TNOYS’ Emergency Response Resource Center

TNOYS’ Emergency Response Resource Center is a compilation of relevant information for stakeholders, including TNOYS members, other youth service providers, and first responders, as they work to keep youth and families safe during natural disasters and emergencies.

Please navigate to resources based on the following topics:

 


Resources and Information on COVID-19

For guidance, resources, and information on responding to COVID-19, please click here.

 


Keeping Children and Youth Safe During Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are growing in frequency and intensity, and unfortunately Texas experiences more natural disasters than any other state in the country. Such events are especially disruptive to children, youth, and families who may already be in vulnerable or unstable situations. Research shows that children and youth displaced or affected by natural disasters experience trauma and instability, heightening their risk for victimization and exploitation, including child sex trafficking.

More needs to be done to ensure that children, youth, and families are supported during disaster preparation and response. This includes training first responders on topics such as trauma, youth engagement, family reunification, and preventing, identifying, and responding to abuse, neglect, and trafficking. Also, youth service and child welfare providers should develop organizational plans for responding to a disaster, as well as familiarize themselves with disaster preparedness tools and resources.

To assist in this effort, TNOYS compiled this resource center as a starting point for disaster preparedness and response. We aim to support our members, youth service providers, and disaster first responders in keeping children and youth safe before, during, and after natural disasters.

Use the links below to browse resources for specific stakeholders:

 


Preparing for a Natural Disaster or Emergency 

 

Resilient Children, Resilient Communities Toolbox
Source: The Resilient Children, Resilient Communities Initiative

The RCRC toolbox is a collection of tools and resources to assist organizations and communities in disaster preparedness and planning. The toolbox provides specific guidance and training materials for different members of the community, including Child-Serving Organizations, and Community Emergency Planners.

Some relevant resources in the child-serving toolbox include:

Relevant resources for emergency responders include:

 
Ready for Anything: A Disaster Planning Manual for Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau

This manual is designed to help communities prepare a response plan for serving runaway and homeless youth in the event of a disaster. It includes templates, workshops, questions to consider, stakeholders to engage, and more.

 

Disaster Planning for Child Welfare Agencies
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

This resource provides an overview of plan development, provides additional resources for creating preparedness plans, and provides some examples of child welfare agency disaster plans at the state and local levels.

 

What is Child Welfare? A Guide for Disaster Preparedness and Resource Professionals
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

This guide provides an overview of child welfare, describes how disaster response and child welfare professionals can work together, and shares further resources.

 

Disaster Planning, Response, and Recovery for Organizations Serving People Experiencing Homelessness
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This webpage provides tools, guidance, and other resources for disaster preparation and response for organizations serving people experiencing homelessness.

 

HUD Disaster Recovery Homelessness Toolkit
Source: US Department of Housing and Urban Development

The toolkit includes guides for each stage of a disaster specifically focused on recognizing and addressing the needs of people experiencing homelessness in planning, response, and recovery. Each guide provides detailed information and links to resources and tools, including strategy suggestions on including homelessness in action plans, accessing assistance programs such as the Tenant Rental Assistance program, and other resources.

 

Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC)
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

The Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) provides tools and guides to help states, U.S. territories, tribes, and local providers plan for and respond to behavioral health needs after a disaster. The Disaster Response Template Toolkit provides templates to help service providers develop comprehensive disaster response plans.

The Program Administration section includes a needs assessment; communications materials; training resources; guidance on outreach, staffing, evaluation and data collection, and more.

The First Responders and Disaster Responders Resource Portal includes stress management tools, online trainings, tip sheets, and more. Some of the available trainings and webcasts include:

 
Emergency Planning for Juvenile Justice Residential Facilities
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

This guide provides information to help juvenile justice residential facilities ensure that youth receive the supports and services they need in the event of an emergency or a disaster. 

 

COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season
Source: FEMA

This document, published May 22, 2020, provides actionable guidance to state and local officials to prepare for response and recovery options amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

National Strategy for Youth Preparedness Education: Empowering, Educationg, and Building Resilience
Source: FEMA, American Red Cross

FEMA, the U.S. Department of Education, and the American Red Cross developed this strategy to help youth-serving organizations across the U.S. empower and educate youth about disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.

