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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Preparing to Meet the Needs of Children and Youth

Children and youth are especially vulnerable during and after disasters and emergencies. By taking the time to prepare before they occur, we can help children and youth stay safe and healthy. The resources and tools below offer ways in which everyone in a community can work together to help protect kids.

  • #Prep4Moms Twitter Chat: Emergency Preparedness for Moms and Little Ones  Everyone needs an emergency plan. But if you are a new or expecting mom, then your plan needs a few extra steps. Join us for a twitter chat on September 3 from 1:00-2:00 PM ET and learn about ways that pregnant women and new moms can keep themselves and their babies safe before, during and after an emergency.  
  • Preparing to Care for Children in Disasters:  If you are a parent or caregiver, take some time to learn about different aspects of preparedness for kids.  CDC has assembled some great resources that cover everything from learning about the ways that kids are different from adults to incorporating preparedness into back-to-school planning. Check out their resources and find out what you need to know to keep your family safe and healthy before, during, and after a disaster.
  • Learn to Prepare. Prepare Together:  Disasters can affect everyone, but Ready.gov has resources that can help kids, parents and educators work together to make preparedness fun.  Check out Ready Kids to learn more!
  • Prepare with Ready Wrigley:  Join Ready Wrigley as she helps her family prepare for emergencies!  This adorable pup helps kids understand how to prepare for a wide range of emergencies, including hurricanes, tornadoes, severe winter weather and earthquakes. 
  • Learn about Changing Mental Health Needs:  Young people react to trauma differently than adults and it can be hard for parents, caregivers and teachers to know when a child needs help coping.  Before a disaster occurs, learn about some common reactions that children can have to traumatic events and find out how you can help.
  • Emergency Response Planning for Child Care Providers:Exit Icon This planning guide offers child care providers the knowledge and tools to establish an “all hazards” emergency response plan for their individual child care program.
  • Disaster Preparedness for Family Caregivers Webinar:  This webinar provides information for those who assist family caregivers in planning for emergencies and disasters. It includes guidance and examples for informing family caregivers on keeping themselves and their loved ones safe in a disaster or emergency by developing personal preparedness plans.
  • Volunteer with your Community:  Kids can help their communities become more resilient by volunteering before or after a disaster occurs. If you are a member of a scouting organization, 4H club, or other youth organization, consider reaching out to the Medical Reserve Corps or American Red Cross to help your community prepare.  You can also help sponsor a first-aid and CPR training, or discuss ways that your organization might be able to help if disaster.

  • This page last reviewed: August 31, 2015