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July 28, 2010

New Jersey should and could do much more to help ensure the safety of its children in the case of a natural disaster or terrorist attack, according to a recent report on disaster preparedness that ranks New Jersey 40th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report, prepared by Save the Children, criticizes the Garden State for not meeting three of the four standards it identifies as critical to delivering minimum protection for children. New Jersey does require all schools to have a written disaster plan, which is the one standard it meets. It doesn’t require the same for licensed childcare facilities, nor does it require facilities to specifically account for the evacuation of kids with special needs. Save the Children also recommends that states require all licensed childcare facilities to have a plan to notify parents of an emergency and reunite them with their children. Twelve states comply with all four recommendations and another 12 comply with three of the four. New Jersey had the lowest ranking of any East coast state.

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