Keeping Kids Safe
The Western Region Homeland Security Council (WRHSAC) is engaged in a multi-phase project to address the needs of children in disasters, natural or human-made. The project will address gaps regarding children’s needs in emergency preparedness planning, disaster response and disaster recovery.
The project began with a region-wide conference held on September 24, 2015. The conference brought together over 200 people from throughout the four counties of western Massachusetts (Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire & Hampden) from a broad range of disciplines and organizations concerned about the needs of children in disasters. Keynote speakers provided issues to consider and best-practices regarding the topic. Speakers were:
- Richard Serino “Children in Disasters“
- Sarita Chung, MD “Reuniting Families“
- Olivia Peters, RN, & Mary Allen, RN “Cultural Competency“
- Deborah Clapp, BA, NREMT-P “Children with Complex Medical Needs“
- John Woodall, MD “Role Models of Resilience – Building Hope From Despair“
An executive summary of the conference was compiled. WRHSAC is using this summary to plan next steps of the project. It is anticipated the the next phase of the project will begin in March 2016.