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Helping Children After a Natural Disaster

Young boy looking out a window at a rain storm

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria, emotional concerns can have a lasting impact on children and families. Here’s a sampling of resources that provide strategies for helping pre-schoolers, elementary aged children, and adolescents cope with trauma from these recent natural disasters.

Tornadoes, hurricanes and children – Tips for alleviating the emotional consequences of trauma and identifying when to seek professional help. (from APA)

Support in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey – Things school professionals should offer students to provide support and help them understand. (from the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement)

Helping Kids Deal With Hurricanes/Floods – Strategies for helping children deal with hurricanes, including articles, books, webinars, and websites. (from the American School Counselor Association)

Helping Children After a Natural Disaster: Information for Families and Educators – Guidance for families and educators on preparing for and how to handle issues associated with natural disasters. (from NASP)

For those who were not directly impacted, there are ways to help! The list below is a non-exhaustive starting point to donate to schools affected by the hurricanes.

For communities in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests that the most effective means to support recovery is to donate money to a trusted voluntary-, faith- and community-based charitable organization.

  • Click here to make a donation directly to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • Click here to make a donation to a voluntary or charitable organization through VOAD.

DonorsChoose has set up a special area of their site to help schools affected by the damage in Louisiana and Texas. Here’s the landing page for the general fund site.

DonorsChoose has also set up a recovery fund for Hurricane Irma, which caused significant damage to Florida and other parts of the southeast. Donations will help teachers at damaged schools rebuild their classrooms with materials like books, furniture, classroom supplies, technology, and therapy resources. Click here to donate.

Charity Navigator has a list of groups that are accepting donations for the storm (and ratings for each one).

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