Transition Plan for Strong Communities

Disaster Preparedness

The year 2020 has been one of the most active hurricane seasons on record, coupled with a global pandemic. Children are disproportionately impacted by disasters and their age, size, physiology, and developmental characteristics require advance planning for response and recovery. The administration must prioritize the health and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults with regards to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.

Invest in medical countermeasure (MCM) development for children. The administration must take steps to address the major gaps that exist with regards to MCMs for children. Many vaccines and pharmaceuticals approved for use by adults as MCMs do not yet have pediatric formulations, dosing information, instructions for use, safety information, or efficacy data.

Include the ambulatory care medical delivery system in preparedness planning. In order for the medical care system to respond, recover, and ultimately be resilient, preparedness planning must include primary care providers, such as pediatricians, who are on the front lines of all emergencies.

Improve the pediatric components of emergency medical services and disaster medical and mental health preparedness. The administration must support HRSA’s Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program to ensure that children have access to quality emergency care and support the ability of the Health and Human Services (HHS) National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters to provide expert advice and consultation on public health and medical preparedness, response activities, and recovery across the spectrum of children’s physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being. 

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American Academy of Pediatrics