Be sustainable for 72 hours
Being prepared for emergencies is
crucial at home, school, work and in your community. Disaster can strike
quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood,
workplace or school or can confine you to your home. What would you do if basic
services – water, gas, electricity or telephones – were cut off?
Local officials and relief workers
will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right
away. The best way to make you and your family safer is to be prepared before
disaster strikes. We encourage you to: 1. Build a Kit <insert build a kit
link>, 2. Make a Plan <insert make a plan link>, 3. Be Informed
<insert be informed link>, and 4.Get Involved <insert get involved
link>. The goal is to be sustainable for 72 hours, or 3 days.
1. Build a kit
food, water, and medications are fresh and/or do not expire by using and re-
kit every 6 months, or according to specific expiration dates.
-Store food in
appropriate containers to protect from pests and maintain freshness.
2. Make a plan
3. Be informed
4. Get involved
What to do if…
Elderly family members
and family members with disabilities. Create a network of at least three
trusted individuals, such as family, friends, co-workers, and personal
attendants, who can assist during an emergency. Evaluate your capabilities,
limitations, needs and surroundings to determine what type of support you may
need in an emergency.
Coping with Disaster
Here are some basic steps you can take to meet physical and
Helping Children Cope with Disaster
respond to disaster by demonstrating increased anxiety or emotional and
behavioral problems. Some younger children may return to earlier behavior
patterns, such as bed wetting and separation anxiety. Older children may react
to physical and emotional disruptions with aggression or withdrawal. Even
children who have only indirect contact with the disaster may have unresolved
most case, such responses are temporary. As time passes, symptoms usually ease.
However, high winds, sirens, or other reminders of the emotions associated with
the disaster may cause anxiety to return.
imitate the way adults cope with emergencies. They can detect adults’
uncertainty and grief. Adults can make disasters less traumatic for children by
maintaining a sense of control over the situation. The most assistance you can
provide a child is to be calm, honest, and caring.
usually take their lead in a situation by reading the emotions of adults.
Adults should share their true feelings about the incident, but maintain a
sense of calm for the child’s sense of well-being.
to what the child is saying. If a young child is asking questions about the
event, answer them simply without the elaboration needed for an older child or
adult. If a child has difficulty expressing feelings, allow the child to draw a
picture or tell a story of what happened.
to understand what is causing anxieties and fears. Be aware that following a
disaster, children are most afraid that –
The event will happen again.
Someone will be killed.
They will be separated from the family.
They will be left alone.
Reassure children with compassion
and understanding. Suggestions to help:
Hug and touch your children.
Calmly and firmly provide factual information
about the recent disaster.
Encourage your children to talk about their
feelings. Be honest about your own.
Spend extra time with your children at bedtime.
Re-establish a schedule for work, play, meals,
Involve your children by giving them specific
chores to help them feel they are helping to restore family and community life.
Encourage your children to help develop a family
Make sure your children know what to do when
they hear smoke detectors, fire alarms, and local community warning systems
such as horns or sirens.
Praise and recognize responsible behavior.
Understand that your children will need to mourn
their own losses.
You’ve tried to create a reassuring
environment. If your children do not respond when you follow the suggestions
listed above, seek help from an appropriate professional such as the child’s
primary care physician, a mental health provider specializing in children’s
needs, or a member of the clergy.