Natural disasters, such as what our community experienced with Hurricane Florence, can be frightening to children. Below are tips provided by FEMA and a list of resources for families affected by the storm.
After a natural disaster, such as Hurricane Florence, children may have witnessed damage and loss of things and loved ones that are important to them. Their worries can vary, but as their parent you can help ease their anxiety.
Tips from FEMA:
Excerpts below. Read the whole FEMA article here.
It is important for parents and other caregivers to understand what is causing a child’s anxieties and fears. Following a disaster, children are most afraid that:
The event will happen again.
Someone close to them will be killed or injured.
They will be left alone or separated from their family.
"Parents and caregivers can clarify misunderstandings of risk and danger by acknowledging children’s concerns and perceptions. Discussions of preparedness plans can strengthen a child’s sense of safety and security. Listen to what a child is saying. If a young child asks questions about the event, answer them simply without the elaboration needed for an older child or adult. Children vary in the amount of information they need and can use. If a child has difficulty expressing his or her thoughts and feelings, then allowing them to draw a picture or tell a story of what happened may help."
FEMA's SUGGESTIONS FOR PARENTS:
Monitor and limit your family's exposure to the media
Encourage your children to talk and listen to their concerns.
Calmly provide factual information about the disaster and plans for insuring their ongoing safety.
Involve your children in updating your family disaster plan and disaster supplies kit.
Involve your children by giving them specific tasks to let them know they can help restore family and community life.
Spend extra time with your children.
Re-establish daily routines for work, school, play, meals, and rest.
LINKS FOR LOCAL RESOURCES:
Salvation Army: https://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/aboutus/?facts
Info about Disaster Relief Assistance: https://www.usa.gov/hurricane-Florence
Free Healthcare for Hurricane Victims: https://lockerroom.johnlocke.org/2018/09/20/free-telehealth-visits-offered-to-florence-victims/
Various resources available to victims: https://www.ncjustice.org/hurricane-florence-resources-information
The Sunshine Children's Dentistry LOVES our patients! Your family is a blessing to everyone at our office. If you ever need to reach us, our number is 910.762.7736.
For more helpful resources and fun activities, be sure to read our other Blog Articles.