designating September as National Preparedness Month. National
Preparedness Month is an annual campaign to encourage Americans to
prepare for emergencies and disasters. This effort is led by the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is sponsored by the
. This September marks the ninth annual National
Preparedness Month, and this year’s theme is “Pledge to Prepare -
Awareness to Action”. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) asks
members to take specific action to promote pediatric preparedness during
-Join the National Preparedness Month Coalition
in the American Public Health Association (APHA) Get Ready Day
September 20, 2012: take the pledge, watch the video, plan an event!
your state AAP Chapter or Department of Health Web site to make sure
that children's preparedness issues are addressed. Ask that a link be
added from these sites to the AAP Children & Disasters Web site home page at http://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Disaster-Preparedness/Pages/default.aspx
-Sign-up to volunteer in advance. Join the Medical Reserve Corps
or the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals
(ESAR-VHP) in your state. Or see
Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Disaster Volunteer Opportunities by state
-Donate to the AAP Friends of Children Fund
, targeting your donation for "Disaster Relief".Enhance Influenza Preparedness
-Promote influenza vaccine use and infection control measures.
-Get your annual flu shot and encourage others to do the same!
-Be strategic in meeting the needs of children
and youth with special health care needs. Make sure they receive the
seasonal influenza vaccine as soon as it is available and treat them
early and aggressively if they develop influenza-like illness. These
children, eg, children with chronic medical conditions such as asthma,
diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression, or neurologic disorders, are at
high risk for influenza-related complications. See the AAP/CDC press release
the importance of aggressive treatment for children with special health
care needs to parents, as well as medical subspecialists who may see
the children more often than the pediatrician.
about the H3N2v swine flu virus. Review Information for Clinicians
, AAP News article
, and Materials for Families
.Make a Communications Plan
available communication opportunities in the state (eg, social
networking, webinars, telehealth care strategies, registries, Web
sites). Work with state AAP chapter and public health leaders; regional,
county, and local pediatric societies; and counterparts in the public
sector to compile a list of communication options and identify
-Develop a written plan to facilitate rapid
and effective communication. Separate vehicles for encouraging a
dialogue with health professionals and sharing information with parents
and the public are recommended.
-Test existing communication
approaches. Suggest that communication be addressed or tested within
existing “table top” or live exercises or drills.
of the communication plan before and during a public health emergency.
Let key contacts know which communication option to expect. Include
instructions for texting or alternate communication if others fail.
recruit, and train pediatric subject matter experts as media
spokespersons. Have a communications plan in place with pre-identified
spokespersons to streamline information and avoid any inaccurate or
conflicting messaging during an actual event.Build an Emergency Kit and Develop a Disaster Plan
-Create your own family emergency plan
or emergency supply checklist
-Develop a written plan for your office.
-Help families prepare an emergency kit and develop a disaster plan by displaying materials from the AAP Family Readiness Kit
-Support parents and other adult caregivers in their efforts to talk to children
about disasters, as needed.
-View these brief video clips of AAP members talking about preparedness and ways to support families and children:
Get Involved in Preparedness Activities in Your Community
out to your Local Citizen Corps Council. Visit the Citizen Corps Web site
to learn more about its mission and to find the nearest council
with a local Community Emergency Response Team to conduct training on
pediatric disaster topics. For ideas, see training topics listed in the Pediatric Disaster Preparedness Curriculum Development Conference Report
strengthen relationships between the community hospitals and affiliated
pediatric practices, identify pediatric champions, and encourage joint
-Join or form a regional pediatric disaster surge network
or work with other AAP chapters to form a similar network in your
region. One example is the Southeastern Regional Pediatric Disaster Response Surge Network
-Become familiar with school districts'
disaster plans. Ideally, these plans should have primary care clinician
input in all areas of crisis planning. Share information about the
school districts' response plans with emergency department clinician
colleagues to ensure that these plans are integrated with the overall
community disaster plan, emergency medical system, and Local Emergency
Planning Committee or other equivalent groups.Resources