FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 7, 2005
CONTACT: Lindsay Hodges (850) 245-4111
**HURRICANE DENNIS INFORMATION SHEET **
Disaster Preparation for Families with Children
TALLAHASSEE – Children’s fears can stem from
their imaginations, and adults should take their
feelings seriously. Words and actions can provide
reassurance to a child who feels afraid.
When talking to your child, be sure to present a
realistic picture that is both honest and manageable. Be
aware that after a disaster, children most fear that:
- They will be separated from family, and they
will be left alone.
- The event will happen again.
- Someone will be injured or killed.
DOH recommends assembling a kit for your child,
- A few favorite books, crayons and paper
- Puzzles, a board game, deck of cards
- Two favorite small toys, such as a doll or
action figure, a stuffed animal
- Favorite blanket, pillow
- Pictures of family and pets
- Other special items that will comfort children
Children’s immunizations should be up-to date to
protect from vaccine-preventable diseases, including an
unexpected outbreak during a disaster.
- Keep a copy of your children’s complete
immunization histories in your disaster kit attached
to the family emergency information.
- All family members should also record the date
of their last tetanus-diphtheria shot in this record
ADVICE ON COMMUNICATING WITH CHILDREN ABOUT DISASTERS
In response to the tragic events of September 11, 2001,
the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offered some
advice on communicating with children/adolescents during
times of crisis.
It is important to communicate to children that the
family circle is strong. Children need to be assured by
their parents that the family is safe. Adolescents, in
particular, can be hard hit by this type of disaster.
Parents should watch for signs such as sleep
disturbances, fatigue, lack of pleasure in activities
previously enjoyed and illicit substance abuse.
Overexposure to the media can be traumatizing. It is
best not to let children or adolescents repeatedly view
footage of traumatic events. Children and adolescents
should not view these events alone. Adults need to help
children understand the emergency or disaster.
Discussion is critical. More information is available at
For further information, please contact your local
county health department or visit
The Florida Emergency Information Line:
Public Information Emergency Support Function:
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