The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) identifies several opportunities for pediatricians and others who care for children to get involved in disaster preparedness and response activities.
Join the AAP Disaster Preparedness Contact Network
Become part of a forum of members who receive newsletters with information on how to support AAP disaster preparedness and response initiatives by providing expertise, representing the AAP at meetings, presenting at conferences, identifying/reviewing resources, etc. For more information, visit the Disaster Preparedness Contact Network Web page.
Donate to the AAP Disaster Recovery Fund. Contributions can be allocated to support pediatricians and the children they treat after disasters anywhere in the world. For more information, click here.
Sign Up to Volunteer in Advance
Health professionals interested in promoting pediatric preparedness can establish a relationship with existing federal or other volunteer mechanisms in advance of an event to be prepared, credentialed, and ready to go before the need arises. Consider the following opportunities:
Connect with and Support Federally-Funded Programs
The following federally-funded programs offer opportunities for members to get involved:
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Emergency Preparedness grants assist public health departments to strengthen their abilities to respond to all types of public health emergencies and build more resilient communities. While these projects are not pediatric-specific, members can collaborate to ensure that pediatric activities are incorporated.
- The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Hospital Preparedness Program provides leadership and funding to improve surge capacity and enhance community and hospital preparedness for public health emergencies.
- There are federally-funded grants provided to each state to support Emergency Medical Services for Children activities that promote emergency medical services and trauma system development at local, state, regional, and national levels to adequately prepare for the care of children.
Promote Hospital Preparedness
Members can support their local children's hospital or community hospital to improve preparedness. Consider the following ideas:
- Work with hospital leaders to identify a physician coordinator who can implement AAP guidelines and recommendations. For more information, see Guidelines for Care of Children in the Emergency Department and the checklist.
- Assist hospital leaders in working directly with their State or County Department of Health to plan for the short- and long-term needs of pediatric patients and their accompanying family members or caregivers.
- Encourage the hospital in your community to sign up to participate in the National Disaster Medical System planning and response efforts.
- Learn about the National Pediatric Readiness Project which aims to ensure hospital emergency departments have the essential guidelines and resources in place to provide effective emergency care to children.
Still looking for ways to get involved? Consider working with your state Disaster Preparedness Chapter Contact, support National Preparedness Month, visit the Pediatricians Web page, or e-mail DisasterReady@aap.org.