The Naval Postgraduate School & The U.S. Department of Homeland Security

National Preparedness Month Blog: Unaccounted for: A National Report Card on Protecting Children in Disasters

Save the Children has released its sixth annual state-by-state assessment of U.S. preparation and safety standards for children in child care facilities and in schools. The report, Unaccounted for: A National Report Card on Protecting Children in Disasters, assigns the nation a grade of "unsatisfactory" and highlights gaps in preparedness that are putting children at risk even before a disaster strikes.

Among the findings:

  • 28 states and the District of Columbia do not meet the minimum standards to protect children recommended by the National Commission on Children and Disasters
  • Evacuation plans are not required by child care providers in 17 states
  • Schools and child care facilities are often not required to practice emergency plans regularly
  • Families are not well-informed about reunification plans and are often not asked to update emergency contact information
  • Child care centers have little to no access to federal recovery funds

While progress has been made, preparedness efforts across the states still fall short. It is vital that work continue "with national, state and local level policymakers to set standards that help minimize the risk and reduce the impact of disasters on kids."