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AAP Urges Families To Create Emergency Disaster Plans

mily disaster plan. In an emergency, shelters can't take pets, so plan what to do in case you have to evacuate. Ask your humane society if there is an animal shelter near you. Prepare a list of kennels and veterinarians who could shelter your pet in an emergency.

“It is imperative to consider both the physical and emotional needs of children during and after a disaster,” says AAP President Eileen M. Ouellette, MD, JD, FAAP. “The thousands of children still displaced by Katrina, and still grieving the loss of their homes and loved ones, need continued care and support.”

Because of children’s developmental limitations, they are often unable to express their needs directly or clearly. They rely on adults to help them identify and express their concerns, to help them access supportive services, to model appropriate coping behaviors, and to provide a supportive environment so they can begin to understand and adjust to the crisis.

The AAP urges parents and caregivers to remember that if children receive appropriate support, they may emerge from a crisis more capable and resilient. Without such support, children are more likely to have difficulty adjusting, and may be at risk for long-term problems.

More information can be found on the AAP Web site, http://www.aap.org and on the following links:

Children, Terrorism, and Disasters Web site http://www.aap.org/terrorism

Family Readiness Kit: Preparing to Handle Disasters http://www.aap.org/family/frk/frkit.htm

Feelings Need Check Ups Too CD ROM http://www.aap.org/profed/childrencheckup.htm

Responding to Children's Emotional Needs During Times of Crisis http://www.aap.org/terrorism/topics/parents.pdf.

Pediatricians & Disaster Preparedness Policy Statement & Technical Report
http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;117/2/560
http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediat
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