Help Young Children Deal with the Fears Caused by Super Storm Sandy
Super Storm Sandy left much devastation in its path. Now the road to recovery begins. An important aspect of recovery includes providing social and emotional support for children affected by the storm and its aftermath.
This page focuses on ways you can nurture young children who experienced disruptions as a result of having been through a disaster. At the bottom of the page there is also a link for steps an early care and education program can take to recover and resume operations
Overall, when children have been through an event like Hurricane Sandy, remember to:
• Create a safe place;
• Provide comfort;
• Create predictable routines;
• Talk about what happened, and will be happening, using age-appropriate words;
• Turn off the television and radio which tend to play the disaster over and over again;
• Remember that every child, just like every adult, is different in how they absorb, interpret and respond to a trauma.
Resources that will help parents and providers lessen longer-lasting emotional and social impact of a disaster include:
- Recovery: After a Hurricane by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
- Talking to Kids About Hurricane Sandy prepared by the Child Mind Institute.
- After a Disaster: Helping Young Children Heal prepared by Zero to Three.
- Talking to Children about Disaster prepared by the American Psychiatric Association, Healthy Minds Healthy Lives.
- Parent Tips for Helping Infants and Toddlers After Disasters prepared by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network
- Parent Tips for Helping Preschoolers After Disasters by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
- Tips for Adults by National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
- Recognizing and Addressing Trauma in Infants, Toddlers, Young Children and Their Families, a tutorial developed by the Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, an Innovation and Improvement Project, funded by the Office of Head Start.
- Tips for Talking with Children and Youth of Different Age Groups After a Traumatic Event by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Additional Resources are available on helping children cope with Hurricane Sandy at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/sandy.
Helping your program recover: For general information for helping ECE programs recover, read the “Recovery Chapter” (Chapter Five) in Head Start Emergency Preparedness Manual by the Office of Head Start.