OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 983

AN ACT CONCERNING CHILDREN AFFECTED BY DISASTER AND TERRORISM.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires the commissioner of the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) to amend the state's civil preparedness plan and program to include planning and activities specifically for children and youth in the event of natural or man-made disasters and terrorism. Starting by January 1, 2012, the commissioner must annually report to the General Assembly on homeland preparedness and emergency response plans and activities for children. The bill specifies the provisions that the (1) updated and amended plan and programs and (2) report must address and include.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

PROVISIONS IN THE PLAN AND REPORT

Civil Preparedness Plan

By law, the DEMHS commissioner must prepare a comprehensive plan and program for civil preparedness, subject to the governor's approval. All state and local government agencies must perform the duties and functions assigned in the plan and program. The commissioner may amend the plan and program as needed.

The bill requires the commissioner to amend and update them to address the needs of children during natural or man-made disasters and terrorism. The changes must be developed within available appropriations and in consultation with Commission on Children and the commissioners of social services, public health, children and families, mental health and addiction services, and education. The DEMHS commissioner may also consult with parents, child care providers, and local emergency service providers when amending the plan and program.

The bill requires the amended plan to require that all schools and licensed child day care services have written multi-hazard disaster response plans. Their plans in the event of a disaster or terrorism must address:

1. the children's evacuation and removal to a safe location,

2. notification of parents,

3. reunification of parents with their children, and

4. care for children with special needs.

Report to the General Assembly

The DEMHS commissioner's report to the General Assembly must address:

1. the health needs associated with bioterrorism and other public health emergencies that are distinct to children;

2. public education and communications for families on public safety issues related to disasters and terrorism;

3. safety and security training measures and multi-hazard response plans for child care providers, school and before- and after-school program personnel, and personnel in family homeless shelters, summer camps, and juvenile justice system facilities;

4. the coordination of school health and mental health strategies; and

5. amendments to the state civil preparedness plan and program described above.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Select Committee on Children

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

12

Nay

0

(03/03/2011)

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

23

Nay

0

(03/15/2011)