IEMA Outlines Tips to Help Kids Cope with Disaster

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Protecting your family is at the forefront of every parent’s mind when dealing with any disaster, including a flood. The emotional toll that a disaster brings can sometimes be even more devastating than the strains of damage to home, business or personal protect. Children may experience distress when directly witnessing a disaster, coping with the loss of a family or friend, the on-going stress of temporary living conditions, or challenges to returning to pre-flood disaster life conditions. Here are some tips to help your children cope when floodwaters threaten your family.

Have a plan
Having a plan and communicating it with your children can help ease some of the anxiety kids may have about the abrupt changes in their routine during a disaster. Keep it simple and age appropriate for all of your children to understand. Including your child in the planning process will make them more comfortable with the plan itself.

Keep Calm
Children are greatly impacted by disasters. For babies, how you react will dictate their emotional response so try to remain calm. For toddlers and young children, soothe and reassure them often to make the abrupt change to your family’s routine more manageable for them to handle. Older children can still feel overwhelmed, so make sure you include them in your emergency action plan and communicate with them often. Most of all, remain calm. Children of all ages will sense how you feel and base their reactions off of your energy.

Heal together
Keeping your kids involved in your family’s recovery plan can help them cope with life after a disaster. Talk about how you can work together to re-establish routines and spend more time together during bedtime. Utilize support networks such as family, friends and faith-based institutions. While the challenges may be great, your family can and will overcome the obstacles. Emergency preparedness begins at home.  To learn more about building these plans for your family, visit

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