Return to About ACNM - American College of Nurse-Midwives > ACNM National Structure > Volunteer Structure > Caucuses

Disaster Preparedness and Response Caucus

ACNM extends its deepest sympathies to the families, homes and communities across the Plains and the Midwest that have been torn apart by the recent storms. In this time of crisis, we hope those affected can find comfort and healing, and hope for the future and the rebuilding that lies ahead.

While it is difficult to know exactly how we can be helpful as an organization during these difficult times, ACNM’s Disaster Preparedness and Response Caucus has resources and information below that address emergencies and natural disasters. Please take a moment to review the topics below to see how they might apply to you and the women you serve.  If you have further questions about this, please contact Karen E. Hays ( and Robbie Prepas (, co-chairs of the Disaster Preparedness and Response Caucus.

1. Giving Birth in Place JMWH article

2. Find out if the Medical Reserves Corps and Public Health Reserve Corps are deploying people and setting up Alternative Care Environments / Centers. These makeshift health-focused temporary sites (either in tents, or gymnasiums or multi-purpose rooms) often neglect to address the needs of pregnant, birthing, lactating women, or women who have experienced sexual assault. Ideally, CNMs/CMs should already be on the MRC or PHRC rosters, but even if not, you can go to these facilities to advocate for women's and infants' needs.

3. If you are not from an affected state like TX or OK, (or whatever state you might want to go to other than your own), it is NOT LEGAL to practice as an APRN or CNM/CM unless:

(a) you are being deployed with a recognized federal or state agency or 

(b) the state's licensing body has recognized you - some states can do 1-day licensing in emergencies. 

Many states have a compact for RNs to get immediately recognized, but this is not in place for APRNs yet. Learn more here:    

*Also note that when you cross state lines to practice as an APRN/CNM/CM, you are bound to the legal definitions/scope of practice in the state where you treating the patient, not the state where you live/are licensed.

If you have further questions about this, please contact Karen E. Hays ( and Robbie Prepas (, co-chairs of the Disaster Preparedness and Response Caucus

4. Review ACNM's Disaster Preparedness and Response information

5. Information from SAMHSA for anyone who may care for families emotionally/psychologically affected by disaster.

Their mobile app is excellent and free:

Subscribe to the Disaster Caucus Listserv below to network with others interested in getting involved in disaster relief efforts:

Subscribe :
Email address:
(required) Your name:


Email address:

About The Disaster Preparedness and Response Caucus (DPRC) of the American College of Nurse-Midwives

The DPRC was approved by the ACNM Board of Directors in September 2011. Our purpose is to promote the health and well-being of women and infants during both domestic and international humanitarian crises through advocacy, policy building, and direct response. Any ACNM member or student member is welcome to be a member of this caucus— no previous disaster experience required.

The current initial activities include participation in work groups to define our scope:

  • Building partnerships and liaisons with organizations that have similar interests
  • Developing an application and preparation process for midwives who want to volunteer in disaster settings
  • Creating a system of communications that can be both informative about and responsive to the needs of the DPRC members, the ACNM community, and the public at large.

Officers: Karen E. Hays, CNM & Robbie Prepas, CNM are the Co-Chairs of this caucus (terms of service June 2012 – May 2015). For more information, please contact Karen E. Hays (, Robbie Prepas (, and the Program Coordinator for ACNM Department of Global Outreach (

Meetings: Our first exploratory meeting was held in San Antonio, TX, on May 24, 2011. We meet annually at the ACNM Annual Meeting. The next meeting was held during the 2013 Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN on June 1, 2013.  On May 13, 2014 we will offer a workshop at the Annual Meeting in Denver, CO.


Download the following documents to learn more and to register to participate:

  • The ACNM DPRC Deployment Preparation Information Sheet is intended to assist you to be as prepared as possible before setting out on your volunteer activities.
  • The ACNM DPRC Deployment Application Form covers personal, educational, and professional information as well as preparation, code of conduct, and a consent & release waiver. After reviewing the Preparation Information document and filling in, printing, and signing the Deployment Application Form, please scan and email the pages to Karen Hays at

Disaster Response Resources:


Support the Teresa Marsico Memorial Fund and Help Fulfill ACNM’s Strategic Plan

Donors to the A.C.N.M. Foundation can help ACNM achieve their 2015-2020 Strategic Plan by designating their monies to the “Marsico Fund” when making contributions at:

American College of Nurse-Midwives.
8403 Colesville Rd, Suite 1550 | Silver Spring MD 20910
Phone: 240-485-1800 | Fax: 240-485-1818
Follow Us