Disaster Preparedness for Practices

Children have physical, mental, behavioral, developmental, communication, therapeutic, and social needs that need to be addressed in all aspects of disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Pediatricians play a key role in preparing and treating families before and after Texas disasters. While the COVID-19 pandemic has consumed our daily lives, we cannot lose sight of the fact that Texas is a state prone to natural disasters.  TPS has curated a list of resources for pediatricians and parents to assist in mitigating the negative impacts of disasters on practices and families.

Winter Storm Resources:

Area specific information:
Texas Department of Emergency Management Warming Centers Map & Self Reporting Survey
Crowd-sourced document (cannot verify accuracy) with area-specific resources and general resources.

Clinical resources:
AAP Protecting Children from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
NPR: 'A Disaster Within A Disaster': Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Cases Are Surging In Texas (Feb 18, 2021)

Price Gouging:
If you witnessed or believe that you were a victim of price gouging during this storm, file a consumer complaint with the Office of the Attorney General. These items include: groceries, toilet articles, restaurant/cafeteria meals, medicine, pharmaceutical/medical equipment, hotel/motel rooms, gas/diesel, and propane.

Road Safety:
DriveTexas.org, from the Texas Department of Transportation, provides some of the most accurate and up-to-date travel-related information currently available to drivers in Texas. Information presented here is as close to real time as possible.

Water Safety:
All of Texas has warnings in effect about boiling water. Check local alerts and recommendations. For information on how to sanitize awater safely if you don't have electricity to boil it, visit the CDC website.


The Texas Pediatric Society has identified several volunteer links and opportunities to help those impacted by natural disasters. Please see below:

American Red Cross - http://www.redcross.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer#step1

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) - There are many types of VOAD organizations for you to assist. The site has a  member list of community-based, faith-based and other types of non-profit groups in your community that have active disaster programs and need volunteers. https://www.nvoad.org/volunteer/

Texas Disaster Volunteer Registry for Medical, Public Health, and Lay Volunteer Responders - Run by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas physicians can sign up with the registry as a volunteer to provide medical help to Texas communities during or after a disaster.  https://www.texasdisastervolunteerregistry.org/

US Department of Health and Human Services Webpage - Volunteer page includes links to additional registries to help in future disasters - https://www.phe.gov/emergency/events/2020-hurricanes/Pages/default.aspx

Preparing Your Practice:

Preparedness Checklist for Pediatric Practices - AAP
Information for Pediatric Practices - AAP
Preparing for Hurricanes During the COVID-19 Pandemic - CDC
Safety Information for Health Care Professionals - CDC
Children and Disasters: Disaster Preparedness to Meet Children's Needs - AAP

Vaccine Storage and Handling

Vaccine Storage and Handling - AAP
Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit - CDC

Health Concerns Related to Natural Disasters:

Diarrhea Guidelines after a Disaster - CDC
Flood Water after a Disaster or Emergency - CDC
Leptospirosis Yellow Book Chapter - CDC

Mental Health Resources:

General Mental Health Resources:
Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery - SAMHSA
Disaster Distress Helpline - SAMHSA
SAMHSA Disaster Mobile App
Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator - SAMHSA

Mental Health Resources for First Responders:
Tips for Health Care Practitioners and Responders: Helping Survivors Cope with Grief After a Disaster or Traumatic Event - SAMHSA
Adjusting to Life at Home: Tips for Families of Returning Disaster Responders - SAMHSA (Spanish)

Supporting Child Mental Health (Resources for Pediatricians):
AAP and Children and Disasters Website
Helping Children Cope and Adjust - AAP

Resources for Families:

Family Readiness Kit- AAP 

Safety and Basic Needs:
For road closures across Texas, click here
Review Severe Weather safety tips here
Call 9-1-1 for life-threatening, emergency situations.
2-1-1 (Texas Resource Navigation)

Mental Health:
How Families Can Cope with Relocation Stress After a Disaster – Healthy Children
Responding to Children's Emotional Needs During Times of Crisis – Healthy Children
Helping Children Cope with a Disaster - CDC
Talking to Children about Disasters – Healthy Children (Spanish)
Disaster Distress Helpline - SAMHSA
SAMHSA Disaster Mobile App
Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator - SAMHSA

Educational Materials to Share:
Flood PSAs
Educational Flyers on Floods