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Emergency Preparedness: What Every Father & Family Need to Know BEFORE Disaster Strikes Leon R. McCowan, Regional Administrator Carolyn Meier, Associate Regional Administrator Elma Z. Goodwin, Management & Program Analyst Administration for Children & Families, Region VI Dallas, TX

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emergency preparedness what every father family need to know before disaster strikes

Emergency Preparedness: What Every Father & Family Need to Know BEFORE Disaster Strikes

Leon R. McCowan, Regional Administrator

Carolyn Meier, Associate Regional Administrator

Elma Z. Goodwin, Management & Program Analyst

Administration for Children & Families, Region VI

Dallas, TX




to oversee programs promoting the well-being of children and families.

acf s role in disaster preparedness and response
ACF’s Role in Disaster Preparedness and Response
  • In 2006, The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) was designated by the Secretary of HHS as the lead agency responsible for ESF-6 preparedness policy and planning within HHS and the regions and for support to FEMA, who leads ESF-6 at the federal level.
  • The Director, Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response (OHSEPR) provides policy development, coordination and guidance to the Assistant Secretary, ACF and Regional Administrator
in the national response framework
In the National Response Framework…

HHS is a support agency for ESF-6: Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Housing and Human Services

think it will not happen to you think again
Think it Will Not Happen to You?Think Again…
  • 60% of all Americans have faced a disaster in their lifetime
  • A significant proportion of Americans are at risk from 3 types of disasters – floods, earthquakes and hurricanes
  • You should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 3 days
what are hazards
What Are Hazards?
  • Hazards are things that have the potential to cause harm
  • There are natural and man-made hazards
  • What hazards do you face in your community?
  • Social influences on vulnerability include SES, gender, age, race/ethnicity, housing, education and many more*
emergency v disaster
Emergency v. Disaster
  • What is an emergency versus a disaster?
  • Disasters are not defined as the event itself
  • Disaster = Needed Resources > Available Resources
  • Disasters are defined by the communities ability to cope
what are disaster impacts
What Are Disaster Impacts?
  • Injury, illness, and death
  • Psychological distress
  • Damage to buildings including homes, schools, and hospitals
  • Damage to community infrastructures such as transportation, utility and communication systems
  • Evacuation of families from their homes
defining emergency management
Defining Emergency Management
  • Emergency Management is protecting the population and property from the destructive forces of natural and man-made disasters. (FEMA)
  • Everyone in a community has a role in emergency management, not just FEMA, State and local governments
what government does
Mitigate: Identify Threats

Reduce effects

Prevent effects


Write Plans

Build Partnerships

Educate Citizens

Exercise plans

What Government Does
  • Respond:
      • Coordinate Partners’ Response
      • Gather Information
      • Coordinate Resources
  • Recover:
      • Restore vital services
      • Restore community as close as possible to its’ original state
government doesn t act alone
Government Doesn’t Act Alone
  • Faith-based Organizations
  • Community Organizations
  • Volunteer Groups (Community Emergency Response Teams, Medical Reserve Corps, Volunteers in Police Service, etc.)
  • Businesses
  • And YOU!

Source: FEMA


Your Part

Preparedness Begins With You!!!

there are real benefits
There Are Real Benefits…
  • Being prepared can reduce stress on your family, fear and anxiety for your children
  • The overall impact of the disaster can be lessened

Source (Pictures Seen Above): life.com

step 1 get informed
Step 1: Get Informed
  • Ask about specific hazards your community faces, for example hurricanes in costal areas, tornados throughout the Midwest, etc.
  • Know community response plans – for example shelters and evacuation routes
  • Know school plans where your children attend school
  • Know plans in your workplace
  • Hurricane Season is from June 1 – November 30!
  • A hurricane watch means a hurricane is possible in your area. Be prepared to evacuate. Monitor local radio and television news outlets or listen to NOAA Weather Radio for the latest developments.
  • A hurricane warning is when a hurricane is expected in your area. If local authorities advise you to evacuate, leave immediately.
  • Hurricanes are classified into five categories based on their wind speed, central pressure, and damage potential. Category Three and higher hurricanes are considered major hurricanes, though Categories One and Two are still extremely dangerous and warrant your full attention.
  • Cover all of your home's windows with pre-cut ply wood or hurricane shutters to protect your windows from high winds.
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Secure your home by closing shutters, and securing outdoor objects or bringing them inside.
  • Turn off utilities as instructed. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency by visiting: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/emergency/index.html
  • A tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area.
  • A tornado warning is when a tornado is actually occurring, take shelter immediately.
  • Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
  • If underground shelter is not available, go into an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they attract debris.
  • A vehicle, trailer or mobile home does not provide good protection. Plan to go quickly to a building with a strong foundation, if possible.
  • If shelter is not available, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
  • Plan to stay in the shelter location until the danger has passed.
  • Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information
  • Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
  • Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
  • Evacuate if told to do so by local authorities!
  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown – NEVER drive into water on the road!
  • Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk.
  • Consider installing "check valves" to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency by visiting: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/emergency/index.html
step 2 make a plan
Step 2: Make a Plan
  • Develop a family disaster plan
  • Your family should discuss:
    • Escape routes.
    • Family communications.
    • Utility shut-off and safety.
    • Insurance and vital records.
    • Special needs.
    • Caring for animals.
    • Saftey Skills
you can t plan for everything
You Can’t Plan For Everything
  • We had plans for high rise fires, we had plans for plane crashes, we even had plans on what to do if a bomb blew up a high rise building. We did not however, have a plan to tell us what to do if a plane is used as a bomb to blow up a high rise building and never thought we’d need one.

