Massachusetts — Targeted Issue

REUNITE: A Novel Imaging System for Children Separated During Disaster

Sept. 1, 2008 - Aug. 31, 2011

Grant Number
Project Overview
After a disaster, children can be separated from their families. Methods for family reunification are time consuming and inefficient. The goal is to develop REUNITE, a portable and web-based system offering a means of rapid identification and reunification for families and their children. The goals of this project are to (1) create the REUNITE prototype with a) rapid digital imaging of a child's face and shoulders, b) robust facial and clothing feature extraction, and c) rapid and specific image indexing and retrieval; (2) enhance REUNITE with creation of cosmetic facial reconstruction algorithms; (3) create an instruction manual that outlines steps for image capture and prototype use; and (4) evaluate REUNITE prototype in simulated disasters and simulated incident in which pediatric victims have facial trauma.
Children's Hospital Boston Center for Biopreparedness
Main Contacts
Award Amount


Name Role(s) Phone Email
Sarita Chung, MD
  • Principal Investigator
Michael Shannon, MD
  • Principal Investigator


Title Type Publication/Event Published/Presented Identifier Details
A Novel Image-based Tool to Reunite Children With Their Families After Disasters Research Paper/Publication Academic Emergency Medicine 2012
Survey of emergency management professionals to assess ideal characteristics of a photographic-based family reunification tool. Research Paper/Publication Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2012
Pediatric Aspects of Hospital Preparedness Research Paper/Publication Clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine 2009
Pediatric Disaster Readiness: How Far Have We Come? Letter/Preface Clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine 2009
Pediatric Preparedness for Disasters: Where Are We Now? Current Challenges and Future Directions Research Paper/Publication Clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine 2009
Reuniting children with their families during disasters: a proposed plan for greater success Research Paper/Publication American Journal of Disaster Medicine 2007