MISSION: The Child Emergency Preparedness Committee (CEPC) is a subcommittee of the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) Statewide Emergency Management and Homeland Security Advisory Council.  CEPC’s primary purpose is to make recommendations to the Advisory Council and the Deputy Commissioner of DESPP/DEMHS with regard to the development and implementation of statewide strategic planning and guidance related to children in emergencies.  The CEPC’s scope includes:

  • Identification and facilitation of emergency preparedness planning activities in settings serving children;

  • Collaboration with national, state, and local emergency management organizations to share ideas and strategies; and

  • Identification of areas where members can work together to optimally address child crisis preparedness needs.


There are several national resources that provide information on response to active shooter situations.

Helpful Links

Active Shooter Preparedness: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provides resources to enhance preparedness through a "whole community" approach by providing products, tools, and resources to help you prepare for and respond to an active shooter incident.

Surviving An Active Shooter: The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has created this video to help people answer the question "what would you do?" in the event of a sudden attack by a gunman while at work, school, or in public. 

What You Can Do?(online course IS- 907): This course provides guidance to individuals, including managers and employees, so that they can prepare to respond to an active shooter situation.

Attacks in Crowded and Public Spaces: This page describes what to do if you find yourself in an active shooting event, how to recognize signs of potential violence around you, and what to expect after an active shooting takes place.


Annual Report on School Safety and Security Plan Standards - 2021

Child Emergency Preparedness Report - 2021

Useful References

Averting Targeted School Violence 

Helping Children Cope with a Gun Violence Tragedy - English

Helping Children Cope with a Gun Violence Tragedy - Spanish

How to Talk to Young People in the Aftermath of Shootings

Protecting America's Schools

School Security Frequently Asked Questions 




Head Start

The Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center shares materials for social and emotional supports for children and adults. Review disaster preparedness, response, and recovery resources for families and programs at https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/safety-practices/article/emergency-preparedness   

The mental health resources in the Learning and Knowledge Center include response and recovery tip sheets and resources related to short-term recovery; caring for yourself during recovery; and long-term recovery: https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/mental-health/article/mental-health-resources-support-response-recovery   

The ECLKC is provided by US Dept. of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Office of Child Care.

National Association of Elementary School Principals: Serving all elementary and middle-level principals.

The NAESP provides resources to strengthen safety in schools by providing a collection of articles, websites, and checklists to guide your school community through the prevention, management, and aftermath of safety issues.” This description is from the site. Here is a new one https://www.naesp.org/school-safety-resources


Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), US Dept. of Health and Human Services; Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE)

TRACIE was created to meet the information and technical assistance needs of regional ASPR staff, healthcare coalitions, healthcare entities, healthcare providers, emergency managers, public health practitioners, and others working in disaster medicine, healthcare system preparedness, and public health emergency preparedness.  This resource includes two main components, the Resource Library and the Topic Collections. It contains up-to-date disaster medical, healthcare system preparedness, and public health preparedness materials. ASPR and the National Library of Medicine are partners in the development of the ASPR TRACIE Technical Resources Library, a resource of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A comprehensive list with hyperlinks to all ASPR TRACIE-developed materials is available at:  https://asprtracie.hhs.gov/tracie-resources

The collection includes resources focused on pediatrics:




The Children and Disasters webpage reflects resources available to support the integration and implementation of children’s disaster related needs into preparedness, planning, response and recovery efforts initiated by state, local and tribal governments, as well as stakeholders responsible for the temporary care of children. https://www.fema.gov/children-and-disasters

Six Things To Know Before A Disaster Strikes video  https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/159970

Helping Children To Cope With Disasters: Disasters are upsetting experiences for everyone involved. The emotional toll that disasters bring can sometimes be even more devastating than the financial strains of damages, the loss of a home, business or property.  Children may cope more effectively with a disaster when they feel they understand what is happening and what they can do to help protect themselves, their family, and friends. https://www.fema.gov/children-and-disasters

Family Preparedness Resources:  Families may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance; how will you contact one another, who will you designate an out of town contact, and how will you get back together? https://www.fema.gov/children-and-disasters


READY.gov is an official Department of Homeland Security website that was launched in February 2003.  READY is a national public service campaign designed to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters.  The goal of the campaign is to promote preparedness through public involvement.  READY and its Spanish language version LISTO ask individuals to do four key things:

(1) stay informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses;

(2) make a family emergency plan;

(3) build an emergency supply kit; and

(4) get involved in your community by taking action to prepare for emergencies. 

READY provides information on emergencies, such as: Flooding; Winter Weather; Earthquakes; Home Fires; Active Shooters; Nuclear Explosions; and Cyber Security.