-Rudy Giuliani

Former Mayor of New York City

step 2 make a plan29
Step 2: Make a Plan
  • Make sure your family carries a family communication plan
step 3 make a kit
Step 3: Make a Kit
  • You need to be prepared to sustain your family for at least 3 days
  • Basic items such as water, food and medicine are critical
step 3 make a kit31
Step 3: Make a Kit
  • Water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery powered radio and extra batteries
  • Plastic garbage bags and toilet paper
  • Diapers and wipes
  • Personal hygiene items and feminine supplies
  • Non-perishable food items, including food for children and others with special nutritional needs
  • First Aid kit
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Map of area for evacuating and for locating shelters
  • Duct tape and plastic sheeting
  • Non-electric can opener, utility knife
  • Matches in a water proof container
  • Signal flare
  • Paper and pencil or pen
  • Games/activity items for children, in order to take the focus off of the emergency
  • Keys
  • Work gloves
  • Calendar
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • Sleeping bags or blankets
  • Paper cups, plates, and plastic
  • utensils
children s reaction to disasters34
Children’s Reaction to Disasters
  • Disasters may impacts children differently
  • Disasters can leave children feeling frightened, confused, and insecure
  • Children may respond to disaster by demonstrating fear, sadness, or changes in behavior
  • For many children, reactions to disasters are brief and represent normal reactions to “abnormal events”
what creates vulnerabilities
What Creates Vulnerabilities?
  • Depending on the risk factors, distress responses may be temporary
  • Depends on level of exposure, prior experience, etc.
  • Child’s coping method may be modeled after parents
  • PTSD is a moderate risk and symptoms can be long lasting if not dealth with immediately
reactions vary by age
Reactions Vary by Age
  • Birth through 2 years
  • Preschool - 3 through 6 years
  • School age - 7 through 10 years
  • Pre-adolescence to adolescence - 11 through 18 years
meeting the child s emotional needs
Meeting the Child’s Emotional Needs
  • Children’s reactions are influenced by the behavior, thoughts, and feelings of adults
  • Listen to what the child is saying
  • Try to understand what is causing anxieties and fear
  • Psychosocial First Aid (PFA)
  • Be aware that following a disaster, children are most afraid that:
    • The event will happen again;
    • Someone close to them will be killed or injured; and
    • They will be left alone or separated from the family.
suggestions for fathers
Suggestions for Fathers
  • Suggestions for parents to help reassure children include the following:
    • Personal contact is reassuring. Hug and touch your children.
    • Calmly provide factual information about the recent disaster and current plans for ensuring their safety along with recovery plans.
    • Encourage your children to talk about their feelings.
    • Spend extra time with your children such as at bedtime.
    • Re-establish your daily routine for work, school, play, meals, and rest.
suggestions for fathers39
Suggestions for Fathers
  • Involve your children by giving them specific chores to help them feel they are helping to restore family and community life.
  • Praise and recognize responsible behavior.
  • Understand that your children will have a range of reactions to disasters.
  • Encourage your children to help update your family disaster plan.
  • Talk to your children about community helpers and community heroes who help people during and after disasters.
when to seek help
When to Seek Help
  • It may be appropriate to talk to a professional if you have tried to create a reassuring environment by following the steps above, but:
    • Your child continues to exhibit stress;
    • The reactions worsen over time; or
    • The reactions cause interference with daily behavior at school, at home, or with other relationships.
regional emergency management specialists
Region 1

(Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island,


Mary Evans

Regional Emergency Management Specialist


(617) 565-1108

Region 2

(New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands)

Glen Karpovich

Regional Emergency Management Specialist


(212) 264-2890

Region 3

(Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia,



William Evans

Regional Emergency Management Specialist


(215) 861-4507

Region 4

(Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North


South Carolina, Tennessee)

Reginald Hammond

Regional Emergency Management Specialist



Region 5

(Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin)

L. Kent Wilcox

Regional Administrator


(312) 886-6375

Region 6

(Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas)

Allen Applegate

Regional Emergency Management Specialist


(214) 767-1854

Region 7

(Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska)

Dan Houlahan

Regional Emergency Management Specialist


(816) 426-2271

Region 8

(Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah,


Stephen Miller

Regional Emergency Management Specialist


(303) 844-1170

Region 9

(Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa,

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated

States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Rep. of Palau)

Corinne Corson

Regional Emergency Management Specialist


(415) 437-8661

Region 10

(Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington)

Lewissa Swanson

Regional Emergency Management Specialist


(206) 615-2573

Jenny Holladay

Regional Emergency Management Specialist


(206) 615-2772

Regional Emergency Management Specialists
  • Department of Homeland Security:


  • FEMA for Kids: Preparing Kids and their Families


  • American Red Cross:


  • Citizens Corps:


  • Department of Health and Human Services:


  • Dept of HHS Administration for Children and Families


  • Federal Emergency Management Agency: