Westport, Conn. (June 20, 2008) — Save the Children has deployed two emergency response teams to the hardest-hit areas of Indiana and Iowa to assist children and families affected by the historical flooding in the region.
Working with the Red Cross, Save the Children has sent safe spaces kits — containing toys, books and educational materials — to five shelters and service centers in the Indiana cities of Franklin, Columbus, Terre Haute, Spencer and Martinsville. The agency also has provided safe space kits and additional books and toys to Red Cross shelters at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls and in Cedar Rapids, and it has set up a safe space at the Red Cross shelter in Waverly, Iowa. Two safe spaces kits have been provided to a shelter in Quincy, Illinois, and four kits have been sent to the Red Cross headquarters in Missouri, in anticipation of service centers opening in the area.
Save the Children’s emergency response experts also are assessing the status of child care centers in the disaster area, partnering with child care networks in Iowa and Indiana to monitor damage to the area’s child care centers and large, regulated child care homes.
“We know from decades of experience in responding to disasters that the needs of children are often overlooked in times of crisis—and we know that the resumption of child care is fundamental to a region’s ability to recover,” said J.R. Thomas, Save the Children’s associate vice president for emergencies. “Save the Children teams will work with area child care networks to help centers restart operations, which will allow children to return to their normal routines and parents to work on rebuilding their lives.”
Because summer traditionally brings severe weather patterns that might disrupt daily life, Save the Children is advising that families and communities plan ahead for possible emergencies.
“This is a good time for schools and child care centers throughout the country to write a disaster plan and to coordinate with local emergency responders,” said Thomas.
Save the Children works in more than 50 countries, including the United States, and serves more than 41 million children and 25 million adults, providing health, education and development programs that help children to survive and thrive, and mobilizing lifesaving assistance to help children recover from the effects of disasters around the world.
How You Can Help
Keep children in America safe and strong before, during, and after emergencies. Donate to the U.S. Emergencies Fund and support our work.
Your contribution will help Save the Children’s U.S. disaster programs to focus on four key areas in this and future U.S. crises: creating Safe Spaces in community gathering places; supporting the recovery of organizations that children and families depend on; offering emergency preparedness workshops for children and care providers; and building children’s and caregivers’ resilience.