Helping your child prepare for a storm and its aftermath:
A coping toolkit for families
ReadyRosie and the Center for School Behavioral Health at Mental Health America of Greater Houston have collaborated to provide this free resource for families and schools. Funding was made possible by the RebuildTX Fund for communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey as well as other communities who have been or could be impacted by natural disasters.
What should I do to prepare my child before a storm?
Preparing children for a storm in a calm, low-key manner can help them understand how their routine may change for a few days. Even young children can feel empowered by lending a hand in gathering supplies for the family and their own personal comfort.
How do I help my child stay calm during a storm?
Storms can last for several days and it's good to be prepared with lots of games, books, and activities for children and adults. When lights go out, wind is loud, or water starts to rise, parents can help their child stay calm.
What should I do to help my child immediately after a storm?
Seeing repeated television images of the storm and the effects of the storm in their neighborhood may be frightening to children. Parents can help their children understand when the storm is over and that it's OK to be upset or scared when they see flooding or other changes. You can reassure your child by pointing out many things are still the same and that lots of adults are helping.
What feelings and emotions are normal for my child to feel two weeks after a storm?
In the days/early weeks after, young children will often think the storm is coming back when a hard rain falls. Parents can explain the difference between thunderstorms and hurricanes and help children share their feelings.
What should I do if my child is still struggling six weeks after a storm?
Sometimes children are still struggling a few months after the storm. Among other symptoms, they can have stomach issues, headaches, and be unwilling to leave their parents. If children are having a hard time getting back into their normal routines, it might be time to find professional help.