In Case of Disaster, Missouri's Kids Are Screwed

Pop quiz: What do Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Montana and Wyoming all have in common? According to a new report by Save the Children, kids in all these states are probably out of luck in case of an emergency.

Leaning heavily on quotes and pictures of Hurricane Katrina's devastation nearly five years ago, Save the Children released its second disaster preparedness report, ranking all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on four criteria of disaster preparedness. In order to be prepared to protect children in a disaster, states must...

-Require that licensed child care facilities have a written plan for evacuating children and moving them to a safe location in case of a disaster.

-Require licensed child care facilities to have a written plan for notifying parents of an emergency and reunite them with their kids.

-Require licensed child care facilities to have a written plan that takes into account children with special needs and disabilities.

-Require that schools have a disaster plan that "accounts for multiple hazards."
Missouri, along with six other states, meets exactly NONE of these criteria. (This is all the more reason to pack up and move to California, or one of 11 other states that meets all four safety bulletpoints.)

If this doesn't freak you out, and you're able to shrug off the Katrina statistics about how long it took to reunite 5,192 children displaced by the storm (6 months!) and how many Louisiana children were clinically depressed post-storm (37 percent!), well, Save the Children has some food for thought for you:

"Ninety percent of U.S. children live in an area at risk of a natural disaster, and terrorists can strike anywhere," says the material accompanying the report.


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