Public child welfare agencies need to be prepared for unexpected events including disasters such as a flood, earthquake,
epidemic, prolonged power failure, or fire that either affects the agency itself, service provider or providers in its network, or the community itself. An agency may even be called upon to assist agencies in contiguous communities with their disaster responses. Agencies should prepare and keep current a flexible Disaster Communication Plan. This plan parallels the overarching Agency Disaster Plan. The communications plan should consider: how the agency will keep lines of communication open with families, staff, providers, media, emergency management personnel and other important stakeholders; staff/volunteer coordination; and communications support for preservation of information systems and service delivery continuity. Disaster drills should be planned as part of the overarching agency disaster preparedness with Communications included as its role is a critical one.