Children & Disasters

Disasters can be especially traumatic for children. When outside forces upset their established routine, they may become distraught and confused. Children need special care during a disaster period. For example, if your area is under a tornado watch, explain to your child what a watch is. It is important to try not to show fear since this will only cause them greater alarm. Stay with your child until all danger has passed. One of the child's greatest fears is being left alone or being separated from family. They may also fear being hurt or killed during a disaster, and they may think afterwards that the event could happen again. When all danger has passed, concentrate on helping your child by asking what he or she is thinking. Having them participate in any post disaster recovery operations will help them return to normal. Let them know that there is nothing wrong with feeling afraid, and tell them that adults also have fear.

Recommended Actions


  • Help your child to memorize important family information, their name, address, and phone number. They should know where to meet in case of an emergency.
  • If they are too small to memorize this information, they should carry a small index card that lists emergency information to give to an adult or babysitter.
  • You can help your child be prepared for a disaster by doing the following:
  • Develop and practice a family disaster plan.
  • Everyone in the household, including children, should play a part in the family's response and recovery efforts.
  • Teach your child how to recognize danger signals.
  • Make sure they know what smoke detectors, fire alarms, and local community warnings such as sirens, sound like.
  • Explain how to call for help. In Saukville you can call 911 for emergency assistance.