Reunification Planning

Reunification of children with the appropriate family members following an emergency or disaster is a high priority.  To be successful, the reunification process needs to be simple and consistent across all types of schools and businesses. This consistency allows all responders to learn a single process and provides predictability for how reunification will occur.


Download Workbook Here


The following entities have spent extensive time developing a workbook to guide reunification planning efforts:

  • Polk County Emergency Management
  • 2-1-1
  • Heartland Area Education Agency (AEA)
  • Iowa Department of Education
  • Iowa Department of Public Health
  • Marion County Emergency Management
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  • Polk County Community, Family & Youth Services
  • Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office
  • Story County Emergency Management
  • Unity Point Hospitals

Polk County Emergency Management will continue to enhance reunification efforts through:

  • Establishment of regional reunification centers
  • Training
    • Responders
    • Schools
    • Businesses
    • Collaborating with the Heartland Area Education Agency to develop a reunification team to assist with reunification efforts


Action Steps

  • Read and become familiar with the reunification workbook and process
  • Schools outside of Polk County – Utilize the workbook to develop the reunification annex of your local school district emergency operations plan in cooperation with your local emergency management agency
    • Reunification plans should be regional in approach to improve consistency and collaboration between response agencies
    • Consider supporting development of response teams within your AEA region or in locally capable businesses or agencies
    • Schools within Polk County – Polk County Emergency Management will be working with Superintendents this fall to develop a regional reunification plan and establishment of a reunification team in cooperation with the AEA

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