As events have shown, it is usually a matter of when something will happen, not if. Being prepared is always a good option.
Helping Kids Cope with Media Coverage of Disasters
While specifically for parents, this video from the University of Missouri will give teachers and other adults tools they can use when helping kids deal with disasters.
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Preparing for emergencies is something that the whole family and community can do together! Sesame Street has put together a toolkit to help children remember important information, and create a family emergency kit and plan.
These steps will go a long way in keeping your students safe and secure.
Michael Gitter, LCSW, clinical case coordinator at Mountain Crest Behavioral Hospital in Fort Collins, provided tips for helping kids cope with their fears and concerns during the High Park Fire 2012.
His suggestions for helping kids can be applied to many emergency situations...
- They are safe. There lives are not in danger. It may take a while to sort things out.
- Provide a sense of consistency and stability, as best you can. "Things will get back to normal."
- Letting them speak. Ask them open ended questions. Address their fears.
Safety in the Science Classroom is comprehensive, with input from all the major scientific specialist sites.
What would happen if your science lab had a fire? Are you prepared for a spill?
FEMA has an extensive information on disaster preparedness for kids, teens, families and educators.
You can find information, games, coping resources, curriculum, and preparedness kit ideas.
This resource from FEMA includes a fun animated interactive video and encourages people to get involved, providing simple actions that can help save lives. In addition, you'll find additional videos, a web based training program, and instructor and student guides. Good for older students and adults.
Hint: If you are having trouble viewing the videos, temporarily disable your browser's flash-block add-on.
The Huffington Post looks at disaster preparedness and what you can do, with a side of humor. From identifying escape routs to how you will reconnect and what to do if you're caught away from home, this article contains a lot of good information.
This extensive resource from the CDC includes topics like Schools and Childcare Centers, How Children are Different, and Real Stories.
The NFPA has age appropriate information and lesson plans, including Learn Not to Burn and Sparky the Fire Dog. Resources include videos and safety tip sheets.
In addition to personal and family disaster plans, each school and school district needs a plan in place – well before "things" happen.
The U.S. Department of Education provides a wide range of tools, resources and support to help put a school plan in place and review it for completeness.
Videos of volcanic eruptions, floods, earthquakes, fires and the like can provide enriching data and heighten interest, but they can also stimulate anxiety in some students. Taking a few minutes to "check in" after completing the lesson is a good idea.