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Disaster Preparedness

Disaster preparedness can help you and your patients weather any unexpected situation that might arise. Disasters can take many forms, and the unpredictable nature of a disaster can create stress and panic in a  moment’s notice. Preparedness can help you respond accordingly when the unthinkable happens.

Below are a collection of resources that can help with preparedness efforts in the clinic and in the home.


Pediatric Disaster Preparedness and Response Topical Collection

This topical collection from the American Academy of Pediatrics includes disaster preparedness information regarding children. All of the content is recent and has been peer-reviewed.  Topics include:

  1. How Children are Different
  2. Disaster Planning for Pediatricians
  3. Preparedness Planning in Specific Practice Settings
  4. Mental Health Issues
  5. Emerging Infectious Diseases
  6. Pediatric Preparedness Exercises
  7. Resources

Minnesota Department of Health Pediatric Disaster Preparedness – Plan and Videos

The Minnesota Department of Health has identified the need for more pediatric education, training, and a Minnesota Pediatric Surge Plan to ensure our state is capable of responding to a statewide pediatric surge disaster. A pediatric surge plan (new as of July 2019) and a pediatric surge toolkit can be found on the Minnesota Department of Health website.

Discusses the statewide plan on how to manage a surge of pediatric patients.

Minnesota pediatric experts created six educational modules to help health care providers be ready for a surge of pediatric patients. Topics include trauma and non-trauma surge of patients, children with special health care needs, altered standards of care, operations and incident management, and triage and decontamination of pediatric patients.

Disaster Preparedness Information for the Pediatric Clinic

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers a pediatric preparedness checklist that helps assess clinic readiness with resources on topics such as:

  • a list of items for an office disaster kit
  • facility review and preparation
  • protecting patient records and office files
  • preparing staff
  • effective communications

The AAP also offers a post-disaster recovery document that can help pediatricians re-establish clinic operations in the wake of a disaster.

Families and Disaster Preparedness

There are many sites that can help a family prepare for disasters, however, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers a valuable resource in the Family Readiness Kit.

Other reliable resources for patients and their families found on the web including: and

This website is an e-government resource managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Through the site, a disaster tool kit is found in both English and Spanish, includes child-friendly short videos in English and in Spanish.

Federal Emergency Management Agency

The Federal Emergency Management Agency also maintains a website dedicated to children and disasters. The resources, toolkits, and checklists are available through the website. In addition, the Spanish Toolkit for Disaster Response aims to help content managers and emergency management personnel distribute critical information to Spanish-speaking communities in a timely manner during the early stages of a disaster.

Powered by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the webpage focusing on disaster preparedness has both Spanish and English resources available. was created as part of a national disaster preparedness campaign from the federal government. The website contains a child-specific page. This site offers toolkits, games, and other resources to help families and children prepare for disasters. The resources are also available in Spanish.


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