Individual Assistance: National Emergency Child Locator Center

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The National Emergency Child Locator Center (NECLC) is operated by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and activated during Presidentially-declared disasters.  Its mission is to assist in reunifying children separated from their parents or legal guardians in the aftermath of a disaster.  The Center was established in conjunction with the National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System to reunite adults who may have evacuated and become separated due to a major disaster or emergency.

In the event of a natural disaster, the National Emergency Child Locator Center will:

  • establish a toll-free hotline to receive reports of displaced children;
  • create a website to provide information about displaced children;
  • deploy staff to the location of a declared disaster area to gather information about displaced children;
  • provide information to the public about additional resources;
  • partner with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies; and
  • refer reports of displaced adults to the Attorney General’s designated authority and the National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System.


Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act (PKEMRA), Public Law 109-295, Section 689c

In February 2007, FEMA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the American Red Cross, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to enhance information sharing concerning people displaced by disasters.


Parents or legal guardians of minor children who have become separated from their parents or guardians as a result of a Presidentially declared disaster


During a major event with large numbers of displaced people, the Center will

  • deploy staff to shelters;
  • operate a telephone bank and manage calls concerning missing children;
  • assist local authorities to reunite children with their parents/caregivers;
  • coordinate reunification efforts with local law enforcement/human services; and
  • help shelters ensure the safety of dislocated children.


For more information, contact Waddy Gonzalez, FEMA Recovery Directorate, Individual Assistance Division, Mass Care Section Chief, at (202) 212-1077 or


Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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