Addressing Children's Unique Needs During Disasters
Recommendations from Save the Children

Jeanne-Aimée De Marrais
Director, Domestic Emergencies Unit
Save the Children

September 9, 2009

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Related Websites:
Save the Children Report, The Disaster Decade: Lessons Unlearned for the United States
Save the Children Emergency Preparedness and Rapid Response
8/25/09 Save the Children Press Release, "Four Years After Katrina"
8/4/09 Senate Homeland Security Committee Hearing, "Focusing on Children in Disasters"
8/4/09 Press Release, "FEMA Announces Creation Of Children's Working Group"
National Commission on Children and Disasters Web Site
National Commission Draft Interim Report

Up Arrow to Top of Page RATINGS
12 Ratings Submitted
1 (24%) Academia 3 (10%)
10 (34.5%) Business 6 (21%)
10 (34.5%) Government 8 (28%)
2 (7%) Volunteers 5 (17%)
0 (0%) Other 7 (24%)

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"Great presentation and speaker. Very helpful and needed information."

"This was very good. "
Mary Clark
Westmoreland Intermediate Unit

"Nice to know there is an organization that is helping with shelter safety and resources for kids."
Susan Henning

"Already knew about gaps, would have liked more information about how the gaps can be filled with insufficient funds."
Rey Thompson
Utah Div. of Homeland Security

"It was very helpful to hear the current status in disaster planning and how much work still needs to be done. I just wish we could have extended the meeting to two hours. "

"I have been inspired to review and enhance our emergency shelter plans to include language for planning for children, as well as reunification needs."
Ron Swartz
Univ of Alaska

"Was very informative on an area I had taken for granted. I will be asking to see the All Hazard Plans for my childrens schools."

"Provided a good overview of what Save the Children does and what many of the key issues are that states need to more adequately address to ensure that children's needs are taken care of. "
Gloria Hale
NC Office of EMS

"Could not get audio, but I think the information was very useful."

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Jeanne-Aimée De Marrais

Jeanne-Aimee De Marrais is the Director of Save the Children's Domestic Emergencies Unit. She was instrumental in establishing the Unit in 2006, helping to develop the strategic plan, build response capacity, and lead preparedness, response and recovery program planning and implementation.

De Marrais serves as Team Leader on Save the Children disaster response teams and manages the US REDI Team's 43 members. She worked for 14 months on the Gulf Coast helping create and lead Save the Children's Hurricane Katrina Response programs in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. She also led Save the Children's responses to: the 2007 Southern California Wildfires; spring 2008 tornadoes in Tennessee and Arkansas, June 2008 mid-western floods in Iowa and Indiana; and summer 2009 Hurricanes Dolly, Gustav and Ike.

For nearly three years before the Hurricane Katrina disaster response, De Marrais was the Director of External Affairs and Resource Development for Save the Children's U.S. Programs division, serving children living in impoverished rural communities across the United States, including in Central Appalachia, the Mississippi River Delta, the southwest and California's Central Valley.

Prior to joining Save the Children, De Marrais work for the Maryland Legislature's Chairman of the Joint Committee on Children, Youth and Families, serving in both his legislative and political offices. In that role she helped create and implement a large, multi-dimensional legislative agenda strategically designed to improve disadvantaged children's and families' well-being. The agenda included a results-based school readiness initiative and was focused on ensuring that programs funded by the legislative and executive branches serving children and families were results-based, collaborative and effective. Before working in the public sector, De Marrais taught middle school in Colorado and in the inner city. De Marrais started her career working in international healthcare for the Pathfinder Fund. She holds degrees from Tufts University and Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.