Hurricane Tools and Links

Page Contents:

For Parents and Caregivers

After the Hurricane: Helping Young Children Heal (PDF)
Young children, toddlers, and preschoolers—even babies—know when bad things happen, and they remember what they have been through. Here are some ways you can help them. This tip sheet was prepared by the Child Trauma Research Project of the University of California San Francisco, part of the Early Trauma Treatment Network.

Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event (PDF)
How children experience traumatic events and how they express their distress depends, in large part, on the children's age and level of development.

Ayudando a Niños(as) y Familias a Enfrentarse con el Trauma (PDF)
    >In English: Helping Young Children and Families Cope with Trauma (PDF)
Cuando los niños(as) son expuestos a eventos traumáticos, ellos dependen de los adultos, especialmente de sus padres, para que los protejan, y les den sentido a su mundo. Sin embargo, la pérdida de confianza en los adultos y la presencia de nuevos miedos son comunes después de un evento traumático. Los padres necesitan ser capaces de escuchar a sus hijos(as) y escuchar lo que les preocupa. Ellos también necesitan que los ayuden a sentirse protegidos. Si los padres han pasado también por un trauma, es importante que ellos busquen apoyo para sí mismos y ayuda para sus hijos(as).

Childhood Traumatic Grief Educational Materials for Parents (PDF)
The information presented here provides an overview of childhood traumatic grief, its general signs and symptoms, and some suggestions on what parents can do to help their child. Using this guide can be a first step for parents to help them understand their child's experience of intense grief following a death of a loved one that the child experienced as being especially difficult or traumatic.

Emergency Medical Technician Pocket Card For Children and Families (PDF)
This card is intended to help parents assist their children in coping with traumatic stress in the event of a serious illness or injury. It can be given out by emergency service providers responding to a hurricane or other crises.

Family Preparedness
When a hurricane occurs anywhere in the world, it represents an important opportunity for every family to review its preparedness plans for disasters that may affect its area. Preparedness means talking to your children about how the family can take action and respond effectively to emergencies. When parents take action, they teach their children the power of coping through preparedness. A family preparedness plan for all emergencies will increase your children's confidence that your family will stay safe and secure. For help in developing family preparedness plans, click here for the Family Preparedness: Thinking Ahead (PDF) in Armenian, English , Korean, Russian, Spanish , and Vietnamese, and the Family Preparedness Wallet Card (PDF) in Armenian, English, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Helping Young Children and Families Cope with Trauma (PDF)
    >En Español: Ayudando a Niños(as) y Familias a Enfrentarse con el Trauma (PDF)
When young children are exposed to a traumatic event, they depend on adults, especially their parents, to protect them and to make sense of the world for them. However, loss of trust in adults and new fears are common after traumatic events. Parents need to be able to listen to their children and hear their concerns. They also need to help them feel safe. If parents are traumatized, it is important for them to find support for themselves and to reach out to others for support for their children. This booklet was prepared by the Harris Center for Infant Mental Health, Violence Intervention Program & Safe Start, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans.

How Can Parents and Caregivers Help?
It is also not always easy to know what type of support children and adolescents need following a hurricane, or how to offer it. Here are some suggestions about ways to support your children, including open communication, emotional support, and practical support.

How to Find Help
As a general rule of thumb, if a child's responses to a hurricane (for example, nightmares and recurrent thoughts or fears) have been getting worse instead of better over time, consider seeking a referral to a trained and qualified mental health professional.

Parent Guidelines for Helping Children after a Hurricane (PDF)
Children's reactions to the hurricane and its aftermath are strongly influenced by how their parents, teachers, and other caregivers cope during and after the storm. They often turn to these adults for information, comfort, and help. There are many reactions to hurricanes and other frightening events that are common among children. These generally diminish with time, but knowing that these reactions are likely - and normal - can help parents be prepared.

Parents' Guide for Helping Children in the Wake of Disaster (PDF)
These guidelines are offered to help parents address their children's concerns and worries arising from the effects of natural disasters that cause widespread death, loss, displacement and injury. This guide was prepared by the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence at the Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, Connecticut.

Recovery: After a Flood
Children react differently to a flood and its aftermath depending on their age, developmental level, and prior experiences. Some will respond by withdrawing, while others will have angry outbursts. Still others will become agitated or irritable. Parents should attempt to remain sensitive to each child's reactions.

Recovery: After a Hurricane
After a hurricane most families can be expected to recover over time, particularly with the support of family, friends, and organizations. The length of recovery will depend upon how frightening the hurricane was, if evacuation from home was necessary, and the extent of the damage and loss. Children's functioning will be influenced by how their parents and other caregivers cope during and after the hurricane.

Tips for Finding Help (PDF)
An easily printable one-page sheet of NCTSN recommendations on seeking help help after a hurricane or other trauma..

