Is Your State Prepared For a Disaster? #GetReadyGetSafe

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.

prepared for disaster #GetReadyGetSafe

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:

  1. Child care centers to have an evacuation plan in place
  2. Child care centers to have a family reunification plan in the event of a disaster
  3. Child care centers to have a disaster plan for special needs children
  4. 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!!

prepared for disaster #GetReadyGetSafeBut 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

Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in 120 countries, including the United States. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

I wrote this post as a member of the Global Team of 200 and Mom Bloggers for Social Good.

 

Fountain of Hope Provides Healthy, Safe Fun for Street Kids in Zambia

Sports and other recreational programs were a big part of my children’s lives growing up.  Teeball, tae kwon do, basketball, dodgeball and many other sports were part of their after school activities, as well as various camps in the summer, church, Sunday School, youth group and AWANA (a Bible club) every Wednesday night.  Keeping them busy with fun, safe activities was important to their development into strong young adults.

But what about street kids?  Especially in places like Zambia, where the government is more concerned with emergency assistance.  This is where Fountain of Hope, a center in urban Lusaka (the capital of Zambia), steps in.  Fountain of Hope provides a safe place for street kids and orphans to attend school, get a meal, play sports, go to the library, and learn skills through its technology program.  Some boys even live at the center.

Save the Children funds the Sport in Action program at Fountain of Hope.  Sport In Action (SIA) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) whose purpose is to improve people’s quality of life through sport and recreational activities. Founded in 1998, SIA was the first Zambian sports NGO.  Their mission is:

to use sport and recreation as a tool to improve the quality of children’s lives by providing a programme that will bring about motivation, self-development, child protection and self-reliance through social and economic empowerment.

healthy safe fun for street kids

I write this post as a member of the Global Team of 200.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

My friend, Jennifer James, recently visited Fountain of Hope and was able to see the importance of the Sports in Action program for the street kids of Lusaka.  She says:

the kids who come to Fountain of Hope every day are able to learn intrinsic lessons about working together, caring for one another, having self-esteem, and not succumbing to peer pressure. These values are important to teach children who have to struggle to stay alive, stay off of drugs, and not rely on crime to simply eat and make it to the next day.

You can read more from Jennifer’s trip to Lusaka here.