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National Commission on Children and Disasters: 2010 Report to the President and Congress

Public Health Emergency Preparedness

This resource was part of AHRQ's Public Health Emergency Preparedness program, which was discontinued on June 30, 2011, in a realignment of Federal efforts.

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Appendix B: Index to Recommendations and Responsible Entities (continued)

Recommendations President Congress Relevant Federal Agencies States, Tribes, Territories and Localities Non-Governmental Entities
6. Child Care and Early Education
6.1: Congress and HHS should improve disaster preparedness capabilities for child care.   X HHS X  
Congress and HHS should require States to include disaster planning, training, and exercise requirements within the scope of their minimum health and safety standards for child care licensure or registration.   X HHS    
Congress should provide HHS the authority to require States to develop statewide child care disaster plans in coordination with State and local emergency managers, public health, State child care administrators and regulatory agencies, and child care resource and referral agencies.   X HHS    
6.2: Congress and Federal agencies should improve capacity to provide child care services in the immediate aftermath of and recovery from a disaster.   X DHS/FEMA
DHS/FEMA should revise its Public Assistance regulations to codify child care as an essential service.     DHS/FEMA    
Congress should codify child care as an "essential service of a governmental nature" in the Stafford Act.   X      
Federal agencies should incorporate child care as an essential service in the National Response Framework, the National Disaster Recovery Framework, the National Disaster Housing Concept of Operations, and Disaster Housing Practitioners' Guide.     DHS/FEMA
Congress should authorize a grant funding mechanism, such as an emergency contingency fund, to repair or rebuild private, for-profit child care facilities, support the establishment of temporary child care, and reimburse States for subsidizing child care services to disaster-affected families.   X      
6.3: HHS should require disaster preparedness capabilities for Head Start Centers and basic disaster mental health training for staff.     HHS    
7. Elementary and Secondary Education
7.1: Congress and Federal agencies should improve the preparedness of schools and school districts by providing additional support to States.   X DHS/FEMA ED    
Congress and ED should award disaster preparedness grants to State education agencies to oversee, coordinate, and improve disaster planning, training, and exercises statewide and ensure that all districts within the State meet certain baseline criteria.   X ED    
DHS/FEMA should partner with ED to provide funding and other resources to support disaster preparedness efforts of State and local education agencies, including collaborative planning, training, and exercises with emergency management officials.     DHS/FEMA ED    
7.2: Congress and ED should enhance the ability of school personnel to support children who are traumatized, grieving, or otherwise recovering from a disaster.   X ED    
Congress and ED should award funds to States to implement and evaluate training and professional development programs in basic skills in providing support to grieving students and students in crisis and establish statewide requirements related to teacher certification and recertification.   X ED    
7.3: Ensure that school systems recovering from disasters are provided immediate resources to reopen and restore the learning environment in a timely manner and provide support for displaced students and their host schools.   X DHS/FEMA ED    
Congress should create a permanent funding mechanism to support recovery for schools and students.   X      
Congress should establish an emergency contingency fund within the Education for Homeless Children and Youth program and expeditiously provide grants to school districts serving an influx of displaced children.   X      
Congress and ED should support the immediate provision of expert technical assistance and consultation regarding services and interventions to address disaster mental health needs of students and school personnel.   X ED    
DHS/FEMA, ED, and other Federal agencies should clarify, consolidate, and publicize information related to the recovery programs, assistance, and services (e.g., transportation to schools) currently available to school systems through the Stafford Act and other Federal sources.     DHS/FEMA
8. Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice
8.1: Ensure that State and local child welfare agencies adequately prepare for disasters.   X HHS
Congress should request a national assessment of child welfare disaster planning to determine if significant advances have been made since passage of the Child and Family Services Improvement Act of 2006 (CFSIA).   X HHS    
HHS should develop detailed disaster planning criteria by regulation or other formal policy guidance to supplement the basic procedures mandated in CFSIA.     HHS    
Within each ACF regional office, child welfare staff and the region's emergency management specialist should collaboratively review and evaluate the State child welfare disaster plans required by CFSIA and assist States in developing comprehensive plans and meeting their statutory obligations.     HHS    
DHS/FEMA and HHS should provide funding, guidance, and technical assistance to child welfare agencies and encourage collaboration with emergency management, courts, and other key stakeholders.     DHS/FEMA
8.2: Ensure that State and local juvenile justice agencies and all residential treatment, correctional, and detention facilities that house children adequately prepare for disasters.   X DHS/FEMA
Congress should require State and local juvenile justice agencies and all residential treatment, correctional, and detention facilities that house children to have comprehensive disaster plans in place.   X      
DHS/FEMA and DOJ should support disaster planning for State and local juvenile justice agencies and residential treatment, correctional, and detention facilities that house children by providing funding, technical assistance, and training.     DHS/FEMA
8.3: HHS and DOJ should ensure that juvenile, dependency, and other courts hearing matters involving children adequately prepare for disasters.     HHS
HHS should include disaster preparedness as a component of the Court Improvement Program for dependency courts.     HHS    
DOJ should include disaster preparedness as a component of the proposed National Juvenile Delinquency Court Improvement Program.     DOJ    
DOJ and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges should incorporate disaster preparedness into the Model Courts program.     DOJ   X
9. Sheltering Standards, Services, and Supplies
9.1: Government agencies and non-governmental organizations should provide a safe and secure mass care shelter environment for children, including access to essential services and supplies.     DHS/FEMA
Implement national standards and indicators for mass care shelters that are specific and responsive to children.     DHS/FEMA X X
Integrate essential age-appropriate shelter supplies for infants and children into shelter planning and fund the addition of child-specific supplies to caches for immediate deployment to support shelter operations.     DHS/FEMA X X
Implement common standards and training including standards for criminal background checks, to mitigate risks unique to children in shelters such as child abduction and sex offenders.     DHS/FEMA X X
10. Housing
10.1: Prioritize the needs of families with children, especially families with children who have disabilities or chronic health, mental health, or educational needs, within disaster housing assistance programs.     DHS/FEMA
Government agencies and non-governmental organizations should ensure that families with children in disaster housing, especially community sites, have access to needed services and are provided safe and healthy living environments.     DHS/FEMA
Congress should authorize DHS/FEMA to reimburse State and local governments for providing wrap-around services to children and families in community sites.   X      
DHS/FEMA should develop clear written guidance around emergency transportation planning and reimbursement for State and local governments that addresses the recovery needs of children and families.     DHS/FEMA    
Government agencies and non-governmental organizations should identify and promote innovative programs to expedite the transition into permanent housing for families with children.     DHS/FEMA
11. Evacuation
11.1 Congress and Federal agencies should provide sufficient funding to develop and deploy a national information sharing capability to quickly and effectively reunite displaced children with their families, guardians, and caregivers when separated by a disaster.   X


DHS should lead the development of a nationwide information technology capability to collect, share, and search data from any patient and evacuee tracking or family reunification system.     DHS    
DHS should support the development of voluntary consensus-driven standards for data collection and data sharing through a joint Federal, non-Federal, and private sector process.     DHS    
Government agencies should ensure the collection of appropriate data on evacuated children, particularly unaccompanied minors.     DHS/FEMA
11.2: Disaster plans at all levels of government must specifically address the evacuation and transportation needs of children with disabilities and chronic health needs, in coordination with child congregate care facilities such as schools, child care, and health care facilities.    




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