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Preparing for a disaster with help from partners in Washington County

Disasters can happen at any time and anywhere, and if they do we hope that our communities are prepared to help the most vulnerable among us. Find out how we partner with The Washington County Community Resilience Coalition to make this happen.

Through the Resilient Children, Resilient Communities (RCRC) Initiative, a partnership of The National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and Save the Children and supported by a grant from GSK, we’ve learned that the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community – our children – may not be adequately addressed in the event of a disaster.

A national survey by the RCRC found that 35% of households with children are not familiar with their school’s evacuation and emergency plans and 41% do not know where their children would be evacuated to during a disaster. 

So, how can we be better prepared?

In Washington County, the RCRC Initiative has been working with stakeholders across sectors as part of The Washington County Community Resilience Coalition to assess gaps and create child-focused disaster and community resilience plans.  They are working with families to develop household preparedness plans, enhancing connections between child-serving institutions and emergency response agencies, and ensuring that community needs are being advocated for at the state and national level.

Our hope is that their efforts will not only keep the children of Washington County safe, but will serve as a model for other communities to better prepare for the needs of children across the US in the event of a disaster.