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Reunification Planning: The Next Step


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Several years ago, Arizona State University (ASU) hosted a statewide exercise whereby they “collapsed” part of their stadium while occupied. The focus was responding to a catastrophic event but one of the major issues that arose from the exercise was reunification. ASU found that there was very little existing information to guide them on reunification. With the help of key partners, ASU developed several comprehensive plans to address critical points of the reunification process including a reunification site, call center, and hospital reception site. The model that was designed is easily transferrable and can be plugged into any incident command structure as a branch. In this webinar, Allen Clark, executive director of preparedness and security initiatives at ASU, addresses how ASU developed this model, assumptions that were made, trigger points, and the “three-prong approach” to activation. Participants are provided with access to several work books designed to help their institutions of higher education or organizations work through this process.

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Reunification Planning: The Next Step

  1. 1. Campus Public Safety Online
  2. 2. Reunification Planning: The Next Step • Assumptions • Activation • Three prong approach 2
  3. 3. Disclaimer/ Credit 3
  4. 4. My Home 4
  5. 5. Assumptions • Families will show up! • Information gathering may collapse our infrastructure; • Anticipate minimum of 8-10 per patient (hospital); • They will be stressed, perhaps aggressive; • Families will have high expectations; • Your process may not be able to meet all of their needs; • Ethnic & cultural traditions will be important in processing information and grieving. 5
  6. 6. Assumptions Continued • Victim identification may take days, weeks or months; • Unsolicited volunteers show up during disasters; • Pedophiles position themselves to have easy access to vulnerable children; • Responding to mass casualty or mass fatality incidents can be overwhelming and traumatic for staff; • Rest, Nutrition, and support will be necessary; • Staff Support falls under the Logistics sector (medical unit). 6
  7. 7. Activation, Purpose • Accurate and timely information sharing with loved ones; • A way to identify loved ones; • Provide emotional support for families and victims; • Protect families from media and curiosity seekers; • Provide a child care safe zone for unaccompanied minors; • Provide opportunity for post-mortem investigation/ services. 7
  8. 8. Activation, Purpose continued • Directs families to other hospitals when appropriate, or once established, to a family reunification centers. • Addresses psycho/ social, spiritual, medical and logistical needs to the best of the hospitals ability. 8
  9. 9. Activation Trigger • Will be different: – Overwhelmed services; – Political considerations. • Other requirements: – Declarations; – Others… 9
  10. 10. Three Prong Approach 10
  11. 11. Branch Organization 11 Local Incident Command Operations Section Chief Reunification Branch Director Family Reunification Center (FRC) Division Supervisor Hospital Reception Site (HRS) Division Supervisor Emergency Call Center (ECC) Division Supervisor Family Contact Unit Data Research Unit Credentialing Unit Hospital Liaison Unit Family Reunification Leads (e.g. HRS Unit Leader) Social Services Unit leader Child Care Unit Reception/ Badging Unit Victim Coordination and Notification Unit Call Taker Unit Finance/Administration, Logistics, and the PIO for the FRC may remain within the Incident Command or assigned a Liaison under the FRC. This chart is designed to “plug and play” in existing ESF/other municipal emergency response structures and is not intended as a replacement recommendation. Public Information Liaison Safety Logistics Section Chief Planning Section Chief Admin/Finance Section Chief Branch (i.e. Fire or Medical) Branch (i.e. Law Enforcement) Hospital Incident Command System (HICs) Operations Section Chief Division Supervisor Security Unit Credentialing Unit Reception/Check-in Unit Whole Community Unit Victim Coordination Unit Medical Unit Spritual Health Unit Behavioral Health Unit Unaccompanied Minor Unit Child Care Unit Volunteers Unit Investigative Unit Medical Examiner Unit Security Unit County Public Health Unit NGO Unit
  12. 12. Guide Resource • – Reunification Guide – Call Center Guide – Hospital Reception Guide 12
  13. 13. 13
  14. 14. Questions Allen Clark Executive Director, ASU Preparedness and Security Initiatives 14
  15. 15. 1.866.817.5817