The events of the Katrina Hurricane (2005), H1N1 Pandemic Flu (2009), Haiti Earthquake (2010) and Japan Earthquake/Tsunami/Nuclear Crisis (2011) demonstrate the need for a strong collaborative approach integrating newborns, infants and children into disaster planning. The resources required for the care of neonates and children are limited and regionally distributed. Successful neonatal and pediatric all-hazard preparedness relies on a strong network of committed public health agencies, emergency medical services, hospitals and communities. First steps to effective response include preserving bed capacity, competency and equipment to support a system of emergency care for infants and children within the county under normal conditions.
The Contra Costa EMS for Children (EMSC) Plan implemented in 2000 has been fundamental to improving and sustaining standards of care for the pediatric population from birth to age 18. The plan was updated in 2008 and is available on the Contra Costa County EMS website at www.cccems.org. The Contra Costa EMSC Plan provides the essential foundation to build an effective infrastructure of sustainable neonatal and pediatric disaster preparedness.