Developing a state action plan for pediatric preparedness will encourage discussion and create partnerships between pediatricians, pediatric care providers and public health professionals. Having a concrete action plan also will enhance direction and accountability of pediatric preparedness planning. An action plan involves creating a sequence of steps that must be taken for a strategy or plan to be implemented. An established state action plan can be used as the vehicle for the creation of a team of subject matter experts who can make important local connections, brainstorm, and problem-solve before, during and after a pandemic or disaster.

Steps to Take When Developing Action Plans

Determine whether the plan will focus on issues specific to disaster preparedness, pandemic preparedness or pediatric preparedness in general. The plan should include steps that states, AAP chapters and individual pediatricians and other pediatric care providers can take, given available resources (as opposed to steps that require actions from others). Review state models, identify key challenges, discuss possible solutions and prioritize action steps.

The state action plan will need to be fluid and subject to change as clinical guidelines and experiences evolve. Developing a state action plan is critical for pediatricians, pediatric care providers and public health leaders, and ​it is important to be aware that the content of the plan may be different at the state or even county level.

Follow these steps when writing a state action plan:

  • Identify a team of experts.
  • Write a list of actions.
  • Analyze and prioritize these actions.
  • Develop a timeline to monitor plan execution and make needed changes.

Consideration of Disaster Phases

Each state action plan should consider the phase or phases that the plan aims to address. Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD-8) describes the nation’s approach to national preparedness. The national preparedness goal is the​ cornerstone for implementation of PPD-8. Identified within are the nation’s core capabilities across 5 mission areas: prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery.

  • Prevention: The capabilities necessary to avoid, prevent or stop a threatened or actual disaster.
  • Protection: Securing the homeland against disasters.
  • Mitigation: Reducing loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters.
  • Response: Saving lives, protecting property and the environment and meeting basic human needs after the incident has occurred.
  • Recovery: Helping communities affected by an incident to recover effectively.

The National Preparedness System is the instrument the nation will employ to build, sustain and deliver those core capabilities in order to achieve the goal of a secure and resilient nation. Aligning state action plans with this framework can enhance connections to existing federal efforts.

Additional Information

Last Updated



American Academy of Pediatrics