Managing Children in Disasters: Planning for Their Unique Needs, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Managing Children in Disasters

Planning for Their Unique Needs, 1st Edition

By Jane A. Bullock, George Haddow, Damon P. Coppola

CRC Press

394 pages | 46 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2010-12-03
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Each year, disasters such as house fires, car accidents, tsunamis, earthquakes, and hurricanes impact hundreds of thousands of children. Child victims can suffer disproportionately and the physical and psychological damage sustained can far outweigh the same effects in adults, often requiring years of therapy. Sadly, emergency planners to date have largely failed to adequately recognize and accommodate the particular requirements of children in times of disaster.

Identify Needs

Highlighting the infrastructure that supports children in a safe and secure community, Managing Children in Disasters begins by identifying the special needs of children, including physical security, emotional stability, family unity, and ongoing education. It looks at how hazard mitigation actions can reduce the long- term impact of a disaster on this infrastructure, and outlines the many steps that can be taken by parents, emergency managers, school officials, and child care providers to prepare for a future incident.

Target Resources

The book reviews what agencies and organizations can do to ensure that children are protected and families remain intact. It examines evacuation plans and processes, emergency shelters, and the recovery and rebuilding process. The final chapter provides a list of resources in emergency planning, psychosocial recovery, training and education courses, technical assistance, and other organizations. It includes examples of existing programs, reports, sample plans, and guides written for children.

Offering guidance for the family and community, this book discusses the types of efforts that can be undertaken in all phases of emergency management including preparation, immediate response, and recovery.


Managing Children in Disasters is a welcome addition to the growing body of literature in an area that has sorely needed it. The authors cite the latest studies and best practices on the subject, referencing the current list of resources available from leading children advocacy organizations. The result offers an invaluable resource on the challenges of providing for the needs of children during crises and natural hazard events.

– Mark K. Shriver, Chairman of the National Commission on Children in Disasters and Senior Vice President of Save the Children's U.S. Programs

Table of Contents

Unique Needs of Children in Disasters

Children as a Special Population

Physical and Physiological Vulnerabilities

Developmental and Social Vulnerabilities

Psychological Vulnerabilities

Safety and Security Vulnerabilities

What Are the Special Emergency Response Needs of Children?

Family Unity

Child Infrastructure



Child Care Providers and Caregivers

Critical Infrastructure

Health and Hospital Infrastructure

Social Services


Community Infrastructure and Children

Mitigating Community Infrastructure for Children


Preparedness Actions

Emergency Operations Plans

School Preparedness

Emergency Shelters

Building Resiliency

American Red Cross: Children and Disasters


Developing a Functional Annex for Children to the

Community Emergency Operations Plan




Voluntary Organizations Involved with Children in Disasters

Separation from Family


The Recovery Needs of Children Are Recognized

Providing and Restoring the Infrastructure That Supports

Children in a Community, Including Temporary Housing,

Schools, and Child Care Facilities

Providing Mental Health Support and Services

National Disaster Recovery Framework

Emergency Management Resources Focused on

Children’s Needs

Emergency Planning

Sample Plans

Psychosocial Recovery

Training and Education Courses and Materials

Technical Assistance



Web Links



About the Authors

Jane Bullock is a Research Scientist and Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. She is also Principal in Bullock and Haddow LLC, a homeland security and disaster management consulting firm.

George D. Haddow holds is a Research Scientist and Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. He is the second Principal at Bullock and Haddow LLC.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Forensic Science
MEDICAL / Pediatrics
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Disasters & Disaster Relief