 


Resources to Utilize During and After a Disaster

 
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Disaster Preparedness
Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)

This page includes specific information on children and youth and the potential for abuse or exploitation during disasters, as well as training materials and other disaster resources. During presidentially-declared states of emergency, NCMEC operates the National Emergency Child Locator Center (NECLC), which helps unify children and parents who become separated during the emergency. Additionally, NCMEC operates the Unaccompanied Minors Registry, which provides a unified resource for reporting, identifying, and investigating missing children during disasters.

 

Disaster Assistance Resource Locator
Source: DisasterAssistance.org

Created by FEMA, this resource provides information by state, city, or zip code on whether the area has been “declared for Individual Assistance.” Providers can use this page to register/apply for assistance from FEMA. The page also links to resources from other agencies and organizations including the Red Cross. Finally, the Other Recovery Help page directs you to recovery resources for organizations, businesses, and local and state governments.

 

Save the Children Emergency Response
Source: Save the Children

This page provides information on Save the Children’s response and recovery programs. Among its many programs, Save the Children creates child-friendly spaces in evacuation shelters during and after disasters, provides emergency preparedness training and resources, contributes to child care recovery, and offers programs in communities to help children and caregivers cope with trauma following disasters.

 

The Role of First Responders in Child Maltreatment Cases: Disaster and Nondisaster Situations
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect

This manual describes the different types and signs of child maltreatment that first-response professionals might encounter in their work, what they can do to respond to suspected abuse or neglect in emergencies and disasters, and how to prepare.

 

Disaster Cleanup & Repair for Your Home: Tips for Reversing the Damage Done to Your Home During a Disaster
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect

This page provides guidance on how to clean and repair your home following a disaster, but it is applicable to most buildings and residential facilities as well. It includes pointers on clothing and gear, supplies, and how to clean, as well as details on water and smoke damage.

 

Clean Up After a Disaster
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This page provides additional guidance on how to clean after a natural disaster. It includes fact sheets on general safety tips, mold, hygiene and disease prevention, and potential hazards. It provides instructions on how to clean with bleach, as well as information on mold and respiratory protection. The CDC’s considerations and instructions for reopening healthcare facilities following disaster damage is relevant to many other social service facilities, and it provides a useful checklist as well extensive details on a number of important topics.

 


Responding to Trauma Caused by Disasters

 
Helping Children Cope with Disaster
Source: FEMA, American Red Cross

FEMA and the American Red Cross developed a joint booklet that provides basic information on reactions of children and youth to disaster, as well as pointers on disaster preparedness.

 

Helping Children Cope with Disasters and Traumatic Events
Source: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

This page provides information to parents, rescue workers (first responders), and communities about trauma, how trauma affects children and youth at different age levels, actions to take if there is a concern about self-harm or suicide, a link to the Disaster Distress Hotline, trauma resources, and guidance for parents, rescue workers, and others in the first days after a disaster as well as more long term. An especially important resource on this page is the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locater, which provides information on counseling and mental health services based on zip code, city, or state.

 

Caring for Children in a Disaster
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This page provides resources and materials for keeping children safe during disasters and emergencies. At the top of each resource, there is a link that allows users to view all text in Spanish. The list of resources includes the following:

 

The Emotional Impact of Disasters on Children and Their Families
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

This study reports on research on the emotional impact of disasters, and it includes data by chronological age from infants to adolescents. Information has been compiled into three sections: I. Emotional Vulnerability; II. Emotional Response; III. Specific Interventions.

 

Children & Disasters Resource Page
Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Children and Disasters page includes many informative resources, including the  The Emotional Impact of Disasters on Children and Their Families, a study on the emotional impact of disasters. The study outlines data by chronological age from infants to adolescents, compiled in three sections: I. Emotional Vulnerability; II. Emotional Response; III. Specific Interventions.

 

Information on Child Abuse & Neglect
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

This page includes information, links to research, scholarly articles, and resources for addressing, preventing, and treating child abuse and neglect. The page includes information specifically for disaster first responders on topics such as risk factors, identification of child abuse and neglect, and perpetrators.

