Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Emergency management twitter chat May 15

Emergencies and disasters matter to children and youth.   Youth and the old are the most vulerable.   That's why you should participate in the May 15, Noon - 1:00 pm DC Homeland Security & Emergency Management Agency Twitter chat.   HSEMA wants to know what hazards and vulnerabilities concern you have; share them during the chat using the hashtag #DCHVA.

You may remember the blog post "How safe will the District's children be when disaster strikes?"   This post highlighted the finding of the Save the Children's A National Report Card on Protecting Children During Disasters (PDF) that the District of Columbia was one of 12 states of 51 counted (the 50 states plus DC) achieving three of the four criteria for disaster preparedness for children.   The four criteria were:

  • having a plan for evacuating children in early learning (child development, child care)
  • reunifying families after a disaster
  • having a plan for evacuating children with special needs from early learning settings
  • having an evacuation plan for schools.

The 2010 blog post raised numerous concerns deserving attention.   I would suggest that the follow questions be asked during the chat and in the future:

  • What is the quality of the emergency preparedness plans of early learning facilities and out-of-school time programs?
  • Are child- and youth-serving programs required to register for emergency updates (such as by email and text)?   If so, how many programs are compliant?
  • Does HSEMA have plans to approve all disaster/emergency preparedness plans of all programs serving children and youth by a date certain?
  • What are the requirements for public charter schools?
  • Has the December 2008 District of Columbia District Response Plan been updated?   If not, what are plans to update it?

Remember the easiest way to follow the chat is to use a tool like TweetChat: #DCHVA.

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