Indiana and Illinois are “Unsatisfactory” in Protecting Children During a Disaster According to Save the Children’s 2013 Disaster Report Card


Indiana and Illinois are “Unsatisfactory” in Protecting Children During a Disaster According to Save the Children’s 2013 Disaster Report Card

This month, Save the Children released its research results regarding how well – or how poorly – each state in the union is protecting children in the event of a disaster.  You can read their 2013 Disaster Report Card here. Here is how Illinois and Indiana were graded in the Save the Children analysis:

Illinois

“Unsatisfactory”
Illinois fails in three of four areas:
  1. Plan for evacuating children who are in child care
  2. Plan for reuniting families after a disaster
  3. Plan for children with disabilities and those with access and functional needs
Succeeds in one of four areas:
  1. Multi-hazard plan for all K – 12 schools
“Unsatisfactory”
Indiana fails in two of four areas:
  1. Plan for evacuating children who are in child care
  2. Plan for children with disabilities and those with access and functional needs
Indiana succeeds in two of four areas:
  1. Plan for reuniting families after a disaster
  2. Multi-hazard plan for all K – 12 schools

Our Get Ready Get Safe initiative is dedicated to helping communities prepare for worst-case scenarios, generating emergency plans for our most vulnerable victims, making sure supplies are in place before disasters happens, and training those who are most responsible for children’s safety.

Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios

All too often, disasters facing kids are not natural disasters like tornadoes or fires, but man-made disasters, such as the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newton, Connecticut; the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting; or the 1999 Columbine High School shooting.

In March 2012, a Virginia jury found for the families of two Virginia Tech victims, Erin Peterson and Julia Pryde, in a wrongful death lawsuit against the school finding that the wrongful deaths of the two girls in their dorm was proximately caused by Virginia Tech’s failure to warn the campus that a shooter was on the campus, shooting people.  The jury awarded each family $4,000,000 but these awards were later reduced to the maximum allowed by Virginia law, $100,000.00.

Seventeen lawsuits were filed after the 1999 Columbine shootings; most of these were settled for confidential amounts, with lawsuits against not only the school authorities, but also law enforcement and the killers’ parents.  Among these settlements, a settlement for the wrongful death case filed by the family of Columbine teacher Dave Sanders for $1,500,000.00.

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In these situations, surviving parents and loved ones are grieving the wrongful death of their child or spouse and considering whether or not the school or school district or school authorities could have done more to stop and prevent the wrongful death from happening.  No one is suggesting that these lawsuits are the optimal solution to these man-made disasters – the better course would be for there to be sufficient safeguards and security in place to protect kids before something happens.


Which means that the September 2013 Report by Save the Children is so very important.  Indiana and Illinois both have “unsatisfactory” results here and this is not good news for our communities.

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