 

Behavior Health Conditions in Children and Youth Exposed to Natural Disasters
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

This page includes information, links to research, scholarly articles, and resources for addressing, preventing, and treating child abuse and neglect. The page includes information specifically for disaster first responders on topics such as risk factorsidentification of child abuse and neglect, and perpetrators

First Aid Arts

First Aid Arts provides training and support to help organization provide art-based care to survivors of natural disasters, human trafficking, forced migration, domestic violence, homelessness, and other types of trauma. First Aid Arts released a free COVID-19 toolkit to support mental and behavioral health.

 

 


Relevant Research and Reports

 

Still at Risk: Children One Year After Hurricane Harvey
Still at Risk: Children 10 Years After Hurricane Katrina
Source: Save the Children

These reports examine the impact of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Katrina, respectively, on children and youth. The reports evaluate the response to each disaster, identify continued needs or gaps in response, and provide recommendations for future disaster planning.

 

ACF Children and Youth Task Force
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families

The Children and Youth Task Force in Disasters model promotes effective coordination among diverse systems and agencies. This resource includes:

  • A brief description of the ACF Children and Youth Task Forces that were set up after the tornado in Joplin, MO, and after Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy in 2012.
  • Links to downloadable versions of Children and Youth Task Force in Disasters: Guidelines for Development in both English and Spanish.
  • A report from the New York Children’s Issues Task Force on Lessons Learned in their Response and Recovery during Hurricane Sandy (below).

 

Post Disaster Reunification of Children: A Nationwide Approach
Source: FEMA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, American Red Cross, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

This document provides an overview of the coordination processes necessary to reunify unaccompanied minors with their parents or legal guardians following a large-scale disaster. The report establishes a fundamental baseline, provides guidance on identifying the roles of various agencies and organizations at all levels, and serves as a tool to enhance existing emergency preparedness plans or guide the development of new reunification plans.

 

New York Children’s Issues Task Force:Lessons Learned from Response and Recovery in Superstorm Sandy in New York
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response (OHSEPR)

This report addresses the successes and challenges of the New York Children’s Issues Task Force following Superstorm Sandy. It provides recommendations, considerations, and takeaways for future pre-or post-disaster task forces.

 

National Commission on Children and Disasters: 2010 Report to the President and Congress
Source: National Commission on Children and Disasters

Congress and the President established the National Commission on Children and Disasters to identify gaps in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery for children and to make recommendations to close the gaps. Recommendations cover topics such as trauma, physical and mental health, emergency management, housing, child welfare, and juvenile justice.

 

Behavioral Health Conditions in Children and Youth Exposed to Natural Disasters
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

This report examines the impact of natural disasters on children and youth in terms of mental and behavioral health. It includes a discussion of risk factors and protective factors, as well as recommended interventions to protect against poor outcomes.

 

Post-Disaster Child Care Needs and Resources
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response (OHSEPR)

This document assesses the identified gaps in child care needs following a disaster, and discusses federal and other support that may provide relief for these challenges.

 

National Emergency Management System
Source: FEMA

This manual provides an overview of the National Emergency Management System (NEMS), which is a nationwide infrastructure for information and communications systems at the Federal and state levels. It includes a list of useful acronyms, as well as an explanation of each phase (and corresponding activities) in emergency situations.

  


Training Resources

 
 
Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC)
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

The Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) provides tools and guides to help states, U.S. territories, tribes, and local providers plan for and respond to behavioral health needs after a disaster.

 
Just in Time Disaster Training Library
Source: Disaster Resistant Communities Group

The Just in Time Disaster Training Library provides access to informative training videos on disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The library includes training content on a number of topics relevant to youth-service providers, ranging from specific diseases, to various settings (schools, residential facilities, churches, etc.), to different types of disaster, to using social media, to continuity of operations, to creating a plan, and more.

 
American Red Cross Disaster Training Services
Source: American Red Cross

The American Red Cross provides free disaster training both online and in-person. This page includes a number of training modules on disaster preparation and response.

 
Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
Source: FEMA

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates individuals about disaster preparedness and trains and organizes teams of volunteers that can support their communities during disasters. The CERT Program offers training in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. To become a CERT volunteer, one must complete the classroom training offered by a local government agency, but you can take the CERT Basic Training online course to learn more about emergency response.