New online toolbox to help keep NY kids safe in disasters

NEW YORK (AP) A new set of online tools is designed to help families and communities keep children safe in disasters.

The Resilient Children/Resilient Communities Toolbox is an initiative led by the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University's Earth Institute and the international nonprofit Save the Children.

Pilot communities in Washington County, Arkansas and Putnam County, New York helped to develop, test and fine-tune the new child-focused disaster planning model.

Organizers say the initiative will help parents, community leaders, emergency management officials, schools and child care centers to prepare for emergencies and later restore a sense of normalcy for children.

Topics include guidelines for keeping children safe in emergency shelters.

There also are sample questions that parents can ask their child care providers.

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