Leading the Pack

Disaster Response Partnerships


There are no upcoming conferences at this time.


Children are not small adults. They have special needs based on their physiologic, anatomic, developmental and cognitive attributes, all of which put them at increased risk during a disaster or terrorist event. Some of their unique vulnerabilities in a disaster event include:

  • Developmental and cognitive levels may impede their ability to escape danger;
  • Age and cognitive development may not be sufficiently developed to convey medical history or other pertinent information if they become separated from their parents;
  • Weight appropriate medications as well as appropriately sized equipment and supplies are essential in order to effectively treat children;
  • Children with chronic conditions and special health-care needs are particularly at risk if their survival depends upon medications or medical technology, such as ventilators;
  • Less blood and fluid reserves increases their risk for dehydration and shock;
  • Higher respiratory rates put children at risk for greater exposure to aerosolized agents;
  • More permeable skin and larger skin surface to mass ratio increases their exposure risk to some biological and chemical agents; this also increases their risk for hypothermia; and
  • Increased vulnerability to radiation exposure requires a more vigorous medical response than adults.

Cited from the Illinois Emergency Medical System for Children Program.

National Pediatric Disaster Conference – Review (Final)



The Western Regional Alliance for Pediatric Emergency Management (WRAP-EM) is one of three national pediatric centers of excellence in the United States. It is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). WRAP-EM has developed a model for improving emergency pediatric disaster response capabilities throughout the western region. WRAP-EM ties together organizations and pediatric disaster expertise from Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. From these organizations, subject matter experts -- covering a multitude of response scenarios -- have united with a single mission: to impact the capacity and capabilities to respond to pediatric patients in a disaster. WRAP-EM is available to support and assist Healthcare Coalitions in their planning and response (https://wrap-em.org/)

National Pediatric Disaster Coalition

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