Disasters often strike quickly and without warning. They can
be traumatic for children and youth, especially if they don’t
know what to do or where to go. Disaster preparedness can ensure
that you have the necessary resources, medications, or
supports for your child or youth if you must leave your home
or city. Preparedness also ensures that parents and families are
equipped to help their children understand what is happening and
to respond to their needs.
During a disaster, your family may have to leave your home or
city and depart from a daily routine. This can be upsetting
for some children and youth and can cause anxiety,
confusion, and stress. It is important to make sure that you have
a plan in place to help children and youth when these situations
UACF has a number of resources for families to prepare for a
disaster. It is very important to be able to access information
quickly. Keeping checklists and having a plan can help you and
your family be ready if an emergency situation arises. Having all
of your child’s health information in a safe spot will help first
responders and those assisting you and your family to better
address your child’s needs.
The effects of a disaster, terrorist attack, or other public
health emergency can be long-lasting, and the resulting trauma
can reverberate even with those not directly affected by the
disaster. This page provides general strategies for promoting
mental health and resilience that were developed by various
organizations based on experiences in prior disasters.
This Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
has developed resources from both the child trauma and disaster
behavioral health fields. Their collection includes a section
with helpful links to organizations, agencies, and other
resources that address disaster preparedness and response issues
surrounding children and youth.
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If you or a loved one is in immediate crisis, please call 911
or visit the nearest emergency room.
The UACF Hope Line is a message system for parents and caregivers
that provides resources and connections to individuals in your
community that may be able to assist you in finding appropriate
support services for your child’s mental health needs. Feel free
to leave a message on the UACF Hope Line and your call will be
returned as promptly as possible.