Save the Children Report Says Little Changed Since Hurricane Katrina For Children In Disasters
A scathing new report from the Save the Children foundation says children are falling through cracks when there’s a disaster. It found 11 recommendations made after a study of the Hurricane Katrina response are still not being implemented.
President George W. Bush assigned Save the Children to spearhead a review of how youngsters fared after Hurricane Katrina. The final report was issued in 2010. Rich Bland is national director of policy and advocacy for Save the Children.
“You don’t have agencies appointing a point person to make sure that the commission recommendations were met," he said. "There’s still yet no national strategy on protecting children in disasters. And that was the number one recommendation of the commission.”
Bland says children separated from families may have special medical needs, or mental health issues from the trauma.
“After Hurricane Sandy, we saw in shelters gang members having to sleep right next to children, and vice versa," he said.
Bland says the report recommends child care centers and schools have detailed contact information and emergency plans for youngsters dropped off in their care.
“Most emergency planning officials think of children as just little adults,” he said.
There are forms available on the Save the Children website that can help organize the information and be distributed before disaster strikes.