The Children and Youth Preparedness Toolkit has safety and preparedness messages you can share on your social media channels. You can either copy these messages directly or customize them to reach your audience. https://www.ready.gov/youth-toolkit

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC offers guidance to help prepare for an emergency and cope if a public health emergency, such as a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or disease outbreaks happens. The CDC offers step-by-step actions to help prepare before an emergency at https://www.cdc.gov/phpr/areyouprepared/ .

The CDC provides specific resources to address children’s needs in a section titled “Caring for Children in a Disaster”:  https://www.cdc.gov/childrenindisasters/


There is also information addressing people with disabilities. It includes resources from federal agencies.


Connecticut Office of Early Childhood

Those serving young children need to take into account the special needs and circumstances associated with preparedness and response for children in out of home settings.  An Emergency Flipchart provides child care providers the step-by step procedures on how to respond to a variety of situations.


Connecticut Department of Public Health

Connecticut Guide to Emergency Preparedness: This guide provides important information for families to be prepared for natural and manmade disasters. The guide describes how to make an emergency plan, develop an emergency supply kit, and how to make children feel better during, and after an emergency.   



Autism Speaks Emergency Tips

Keeping a child diagnosed with autism safe during an emergency.



National Health Care for the Homeless Council

Disaster planning guide for people experiencing homelessness.



Emergency Planning for Juvenile Justice Facilities

Developed in response to the National Commission on Children and Disasters, this guide provides juvenile justice residential facilities with information to prepare for, responding to, and recover from emergencies.



Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center

SAMHSA provides communities and responders with behavioral health resources that help them prepare, respond, and recover from disasters:  https://www.samhsa.gov/disaster-preparedness

The SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) prepares states, territories, tribes, and local entities to deliver effective mental health and substance abuse response to disasters:  https://www.samhsa.gov/dtac

The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a--year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

DTAC resources provide helpful information to professionals in the disaster behavioral health field including DTAC Tip Sheets to help first responders and survivors after disasters and traumatic events. (Spanish and Punjabi versions are also offered, when available):  https://www.samhsa.gov/dtac/disaster-behavioral-health-resources

Colorado’s National Center on School Safety 

The mission of the Colorado School Safety Resource Center (CSSRC) is to assist educators, emergency responders, community organizations, school mental health professionals, parents and students to create safe, positive and successful school environments for Colorado students in all pre K-12 and higher education schools. https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cssrc

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

An association dedicated to helping children and families, see resources compiled to help children after a disaster:  http://www.aacap.org/aacap/families_and_youth/facts_for_families/FFF-Guide/Helping-Children-After-A-Disaster-036.aspx


American Academy of Pediatrics

The AAP provides resources to address the unique needs of children in disasters: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/emotional-wellness/Building-Resilience/Pages/How-Children-of-Different-Ages-Respond-to-Disasters.aspx 

With respect to building children’s resilience to manage challenges that impact growth and development, a series of helpful articles is available at https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/emotional-wellness/Building-Resilience/Pages/default.aspx

There are pages dedicated to pediatricians, hospitals, child care providers, and schools, https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Children-and-Disasters/Pages/default.aspx


Child Trends

Child Trends provides a summary of evidence from research and clinical practice that can help with difficult conversations about school shootings and other traumatic events. This information includes suggestions for adults who care for children indirectly affected by a school shooting



National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)

The mission of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network is to serve children and adolescents who have experienced any form of trauma, including natural disaster, school violence, terrorism, etc. and their families: www.nctsn.org


National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement 

Dedicated to helping schools support their students through crisis and loss.  https://www.schoolcrisiscenter.org/


Second Response

Second Response addresses the emotional needs of victims of disasters. Their mission is to stabilize the well-being of individuals, groups and communities exposed to trauma by restoring the mind-body capacity for resilience. By pre-emptively training local caregivers, health ministries and educators in PLAYshop methodology, Second Response reinforces disaster preparedness in communities around the world.   http://www.secondresponse.org


Treatment and Services Adaptation Center

Community issues such as domestic violence, gang activity, and school shootings, and natural disasters such as floods, tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes can have a lasting impact on students.  The resources available at this site help schools and parents cope with these events.  https://traumaawareschools.org/inACrisis


Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University

The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress develops and disseminates a wide range of educational resources that advance its expertise in military health and mental health and disaster behavioral health. The Center also develops fact sheets following major disasters and traumatic events such as community violence, terrorism and bioterrorism, and public health threats. The Center also publishes conference reports that are of educational value to professional audiences and trauma stakeholders.


These tip sheets are of particular relevance to recovery after a disaster or emergency: