Natural Disasters: Helping Kids During Crisis

 • Try and keep routines as normal as possible. Kids gain security from the predictability of routine, including attending school.
• Limit exposure to television and the news.

• Be honest with kids and share with them as much information as they are developmentally able to handle.
• Listen to kids’ fears and concerns.
• Reassure kids that the world is a good place to be, but that there are people who do bad things.
• Parents and adults need to first deal with and assess their own responses to crisis and stress.
• Rebuild and reaffirm attachments and relationships.

Suggested Websites
The American Psychological Association (APA) Health Center
Managing Traumatic Stress: After the Tornadoes 
Recovering from the Wildfires 
Manage Flood-Related Distress by Building Resilience
Strengthening Your Emotional Well-Being Ahead of the Flood

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network 
Tornadoes
Hurricanes
For Parents and Caregivers/Hurricanes
Earthquakes
Floods
Wildfires
Parent Guidelines for Helping Children Impacted by Wildfires 
Wildfires: Tips for Parents on Media Coverage 
Simple Activities for Children and Adolescents

Ready.gov
Wildfires 

CDC
Stay Safe During a Wildfire

Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration
Wildfires
Disaster Distress Hotline

Federal Emergency Management Agency
Helping Children Cope With Disaster
FEMA for Kids
Helping Children Cope With Disaster

U.S. Department of Education
Advice on how to help students recover from traumatic events

American Red Cross
Recovering Emotionally

PBS.org
Talking With Kids About the News

The Child Mind Institute
How to Help Children Cope With Frightening News

National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA

ASCA Webinars/Articles on Crisis
Webinar: Counseling Kids in Crisis
Webinar: Effective Crisis/Trauma Response
Webinar: Supporting Students After Crisis and Loss
Magazine article: Bouncing Back
Magazine article: Lend a Hand
Magazine article: Support Traumatized Students
Magazine article: From Crisis Comes Opportunity

Sample Documents and Publications

Culturally Competent Crisis Response: Information for Crisis Teams
This document talks about the importance of delivering culturally competent crisis responses in our changing society. Although written for school psychologists, this document provides and excellent resource for school counselors in giving strategies and tips for effective crisis response planning and implementing.
 


Help for the Helpers

Help for Caregivers/Parents