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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.

Now this resource is supported by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF).

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The National Commission on Children and Disasters ("the Commission") was established pursuant to the Kids in Disasters Well-being, Safety, and Health Act of 2007 as provided in Division G, Title VI of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008.1 The Commission's status as an independent Federal Advisory Committee was clarified in Division A, Section 157 (b) of the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act of 2009.2

The Commission was instructed to conduct a comprehensive study to independently examine and assess the needs of children (0-18 years of age) in relation to the preparation for, response to, and recovery from all hazards, including major disasters and emergencies, by building upon the evaluations of other entities and avoiding unnecessary duplication by reviewing the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of these entities. In addition to this report, the Commission submitted an Interim Report3  in October 2009.

The Commission reports specific findings, conclusions, and recommendations relating to:

  1. Child physical health, mental health, and trauma.
  2. Child care in all settings.
  3. Child welfare.
  4. Elementary and secondary education.
  5. Sheltering, temporary housing, and affordable housing.
  6. Transportation.
  7. Juvenile justice.
  8. Evacuation.
  9. Relevant activities in emergency management.

The Commission also provides specific recommendations on the need for planning and establishing a national resource center on children and disasters, and reports on the coordination of resources and services, administrative actions, policies, regulations, and legislative changes as the Commission considers appropriate.4

The Commission is bipartisan, consisting of 10 members appointed by President George W. Bush and Congressional leaders. Commission members represent a variety of disciplines, including pediatrics, State and local emergency management, emergency medical services, non-governmental organizations dedicated to children, and State elected office. The Commission organized four subcommittees comprising Commissioners and Federal and non-Federal representatives:

  1. Education, Child Welfare, and Juvenile Justice.
  2. Evacuation, Transportation, and Housing.
  3. Human Services Recovery.
  4. Pediatric Medical Care.

The Commission met publicly on a quarterly basis and subcommittees met monthly to address their focus areas.

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