Include children's needs in all-hazards exercises
Contributed by: Lenore T. Ealy, Ph.D.
Department: Project K.I.D., Inc.,
In the weeks after Hurricane Katrina, Project K.I.D. developed our "PlayCare" response to provide respite care for children amid disasters and their aftermath. We are now working to develop broader community-based capabilities for addressing the diverse needs of children in disaster. One of the most enlightening things a community can do is to include children and their needs in exercise scenarios.
Having children on scene during an exercise — where they definitely will be during real emergencies — is one of the best ways to focus attention on how to prepare to meet these needs. Project K.I.D. has after action reports from exercises available and will consult with exercise planners to develop appropriate scenarios that will test your community's readiness to meet children's needs.