Youth Preparedness Month

During this week of National Preparedness Month, we are encouraging you to think about youth preparedness and how children can become more resilient.

Youth Preparedness

Children make up approximately one quarter of the U.S. population. As our children begin a new school year, ensure your child is prepared if an emergency were to occur. FEMA and the American Red Cross offers Prepare with Pedro: Disaster Activity Book to get you and your family thinking about preparedness!

Children are positive influencers. Children can effectively bring the message of preparedness home to their families.

Children can become leaders. Participating in youth preparedness programs empowers children to become leaders at home and in their school and communities.

Children can be confident in an emergency. Children who are prepared experience less anxiety and feel more confident during emergencies and disasters.

Here are some tips you should know about Youth Preparedness:

  • Ensure children are included in preparedness conversations.
  • Learn the building blocks of preparedness – Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit and Get Involved.
  • Known the emergency plan for your child’s school and care facility.
  • Practice evacuation plans and other emergency procedures with children on a regular basis.
  • Learn different ways to help children cope during and after an emergency.
  • Make sure children have emergency contacts memorized or written down in a secure place.
  • Teach kids when and how to call important phone numbers like 911.

Follow the footsteps to preparedness on September 19th to Conference Room A/B, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. to learn about the different offices and bureaus ODH has to help the individual, community and state prepare for disasters. Visit ready.gov/September to find out more about National Preparedness Month.

Community involvement

September is National Preparedness Month.  The theme this  year is  “Prepared not scared”. The goal of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sponsored campaign is to enhance preparedness and response for all types of emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks. FEMA is emphasizing preparedness with four themes during each week of September. The Ohio AAP Chapter is highlighting different aspects of preparedness weekly during the month, to help pediatricians, offices and families to become better prepare for small emergencies or big disasters.  You are likely engaged in activities and organizations in your community, but if you are not perhaps you can become a spokesperson for children and disaster preparedness in you community.

The concept of community resilience is the foundation for not only preparing for a disaster, but solidifies the bonds between people and the community so that recovery from a disaster can occur.  Pediatricians role as advocates for children and families is a natural fit to support resilience in communities, through education of personal preparedness, encouraging daycare, schools and other places that regularly have children in attendance to consider their disaster plans. Inquiring with emergency management and public health personnel how their disaster plans include children and families for feeding, shelter and evacuation and even more importantly psychological support post event. Often smaller prehospital agencies (EMS) rarely take care of sick or injured children, in addition, local hospitals may also have limited experience, there are resources available to help them get ready. As a pediatric expert you may be a resource not only for pediatric specific knowledge, but you may be able to assist in providing care. You may also consider becoming a member of your local Medical Reserve Corp or helping to train members of the local CERT (Community Emergency Response Team).  Getting involved or remaining involved as an advocate for children and families, in community disaster preparedness can provide reassurance to members of the community that they are ready and can assist each other if a large event occurs.

Deanna Dahl Grove, M.D. FAAP

Ohio AAP State Disaster Chapter Contact

Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine

UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital

Cleveland, Ohio

dld7@case.edu

 


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