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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 C: Model Executive Order or Resolution Creating a "Cabinet on Children and Disasters and Children and Disasters Advisory Council"

WHEREAS, the citizens of [jurisdiction] are entitled to an expectation of effective preparedness, protection and leadership before, during, and after any domestic emergency or disaster; and

WHEREAS, children under 18 years old are more than [number] percent of the population in [jurisdiction] and have unique needs that must be addressed in emergency and disaster planning and management; and

WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of [jurisdiction] to marshal available resources to determine how best to prepare for, respond to and recover from an emergency or disaster for all citizens, including children; and

WHEREAS, the establishment of the [Executive branch leader's] Cabinet on Children and Disasters and the Children and Disasters Advisory Council will serve to strengthen emergency and disaster preparedness, response and recovery with respect to children.,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, [name], [Executive branch leader] of [jurisdiction], by virtue of the authority vested in me by the [jurisdiction or law], do hereby establish the [Executive branch leader's] Cabinet on Children and Disasters and the Children and Disasters Advisory Council.

  1. [Executive branch leader's] Cabinet on Children and Disasters.

    1. Purpose. The purpose of the [Executive branch leader's] Cabinet on Children and Disasters (hereinafter "Cabinet") is to ensure that the [jurisdiction] appropriately supports the safety and security of children, including children with disabilities, before, during and after emergencies and disasters, including earthquakes, tornadoes, fires, floods, hurricanes, and acts of terrorism. It further shall be the purpose of the Cabinet to ensure that executive departments and agencies continually:
      1. identify and address gaps in emergency and disaster preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery for children; and
      2. facilitate cooperation and coordination among federal, state, local, and tribal governments and private organizations and individuals in the implementation of emergency and disaster preparedness plans as they relate to children.

    2. Responsibilities. The Cabinet shall advise the [Executive branch leader] on matters related to children and disasters including the direction of resources to develop and implement the [jurisdiction's] Children and Disasters Strategy. In coordinating the [jurisdiction's] children and disaster multi-agency planning, the Cabinet shall facilitate the analysis of administrative, fiscal, statutory and regulatory policies and practices and conduct a gap analysis and risk assessment of current practices.

      The Cabinet shall not be responsible for day-to-day operations of the departments, agencies, commissions, and offices with a disaster preparedness and/or response purview or regulatory function. In addition, members of the Cabinet shall report to the [Executive branch leader's Chief of Staff or equivalent] for any and all accountabilities related to the [jurisdiction's] Children and Disaster Strategy.

    3. Composition and Appointments. The Cabinet shall consist of the following officials and individuals [from equivalent or applicable offices]:
      1. Secretary of Human Services.
      2. Director of Emergency Management.
      3. Secretary of Public Health.
      4. Secretary of the Budget.
      5. Secretary of Education.
      6. Secretary of Environmental Protection.
      7. Director of Juvenile Justice Services.
      8. General Counsel.
      9. Secretary of General Services.
      10. Secretary of Legislative Affairs.
      11. Secretary of Planning and Policy.
      12. Chief Law Enforcement Officer.
      13. Additional members as appointed by the [Executive branch leader].

    4. Chair. The [individual responsible for public health, human services or emergency management] shall chair the Cabinet, convene and preside at its meetings, determine its agenda, direct its work, and, as appropriate to particular subject matters, establish and direct subgroups of the Cabinet.

    5. Reporting. The Cabinet shall submit to the [Executive branch leader] each year beginning one year after the date of this [Executive Order or Resolution] a report that describes:
      1. findings and recommendations of the Cabinet for advancing the purpose and responsibilities set forth in section 1;
      2. the achievements of the Cabinet in implementing the purpose and responsibilities set forth in section 1; and
      3. the best practices among federal, state, local, and tribal governments and private organizations and individuals for emergency preparedness planning with respect to children.

  2. Children and Disasters Advisory Council.

    1. Composition and Appointment. The Disasters Advisory Council (hereinafter referred to as "Advisory Council") shall consist of stakeholder experts recommended by the Cabinet and appointed by the [Executive branch leader]. The [Executive branch leader] shall appoint the Chair of the Advisory Council.
    2. Purpose and Responsibilities: The Advisory Council shall advise the Cabinet on matters relating to preparedness and planning for children in the event of a major domestic disaster.
    3. Terms. All Advisory Council members shall serve at the pleasure of the [Executive branch leader].
    4. Compensation. Members of the Advisory Council shall serve without compensation for their services except that such members may be reimbursed the necessary and actual expenses incurred in attending meetings of the Advisory Council and in the performance of their duties in accordance with established policy.

  3. Relationship with Other Agencies. All agencies under the [Executive branch leader's] jurisdiction shall cooperate with and provide assistance and support to the Cabinet and the Advisory Council. Policy and process experts from the [jurisdiction] shall be available to the Cabinet to aid its mission.

  4. Effective Date. This [Executive Order or Resolution] shall take effect immediately.

  5. Termination Date. This [Executive Order or Resolution] shall remain in effect unless revised or rescinded.

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