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  • Helping Families During Times of Stress

    This month's Hot Topic focuses on resources to help families prepare for, deal with, and recover from the stress and trauma of both man-made and natural disasters. Whether it is helping families establish a communication plan or helping children cope with being relocated during a crisis, CYFERnet offers a host of high quality resources. Drawing from the CYFERnet Parent/Family Editorial Board's workshop at CYFAR 2006, entitled, "What a World, What a World," the following resources are divided into: "Preparing For," "Dealing With" and "Recovering From".

    Preparing For

    Emergency Toolkit: Helping Families in Times of Stress
    The CYFERnet Parent/Family Editorial Board developed this “Emergency Toolkit” specifically for professionals and volunteers who are in the position to support families during times of stress as they cope with natural and man-made disasters.

    Preparing for Disaster (PDF)
    This resource from FEMA and the American Red Cross provides a comprehensive overview of all aspects of preparing for a disaster.

    Disaster Supplies Kit
    This resource from the American Red Cross details what should go into a disaster supplies kit to ensure families have the basic items that could be needed in the event of a disaster.

    Emergency Supply Kit
    This Homeland Security resource includes information on preparing a kit of emergency supplies, making a plan for what you will do in an emergency, and how to be information about what could happen in the event of various types of man-made and natural disasters.

    Family Communications Plan
    This website outlines the steps families should take since family members may not be together when a disaster strikes.  It outlines how to establish a family plan so that every member of the family knows how to contact one another and has a way to do so. 

    Dealing With

    After a Disaster: A Guide for Parents and Teachers
    Children respond to trauma in many different ways. Some may have reactions very soon after the event; others may seem to be doing fine for weeks or months, and then begin to show worrisome behavior. Knowing the signs that are common at different ages can help parents and teachers to recognize problems and respond appropriately.

    Helping Children Cope with Stress
    This fact sheet discusses children’s reactions to stress and coping strategies.

    Tras La Tormenta:  Ayudando A Sus Niños (Child stress)
    This fact sheet discusses children’s reactions to stress and coping strategies. (In Spanish)

    Promoting the Health and Well-Being of Families During Difficult Times:  Supporting Families Following a Disaster, An Overview (PDF)
    The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide a better understanding of a disaster and the impact it may have on families.

    Understanding the Impact of Disasters on the Lives of Children and Youth (PDF)
    The purpose of this fact sheet is to offer parents and others who work with children and youth an understanding of the impact of a natural disaster, such as a drought, on the lives of young people.

    Recovering From

    Encouraging Family Communication After a Disaster (PDF)
    Good family communication is necessary to effectively work together to prevent or respond to crises. This fact sheet offers ways of developing communication skills that help families not only to survive crises, but also to improve their daily lives.

    Family Financial Management - Interventions Following a Disaster (PDF)
    The purpose of this fact sheet is to present some ways to deal with a financial crisis if it occurs. It will explain how to develop a financial plan, how to talk to creditors, and ways to make extra income.

    Family Survival in the 21st Century (Resiliency Activity)
    This handy programming tool provides instructions on an activity to help families identify their resiliency strengths.

    Strategies for Parents and Teachers
    During disasters, many families suffer from the onset of sudden stress. Severe stress can disrupt functioning. Overtime, relief from stress enables families to eventually reestablish equilibrium. Informed intervention can speed up this process and in many instances can prevent serious problems later.

    Stress Management After a Disaster (PDF)
    The purpose of this fact sheet is to introduce information on the symptoms of stress, and how individuals can effectively manage their stress.

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