Planning Disaster Drills to Include Children

Dr Carlyn enjoys developing disaster exercises. She believes that they are powerful educational tools for increasing preparedness, collaboration, and awareness. With Kristel Wetjen she is founding co-chair of the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics (UIHC) Pediatric Disaster Preparedness Task Force (2010- present). She is former chair, vice-chair, and current member of the UIHC Emergency Management Work Group (2004-present). Carlyn has helped create and complete more than 30 disaster exercises at UIHC. She completed her medical school training at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle and residency training in Pediatrics at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She served as Chief Resident in the Department of Pediatrics at UIHC. She ran her own pediatric clinic, Adolescent and Pediatric Health Clinic, for 12 years before joining the Department of Emergency Medicine in 2003, where she is now Clinical Professor.

In this session, we will share successful examples of disaster drills involving pediatric “victims” from small scale “paper patient” drills to large mass casualty surge exercise incorporating community first responders and volunteer mock pediatric “victims”. We will identify valuable resources for pediatric preparedness and give participants a template to start planning their own disaster drill customized for their own circumstances. Throughout the session, we will encourage attendees to share their challenges, successes, and questions about pediatric preparedness to enrich our discussion.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will review important aspects of children to consider in planning disaster drills.
  2. Participants will learn about simple and inexpensive ways to produce a disaster drill.
  3. Participants will receive hands-on opportunity to start planning their own disaster drill to involve children and their community.