Because a disaster can affect hundreds, if not thousands, of Floridians and have a great and lasting impact on children physically and mentally, Florida’s Children's Disaster Preparedness Program, along with its health care and community partners are working to ensure the safety and security of all children before, during, and after public health emergencies and disasters.
The Children’s Disaster Preparedness Program facilitates and supports the integration of children’s disaster needs in state and local emergency and disaster planning and partners with children and emergency management organizations to identify gaps and leverage resources for children’s emergency preparedness and response. The goal is to ensure all communities in Florida have the expertise, skills and resources necessary to manage the emergency preparedness and response needs of children.
By promoting and partnering on children’s disaster resilience with public health systems, health care professionals, communities, community planners, schools, families and individuals, the Florida Children’s Disaster Preparedness Program strengthens the state’s overall preparedness infrastructure to minimize the impact to children in the event of any disaster and emergency.
The Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Preparedness and Response has just released a brochure to help schools build and improve their school safety and preparedness plans. The brochure is aimed toward school administrators and school safety/preparedness officers, and directs readers to federally approved safety curriculums for various grades.
Also, the department has developed the Emergency Guidelines for Schools as a comprehensive and easy to use guide to handling a large variety of medical emergencies involving children.
TEACHERS AND EDUCATORS: The state of Florida has created kid-friendly teaching tools that are available at www.kidsgetaplan.com and FEMA has produced grade-appropriate emergency preparedness curriculum called Ready Kids to be taught in schools and is available at www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/34411. These trainings were prepared for educators to share directly with students to bolster student safety and emergency and disaster preparedness efforts.
The Florida Children’s Preparedness Coalition is a multi-agency and multi-organization coalition created to ensure the emergency preparedness and response needs of children are planned for and integrated across the state of Florida. This partnership enables a lasting and long-reaching impact in successfully addressing children’s needs when a disaster or emergency strikes. This group is also tasked with leveraging the many state, local, tribal and federal resources identified to serve children.
For more information on the Children’s Preparedness Coalition, its past meeting minutes, workgroup information and other related information, please visit the coalition’s Webpage.