This page provides links to resources useful for the whole family in addressing ways to reduce vulnerability to certain disasters as well as disaster preparedness, responding to and recovering from disasters.


While it is true that we cannot be prepared for everything, thinking ahead and planning can alleviate many, if not all, of the consequences of a disaster. Knowing that there is a plan can help family members better manage the stress that comes during these times.

General Family Preparedness

Family Readiness Kit: Preparing to handle Disasters

Disaster-specific preparation

Preventing Home fires
Home Fire Safety Check (Spanish version)
Earthquakes: Background information
Floods: Background information
Tornadoes: Background information
Winter storms: Background information

Children’s Response to Disaster

Children are affected differently according to their individual differences by disasters and other stressful events. The effects of disaster on children who are directly exposed to danger and trauma are different from those of children who witnessed but did not directly experience traumatic events. Differences in age, experience, maturity level, and personality, for example, lead to varying reactions to the same incident. With knowledge about how children may react, parents and other adults can feel more confident about talking with children and responding to their needs in ways that better enable children to cope and recover.

Children as Victims of Natural Disasters
How to Help Children, Youth, and Teens After a Disaster
Hurricanes (National Child Traumatic Stress Network)
Responding to Natural Disasters: Helping Children and Families: Information for School Crisis Teams
Managing strong emotional reactions to traumatic events
Children may experience long term effects of disaster

Families’ Response to Disaster

Studies have found that parents own levels of functioning and their relationships with each other can be a buffer against the negative impact that disasters have on children. Thus, it is important that parenting partners pay attention to each other’s needs and their own individual needs as well as those of their children.

Emotional recovery after a disaster
Helping families during times of stress
Getting Through Tough Times: Helping Children Cope
Helping children cope with crisis: A workbook for African American families
Caring for yourself as a parent or caregiver in times of disaster (includes Spanish version)

Parenting and terrorism:
Parenting in the wake of terrorism
Resources for talking to your children about terrorism – links to sites for children of all ages
Supporting children during war and armed conflict (includes Spanish version)

Loss and grieving:
After people experience loss, the grieving process begins. People grieve in different ways. Understanding differences in grieving can be helpful as your family adjusts to the changes disaster brings.

Helping Children Cope With Loss, Death, and Grief: Tips for Teachers and Parents
Natural disasters Helping Children Cope

Children’s Resources

Information and activity pages that are fun and kid friendly.
Disaster preparedness online coloring book for kids
Tornadoes: Information for children

Resources for Teachers and Other Professionals:

Guide for teachers: (What children may experience, children’s response to disaster, implications for teachers, what teachers can do, and additional resources)
School activities for children
Bibliography of children’s books on natural disasters: (K-12)
Culturally competent crisis response
Road to Resilience