Get Ready. Get Safe.


September 16, 2013

Many of us have plans in place for what to do if disaster were to strike our home: we have emergency phone numbers at hand, a storage of food and water, a supply of flashlights and batteries, a radio, even a generator. But what about when disaster strikes in public areas? How will your children be kept safe?

Get SafeSeptember is National Preparedness Month, and a new report (Unaccounted For: A National Report Card on Protecting Children in Disaster) shows that despite a record year of disaster and high-profile school tragedies, most states still fail to meet basic child-safety standards. The standards were developed nationally after Hurricane Katrina.

While four states have taken action to protect children over the past year (New Jersey, Tennessee, Nebraska, and Utah), 28 states and the District of Columbia have failed to meet minimum standards to protect children in child-care and schools. The four basic standards require all states to have the following:


1.    An evacuation/relocation plan
2.    A family-child reunification plan
3.    A plan for children with special needs
4.    That all K-12 schools have an emergency plan that accounts for multiple types of hazards that can occur.

As a response to this report, our friends at Save the Children have shared their very detailed and interactive preparedness initiative, Get Ready. Get Safe. This is a resource for individuals, families, and communities to increase their involvement at various levels. Their site makes it easy to:

  •  Look on the interactive map to see if your state meets the four minimum standards to protect children
  • Write your governor a letter demanding they meet all four standards, or that they make sure plans are in place
  • Find checklists for families and child care
  • Sign up to receive alerts
  • Make a donation to support work to protect children before, during and after disaster strikes

Sandy Hook parents Robbie and Alissa Parker spoke on behalf of the Get Ready. Get Safe. initiative. Their courage can inspire all of us to do all we can to make sure our kids and our communities are prepared.

We know what works. Let’s help everyone do it better.

Take Action Challenge
Visit Save the Children’s Get Ready. Get Safe. site and learn about what’s being done in your area to keep children safe during times of disaster. Reach out to government officials, and spread the word! You can download the full report here.

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