wealth of resources, tools, and best practices happening at the grassroots level with the lack of coordination and centralization for these issues. Moving forward, children and family issues in preparedness could use a centralized home that practitioners and caregivers across the country can access to augment their planning.
Revisiting remarks from Irwin Redlener’s keynote speech, Anderson pointed out that the challenge now is figuring out how to move from lessons learned to actions taken, actually implementing the many best practices shared by speakers. In the same vein, testing the many plans and annexes that have been developed is an important second step in making sure that they are sufficient and robust enough to perform as expected. Various speakers highlighted the need for a national exercise focused on pediatrics and surge capacity. Upperman presented promising ideas to improve competency in pediatrics and using games and drills at the hospital level to familiarize providers, but taking this to a higher level and coordinating drills across regions or across the country could be very beneficial to identifying remaining gaps in plans and seeing where strengths are.
Finally, Anderson pointed out that although the summary of the workshop will help disseminate information about the many tools, websites, and resources discussed by the participants, there remains a need for a “clearing house” for sharing information and best practices. With the continued interest and engagement of invested federal agencies mentioned throughout the summary, as well as the reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2013, the conditions are favorable to make strong impacts in these areas of children and families in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.