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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Children's Disaster Preparedness

Contact the Florida Department of Health

Disaster can affect hundreds, if not thousands of Floridians - from victims and victim's families to first responders and communities as a whole. Disasters have a great and often lasting impact on our children both physically and mentally. We must remember that children are not small adults. Children's Disaster Preparedness along with the Florida Department of Health and its healthcare and community partners are working together to ensure the safety and security of all children before, during, and after public health emergencies and disasters.

This web page contains a collection of federal, state, and local resources focused on planning for and managing the emergency preparedness and response needs of children.

Is your kid a flu fighter? Is your classroom ready for flu season?

Helping Children Understand Mass Violence or Tragedy

  • Disaster Distress Helpline - Recent incidents continue to bring out strong emotions across the Nation. The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help in dealing with the many issues and problems that might arise from these tragedies. The toll-free hotline is run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as well as confidential, multilingual, and available for those who are experiencing psychological distress as a result of natural or man-made disasters, incidents of mass violence, or any other tragedy affecting America's communities. TTY for Deaf/Hearing Impaired: 1-800-846-8517.

Children's Disaster Preparedness Tools and Resources

Tools and resources are provided to assist families, community planners, schools, healthcare professionals, and healthcare system members. Links are also provided to websites of organizations having additional resources for creating change in planning for, and successfully addressing children's needs when a disaster strikes.

Individuals and Families — Resources of interest to parents, caregivers, and other family members or friends. For example: How to create a family disaster plan and a checklist with questions to ask childcare providers.

Community Planners and Childcare PartnersResources for community pediatric planning, including child care and school planning. For example: Samples and examples of child care facility emergency planning templates and local disaster drills.

Healthcare SystemResources for hospital and pre-hospital pediatric preparedness for pediatricians, urgent care centers, county health departments, community health centers etc. For example: Pediatric Disaster Preparedness Checklist for Hospitals and out-of-hospital emergency care resources.

Behavioral HealthResources for supporting the mental and emotional health needs of children and families. For example: Disaster behavioral health resources from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Additional Resources, Partner Organizations and Web PagesLinks to organizations and web pages with resources and tools for pediatric preparedness. For example: American Academy of Pediatrics and the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) National Resource Center.


If you have feedback or input on how to improve this Children's Disaster Preparedness toolkit or would like to share/submit additional resources for inclusion, please submit a survey.

To ensure the most current and available information, documents link to source sites. Links to resources outside the Florida Department of Health are provided for information only. Their inclusion does not constitute endorsements by the department. The department is not responsible for content on any linked website. All attempts have been made to link to reliable sources, but sites and URLs are subject to change or have technical malfunctions without warning.