Trinka and Sam Children's Booklet (PDF)
   >En Español: Trinka y Juan en un día de mucho viento y lluvia
Trinka and Sam the Rainy Windy Day is a story developed to help young children and their families begin to talk about feelings and worries they may have after they have experienced a hurricane. In the story, Trinka and Sam, two small mice, become scared and worried when it begins to rain and storm. The rain and wind remind them of the hurricane they experienced before. The story describes some of their reactions and talks about how their parents help them to express their feelings and feel safer. In the back of the booklet, there is a parent guide that suggests ways that parents can use the story with their children.

 

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For Medical and Mental Health Professionals

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment Disaster Recovery Resources
The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment developed these materials to help medical and mental health providers address issues related to substance abuse following disasters. Included are resources regarding continuity of care for people in substance abuse treatment; handouts for families, teens, disaster workers, and older adults; lessons learned from mental health service system responses to disasters; and preparedness and recovery plans for mental health and substance abuse treatment agencies.

Childhood Traumatic Grief Educational Materials for Pediatricians and Pediatric Nurses (PDF)
This targeted package includes both brief information sheets as well as in-depth descriptions and guidelines on recognizing and enquiring about traumatic grief in young patients.

Children Needing Extra Help: Guidelines for Mental Health Providers (PDF)
This one-page overview provides treatment recommendations and tips for providers on helping children who have been especially affected by a hurricane or other disaster.

The Healing After Trauma Skills Manual (PDF)
The Healing After Trauma Skills (HATS) manual, developed after the bombing in Oklahoma City, is an evidence-informed intervention manual that has also been used in communities impacted by a hurricane. It is designed for use primarily with pre-kindergarten through elementary school and early middle school children who have experienced a trauma/disaster. HATS can be facilitated by mental health professionals and teachers working with children. Although developed for use in the classroom or with small groups of children, it can be amended for use with individual children. The manual provides information about children impacted by trauma/disaster, to enhance sharing of experiences, ideas, and thoughts about the trauma/disaster, and to build a repertoire of positive coping skills. It is our belief that as children are empowered with skills to handle life's adversities, their self-confidence, self-esteem, and resilience are enhanced and strengthened.

Pediatric Medical Traumatic Stress Toolkit for Health Care Providers
These materials are designed for hospital-based health care providers (physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals) and may also be of use to mental health professionals who work in health care or disaster settings. The materials provide: (1) an introduction to traumatic stress as it relates to children facing illness, injury, and other medical events; (2) practical tips and tools for health care providers; and (3) handouts that can be given to parents that present evidence-based tips for helping their child cope.

Providers' Guide: Helping Children in the Wake of Disaster (PDF)
These guidelines are provided to help relief workers, parents and responsible caregivers address their children's concerns and worries arising from displacement, injury, and loss associated with natural disasters. They are intended to help caregivers identify and address signs of adjustment difficulties in children, and suggest ways to talk to children about their fears and concerns. These guidelines were prepared by the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence at the Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, Connecticut.

Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide 2nd Edition
Psychological First Aid is an evidence-informed acute intervention for assisting children, adolescents, adults, and families in the aftermath of disaster and terrorism. It is designed for providers to give practical assistance to meet immediate needs and concerns, reduce distress, and foster adaptive coping.

 

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For Educators

Teacher Guidelines for Helping Students after a Hurricane (PDF)
Children's reactions to the hurricane and its aftermath are strongly influenced by how their parents, teachers, and other caregivers cope during and after the storm. They often turn to these adults for information, comfort, and help. There are many reactions to hurricanes and other frightening events that are common among children. These generally diminish with time, but knowing that these reactions are likely can help teachers be prepared.

Childhood Traumatic Grief Educational Materials for School Personnel (PDF)
School personnel, play important roles in observing children, understanding how to create a supportive school environment, and knowing when it is best to suggest referral to a professional. This guide helps educators learn how to identify and respond to traumatic grief in students.

Resources for School Personnel
Information tailored for school personnel and guidelines for staff members of schools that are currently in crisis. The information is applicable in cases of natural disasters, school violence, and other crises.

Trauma Information Pamphlet for Teachers (Word)
This pamphlet includes suggestions for teachers taking care of themselves during stressful times, as well as tips on working with traumatized children. Resumption of schooling is important to promote the welfare of children and their families. Teachers play an important role in this process.

 

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For Relief Workers

Professional Quality of Life
This website offers a variety of tools and guidelines to address workers’ compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue, burnout, secondary traumatic stress, vicarious traumatization and vicarious transformation.

The Trauma Center - Trauma Center Resources: Resources for First Responders
The Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute provides support resources for first responders and others involved in natural disasters, critical incidents and other traumatic events.

 

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Links

Center for Mental Health Services - National Mental Health Information Center
 
Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress
 
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
 
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Department of Psychiatry and the Louisiana Rural Trauma Services Center
 
National Center for PTSD
 
National Institute of Mental Health
 
National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health - MedlinePlus
 
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration
 
UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools

 

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Helping

The American Red Cross provides emergency services, maintains a Family Links Registry for separated family members trying to locate each other, and posts disaster information regularly on its website. Other nonprofit organizations also provide numerous services. An extensive list is available from the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

 

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