Do you remember how fearful we all were preparing for Hurricane Sandy? It was one of the scariest, most nerve wracking experiences of my post 9/11 life watching weather reports and following social media, trying to prepare my house and my family for what was looking like a storm we had never experienced before. And we were the lucky ones. We made it by with some lost power (2 days maybe), lost food, and a “fun” family camp in the living room experience for our girls.
Wednesday, Oct. 29 is the 2-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy’s U.S. landfall. Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states, killed 162 people, caused more than $50 million in damage and damaged or destroyed 650,000 homes and hundreds of child care centers and schools.
It was the day that life turned upside down for thousands of children who suddenly lost everything – including their very sense of stability. Save the Children is still working with many of these children to help them rebound.
– 51% don’t think their child’s school or child care center is very prepared either.
– A whopping 74% of parents don’t think the federal government is prepared to protect their kids should disaster strike!
Help motivate and educate families (including your own!) to get prepared, so that ALL of our children are better protected from disaster.
What can you do to help prepare for a natural disaster:
1. Check out Save the Children’s Disaster Plan Checklist for Families and schools/childcare. Check with the administrators at your school to see if they are following this checklist.
2. Think about reunification planning. If you should get separated from your child if they would ever be evacuated from their school or child care, how would you know where to find them???
– 42% of parents don’t know where to find their children if evacuated from school or child care! (And I am embarrassed and a little shocked to admit that I don’t know the answer to this for my own children either.)
3. See how your state does in protecting children from disaster while they’re in school or child care. Check the map:
4. Lead a PREP Rally. This is a fun and helpful event that educates children and families about emergency preparedness. Prep Rallies provide community members with the resources they need to get ready and be safety advocates.
5. Sign the pledge to protect children from disaster. This pledge gets shared with state government if it doesn’t meet Save the Children’s disaster report card preparedness standards for schools and child care.
Losing your entire sense of stability at such a young age can be devastating. Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program allows children to express their feelings and learn critical coping skills that allow them to bounce back and more forward. Without adequate support, children often fall permanently behind in school while they grapple with intense sadness, depression and anger. Two years after Hurricane Sandy, Save the Children continues work with children in the hardest-hit communities in New York and New Jersey.
Here is a recent picture of children from New York City’s Lower East Side expressing their feelings through drawing in Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program.
Remember, disaster can strike at any time. Educate yourself and your child’s school/day care now before it’s too late.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this post. I personally am concerned that my family needs to do everything it can to be ready in the face of an unexpected natural disaster. Save the Children is helping families like mine educate themselves and be more prepared when/if disaster strikes.