Disaster Preparedness

As events have shown, it is usually a matter of when something will happen, not if. Being prepared is always a good option.

Michael Gitter, LCSW, clinical case coordinator at Mountain Crest Behavioral Hospital in Fort Collins, provided tips for helping kids cope with their fears and concerns during the High Park Fire 2012.

His suggestions for helping kids can be applied to many emergency situations…

  • They are safe. There lives are not in danger. It may take a while to sort things out.
  • Provide a sense of consistency and stability, as best you can. “Things will get back to normal.”
  • Letting them speak. Ask them open ended questions. Address their fears.

Videos of volcanic eruptions, floods, earthquakes, fires, and the like can provide enriching data and heighten interest, but they can also stimulate anxiety in some students. Taking a few minutes to “check-in” after completing the lesson is a good idea.

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Caring for Children in a Disaster

This extensive resource from the CDC includes topics like Schools and Childcare Centers, How Children are Different, and Real Stories.  learn more

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Disaster Preparedness Tips

The Huffington Post looks at disaster preparedness and what you can do, with a side of humor. From identifying escape routs to how you will reconnect and what…  learn more

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Helping Kids Cope with Media Coverage of Disasters

While specifically for parents, this video from the University of Missouri will give teachers and other adults tools they can use when helping kids deal with disasters.  learn more

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Ready Kids!

FEMA has an extensive information on disaster preparedness for kids, teens, families and educators. You can find information, games, coping resources, curriculum, and preparedness kit ideas.  learn more

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Safety in the Science Classroom

Safety in the Science Classroom is comprehensive, with input from all the major scientific specialist sites. What would happen if your science lab had a fire? Are you…  learn more

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You Are the Help Until Help Arrives

This resource from FEMA includes a fun animated interactive video and encourages people to get involved, providing simple actions that can help save lives. In addition, you'll find…  learn more