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The Emergency Preparedness and Response Guide for CACs: Planning for the Unexpected

NCJ Number
Date Published
42 pages

This document addresses the unique challenges that Children’s Advocacy Centers and Chapters face and is structured with preparation and response as the main components, and focuses on the three-step process to help CACs develop an Emergency Preparedness Plan.


This guide is a revised version of the previous document; it has expanded the scope to include additional kinds of disasters and emergency situations, including technological disruptions and mass violence. The guide has five major sections, the first of which provides detailed guidance for the steps for the Emergency Preparedness Plan development process, including laying the groundwork, assessing current vulnerabilities and preparedness, and writing the plan. The second section discusses responses immediately before, during, and after a public health emergency or natural disaster; section three covers response during or after a critical incident; the fourth section provides guidance on response during or after mass violence, with information on forensic interviews, family advocacy, and mental health treatment; and the fifth section discusses the role of helpers, and what chapters and regional Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) can do to assist CACs during a disaster or emergency.

Date Published: January 1, 2023