The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers a variety of materials for pediatricians who wish to become better prepared for a disaster or are interested in getting involved in pediatric disaster medicine. The AAP Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council would like to extend an invitation to all pediatricians to join the AAP in its efforts to ensure children's needs are addressed in disaster initiatives.Advocating Effectively for Children
While increasing their involvement in preparedness activities, pediatricians may connect with others who do not have training in pediatric medical or mental health needs. The Youngest Victims: Disaster Preparedness to Meet Children's Needs highlights how children are unique and frames this information for those who do not have pediatric knowledge or training. Pediatricians can play a key role in promoting readiness for children and families through education and advocacy.What Pediatricians Can Do
- Become aware of disasters that might happen in your community or state. Visit the FEMA Web site for more information.
- Connect with your state or county health department or your local chamber of commerce to support and enhance plans that are already in place.
- Participate in state planning activities. Work with AAP Chapters to connect to or initiate state pediatric preparedness advisory councils.
- Prepare and regularly update a preparedness plan for your home and family.
- Support emergency preparedness for individual children (including those with special health care needs) by coordinating completion of appropriate Emergency Information Forms. Download customizable forms.
- Talk to parents about the need to develop a family disaster plan and encourage them to talk to their children about what to do in various emergency situations. See the Family Readiness Kit.
- Become knowledgeable about pediatric disaster management, including biological, blast, chemical, and radiologic/nuclear events.
- Help local child care programs and schools develop disaster plans.
- Take part in community and hospital disaster planning, exercises, and drills.
- Investigate opportunities to sign-up to volunteer in advance, provide guidance to medical volunteer programs, and promote hospital preparedness.
- Advocate for the needs of children in federal, state, and local planning.
- Join the AAP Disaster Preparedness Contact Network to receive quarterly updates on relevant AAP activities, resources, and opportunities.
- Do one thing during National Preparedness Month, which is in September.
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