held in Cedar Rapids, IA, in January 2010 to discuss long-term recovery efforts in Iowa following the major floods and tornados during the summer of 2008. The third field visit was held in Miami, FL, in April 2010 to gather information about emergency response coordination and the resulting domestic impact from the Federal Government's response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

The Commission also extensively solicited and reviewed input from stakeholders and subject matter experts (Appendix H: Stakeholder Outreach). This outreach effort involved the following:

  • The Commission formed four subcommittees comprising more than 50 subject matter experts.
  • In April 2009 the Commission sent letters to 73 non-governmental stakeholder organizations requesting information, research articles, reports, and policy recommendations.
  • The Commission co-sponsored the Disasters Roundtable Workshop on Children and Youth in Disasters with The National Academies in June 2009.
  • The Commission convened a Long-Term Disaster Recovery Workshop in February 2010 with more than 120 governmental and non-governmental participants.
  • Each public Commission meeting included a public comment period.

Also, Commissioners and staff held numerous meetings with Federal, State, and local agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Minutes of all public Commission meetings, in-person subcommittee meetings, workshops, and field visits are available on the Commission's Web site.427 Also available at the Web site are the Commission's Interim Report and the Progress Report on implementation of the Interim Report recommendations.

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