NEPTUNE, N. J. — Natural disasters like Hurricane Irene can leave children feeling frightened, confused, and insecure. Whether a child has personally experienced trauma, has merely seen the event on television, or has heard it discussed by adults, it is important for parents and teachers to be informed and ready to help if reactions to stress begin to occur.
“Helping Children Cope with Disaster” is a free, 12-page publication available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Web site, www.fema.gov. The booklet, developed jointly with the American Red Cross, is easily downloaded in PDF form and may be used without restriction.
The booklet offers parents, teachers, caregivers, and other adults suggestions on how to help children cope with the effects of disaster, as well as how to be prepared before a disaster strikes. Topics include:
• Identifying children at risk
• How disaster can create vulnerabilities in children
• How children react to disaster by age
• Meeting a child’s emotional need
• Reassuring children after a disaster
• Ways to monitor and limit your family’s exposure to the media
“Helping Children Cope with Disaster” can be downloaded at: /node/34708 and a copy is attached.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.