Online Resources for Families dealing with the Aftermath of Hurricanes

Online Resources for Families Dealing with the Aftermath of Hurricanes

 mother comforting daughter

The Child Study Center is part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), whose mission is to raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatized children, their families and communities throughout the United States.

Below is a list of NCTSN resources available online that the organization has gathered to support families in the wake of large storms and hurricanes. There are parent and teacher guides for how to speak with children of all ages about the storm and its aftermath, as well as support and activities for families directly affected by power outages and flooding.

We at the Child Study Center hope these resources will be a help to you and your family or school during this difficult time.

NCTSN Online Resources:  

1.  Trinka and Sam Children's Booklet (English) or Trinka y Juan en un día de mucho viento y lluvia (Spanish)
"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.

2.  Simple Activities for Children and Adolescents (English)
This is a set of activity sheets for children without power or who are in damaged areas. This includes activity ideas that require no supplies, limited supplies in daytime or lighted areas, or with limited supplies at nighttime or dark areas.

3.  Parent Guidelines for Helping Children after Hurricanes (English) or Guia para los padres para ayudar a los niños despues de un huracan (Spanish)
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.

4.  Teacher Guidelines for Helping Children after Hurricanes
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.

5.  After the Hurricane: Helping Young Children Heal
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.

6.  Helping Young Children and Families Cope with Trauma (English) or Ayudando a Niños(as) y Familias a Enfrentarse con el Trauma (Spanish) 
This factsheet is designed for parents to be able to better assist children after a traumatic event. It discusses listening to children and speaking with them after an event.

7.  NCTSN Web pages

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 community 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. 

8.  Childhood Traumatic Grief Educational Materials for Parents
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.

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

10.  Psychological First Aid (PFA) Handouts:

Parent Tips for Infants and Toddlers (English) (Spanish) (Japanese) (Chinese)

Parent Tips for Preschoolers (English) (Spanish) (Japanese) (Chinese)

Parent Tips for School-age Children (English) (Spanish) (Japanese) (Chinese)

Parent Tips for Adolescents (English) (Spanish) (Japanese) (Chinese)