Actively seeking pediatrician and pediatric provider input and creating a bi-directional partner dialogue with public health decision-makers are key components of including pediatricians in state-level decision-making before, during, and after a disaster.
By inviting pediatric experts into discussions about public health emergency and disaster planning, the federal, state, and local decision-makers can work to ensure that children’s issues are addressed during the initial state, regional, and local plan development stages. This will allow the individuals responsible for planning to have a greater ability to identify and address specific gaps in pediatric readiness. They will also have increased access to pediatric experts. It will be important to ensure that all partners involved in these efforts work together to develop an integrated, cohesive plan with a high level of flexibility.
If you are a pediatrician or pediatric expert, we hope that the kit will encourage you to get more involved in pandemic preparedness or disaster planning efforts. If you are a public health leader or other child advocate, we hope that this kit will encourage you to connect with your state AAP chapter to request that a pediatrician be identified to serve as a point of contact for pandemic and disaster preparedness planning. The strategies shared in this key resource are designed to stimulate action and inspire you to take steps to form key partnerships and improve day-to-day emergency readiness for children in your area.
Questions to Consider When Collaborating on Pediatric Preparedness Planning
- How do the state’s existing pandemic and/or disaster preparedness plan address children’s needs?
- Is there an existing committee or coalition of pediatric and public health leaders that aims to improve pediatric preparedness in the state? Every state has an Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program, which may be a potential location for an existing coalition. See a list of List of State EMSC Grantees.
- Is there an ongoing preparedness council that a pediatrician or public health representatives could join to improve preparedness for children?
- Does the AAP chapter have a “pediatric champion” or committee to address disaster preparedness and response?
- Is there a state-specific action plan for pediatric preparedness?
- What opportunities are there for individual pediatricians to get involved in public health planning? Are there ways that public health leaders could join AAP chapter leaders in their planning efforts?
American Academy of Pediatrics