Children & Disasters

Children depend on daily routines. They wake up, eat breakfast, go to school, and play with their friends. When emergencies interrupt this routine, children may become anxious. They'll look to you and other adults for help. How you react to an emergency gives them clues on how to act.

You need to keep control of the situation. Your response during this time may have a lasting impact. Children are most afraid that:

  • The event will happen again.
  • Someone will be injured or killed.
  • They will be separated from their family.
  • They will be left alone.

Building Confidence

Having children participate in the family's recovery activities will build their confidence and help them feel that their life will return to "normal."

Recognizing Danger Signals

Teach children how to recognize danger signals. Teach them what smoke detectors and fire alarms sound like.

Calling For Help

Explain how and when to call for help. Post emergency phone numbers and teach your children how to call 911.

Memorizing Important Information

Help your children memorize important family information. They should know their family name, address, phone number and where to meet in case of an emergency. If they are too young, they should carry a small index card that lists emergency information to give to an adult.