I’m happy to say that our family has never been through any disasters. We were out of town when a 5.2 earthquake hit our town back in 2000. And all that happened was our TV fell off a shelf and onto the floor. We’ve had some power outages, but never for more than a few hours, and we’ve always made them as fun as possible with candles and backyard cookouts.
But what if we were in a bigger earthquake? Or a flood? Or, God forbid, some crazy person brought a gun to one of the schools? Does my state have a plan in place to protect children in the event of a disaster? Does yours?
Save the Children issues a yearly disaster report card which tracks progress on four critical standards. The standards that each state require all:
- Child care centers to have an evacuation plan in place
- Child care centers to have a family reunification plan in the event of a disaster
- Child care centers to have a disaster plan for special needs children
- K-12 schools to have disaster plans that account for multiple types of hazards
I was relieved to read that California was rated satisfactory for all four standards!!
But 28 states do not meet all the standards. Save the Children’s new report, “Unaccounted For: A National Report Card on Protecting Children in Disaster,” outlines glaring gaps in emergency preparedness, response and recovery underscored by a remarkable year of domestic disaster. Too often, the unique needs of children remain unaccounted for around emergencies, the report says.
In response, Save the Children is calling on all Americans to urge their governors to either meet the report card standards or make sure child-focused emergency plans are in place and practiced once required. The agency is also launching a new preparedness initiative called Get Ready. Get Safe to help families and communities protect children at times of disaster.
For more information and to find out how you can take action, visit http://www.savethechildren.org/Get-Ready
I wrote this post as a member of the Global Team of 200 and Mom Bloggers for Social Good.