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Children and Disasters:  Is your State Prepared?

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Mother and Daughter

Children represent nearly 25 percent of the population, yet, according to the National Commission on Children and Disasters, the unique needs of children often are overlooked or misunderstood in disaster planning and management. Every weekday, for example, 67 million children attend schools and the more than 325,000 licensed child-care facilities in the United States, but according to Save the Children less than one-quarter of states require child care facilities and schools to meet four basic criteria for disaster preparedness:    

  1. Licensed child care facilities have a written plan for evacuating and moving kids to a safe location for multiple disasters;
  2. Licensed child care facilities have a written plan to notify parents of an emergency and reunite them with their kids;
  3. Licensed child care facilities have a written plan that accounts for kids with special needs; and
  4. Schools have a disaster plan that accounts for multiple hazards. 

Is your state prepared?


Children and Disasters: Is your State Prepared?


Evacuation/ Relocation Plan




3. Special Needs of children in Child Care


K-12 written procedure for Disaster planning      

Alabama (legislation) X X X X
Arkansas (legislation) X X X X
California X X X X
Hawaii X X X X
New Hampshire X X X X
Maryland (legislation) X X X X


(Doc 1)

(Doc 2)

(Doc 3)

Mississippi X X X X
New Mexico X X X X


(Doc 1)

(Doc 2)

(Doc 3)

Washington X X X X
Wisconsin X X X X
Delaware X X   X
District of Columba X X X  
New York X X   X
North Carolina X   X X
Ohio X X   X
Oklahoma X X   X
Pennsylvania X X   X
South Carolina X X   X
Tennessee   X X X
Texas X X   X
Utah X X   X
West Virginia X X X  
Alaska     X X
Colorado   X   X
Florida   X   X
Minnesota   X   X
Rhode Island     X X
Virginia X     X
Arizona       X
Connecticut       X
Georgia       X
Indiana       X
Illinois       X
Kentucky       X
Louisiana       X
Maine       X
Nevada X      
New Jersey       X
Nebraska       X
North Dakota X      
Oregon       X
South Dakota       X



Source:  Save the Children, A National Report Card on Protecting Children During Disasters, July 2010.


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