Parents and Teachers
This flyer was created specifically for parent survivors of Hurricane Katrina, but can be a useful reminder for all parents who have recently experienced a disaster. It outlines some basic DOs & DON’Ts, as well as tips for coping.
This 4-page document from the National Association for School Psychologists offers information for the parents of students with disabilities in families that have recently had to relocate due to disaster. It also includes various additional resources to aid in attaining adequate education services as soon as possible.
What can parents do to help their children feel safe in these uncertain times we live in? Dr. Stanley I. Greenspan has outlined four principles that underlie the more specific efforts parents can make, adapted from his book, The Secure Child: Helping Our Children Feel Safe and Confident in an Insecure World (Perseus Publishing, May 2002).
This 2-page document from the National Association for School Psychologists encourages caregivers of children to take care of themselves as well during crises & disaster. It offers suggestions for coping & self-care.
This 7-page document aids teachers & parents in understanding what to expect from children who have experienced disasters, how to meet their emotional needs, in addition to providing information on support resources.
This booklet provides ways to support children's emotional well being before, during and after emergencies. It builds on ideas, strengths, and practices parents, teachers and schools naturally use with children and provide additional ideas and tools they can call upon in times of disaster or terrorism.
Masters of Disaster from ARC: The American Red Cross has developed a curriculum that can help educators & parents talk to children about emergency planning entitled "Masters of Disaster". The award-winning Masters of Disaster® disaster preparedness curriculum teaches children how to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters and other emergencies. It is now available in customized formats for both families and educators. A variety of materials are available for kids in grades K-2, 3-5, & 6-8. The Masters of Disaster® series is an educational tool that will teach youth the importance of preparedness while reducing fear of the unexpected. The goal is to empower youth with the confidence and knowledge to prepare for disasters and help create a culture of preparedness. The lessons are non-threatening, age appropriate and adhere to national education standards. Below are some lessons and activities from Masters of Disaster.
Facing Fear was developed to address a demand by educators and caregivers of children for materials to help children cope in uncertain times. The curriculum is a supplement to Masters of Disaster™, children's natural hazard safety curriculum. The format and components are similar, including ready-to-go lesson plans, activities and demonstrations that can be incorporated within core subject areas. Lessons are aligned with national health, social studies, and language arts standards. The lesson plans and activities in these materials are arranged in three chapters:
- Chapter 1: "Feelings," includes lessons and activities that are timely immediately following a tragic event. Lessons in this chapter address dealing with feelings of loss, sadness and anger.
- Chapter 2: "Facts and Perspectives," gives information on how the media plays a role in conveying information and how to be able to discern facts as reported in media coverage, yet not continue to frighten children. This chapter also covers the important fundamental principles of the Red Cross.
- Chapter 3: "Future," provides positive ways for children and their families to respond to past events and plan for future uncertain times.
The materials consist of four lesson plans for each of the three chapters, with approximately 27 hands-on, student and family oriented activities that engage students in learning and offer families comfort, knowledge and disaster preparedness skills. The lessons are aligned with national health, social studies and language arts curriculum standards to facilitate implementation of these curriculum materials in schools where standards orientation is a major concern.
Published by the National Association for School Psychologists, this 5-page document is a basic guide for teachers regarding issues and challenges of wildfires, particularly preparing & helping students cope in areas where wildfires occur.
Research suggests that approximately 25% of American children will experience at least one traumatic event by the age of 16. A child's reactions to trauma can interfere considerably with learning and/or behavior at school. However, schools also serve as a critical system of support for children who have experienced trauma. Administrators, teachers, and staff can help reduce the impact of trauma on children by recognizing trauma responses, accommodating and responding to traumatized students within the classroom setting, and referring children to outside professionals when necessary. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has developed tools and materials to help educators understand and respond to the specific needs of traumatized children.
The Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators was developed to provide school administrators, teachers, staff, and concerned parents with basic information about working with traumatized children in the school system. The toolkit is comprised of the following components:
- Trauma Facts for Educators
This one-page fact sheet is designed to help educators learn more about the impact of trauma on children's behavior and performance in a school or classroom setting. It also provides specific recommendations for teachers to help mitigate the impact of trauma on children in the classroom.
- Psychological & Behavioral Impact of Trauma for Elementary School Students
- Psychological & Behavioral Impact of Trauma for Middle School Age
- Psychological & Behavioral Impact of Trauma for High School Age
These comprehensive documents are intended for educators who work primarily with elementary, middle school, and high school students, respectively. They describe how to identify children in the three age groups who may be experiencing traumatic stress reactions. They also teach educators how to manage these children within the school and classroom settings.
- Self Care for Educators
Working daily with children who have been exposed to trauma can be very difficult for school professionals. This handout defines secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, and vicarious traumatization: three reactions that educators who work with traumatized children may have. The handout describes why these reactions are so important to prevent and address, and outlines specific recommendations for appropriate self-care.
- Suggestions for Educators
This document provides a list of simple and straightforward strategies educators can use to accommodate a traumatized child in the school setting. It also teaches educators how to determine when traumatic stress reactions are severe enough to merit a referral for additional help.
- Brief Information on Childhood Traumatic Grief for School Personnel
This information sheet focuses primarily on how teachers and school personnel can identify and assist children in their school who are experiencing child traumatic grief. While acknowledging that most children who have experienced the death of a close friend or family member do not develop childhood traumatic grief, the information sheet identifies specific signs and symptoms of childhood traumatic grief for teachers to look for. This resource also outlines strategies that school staff can engage in to help students with child traumatic grief.
NCTSN -- Resources for Schools: This page from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers psychoeducational and therapeutic curriculum for helping students who have experienced stressful and traumatic events.
Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Student or School Staff: "Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Student or School Staff" are designed to help school administrators, teachers and crisis team members respond to the needs of students and staff after a loss has impacted the school environment such as after the death of a student or staff member or when deaths occur that affect many people in the community.
Ready.gov This site offers fun preparedness and disaster-related resources for kids. For more, see our student section.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network The National Child Traumatic Stress Network is funded by the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Network's purpose is to improve the quality, effectiveness, provision, and availability of therapeutic services delivered to all children and adolescents experiencing traumatic events. The Network develops and disseminates effective, evidence-based treatments; collects data for systematic study; and helps to educate professionals and the public about the effects of trauma on children. Their website offers a wealth of resources for parents, caregivers, and educators.
FEMA, National Weather Service, American Red Cross, and the Weather Channel have developed "Hurricane Strike!", a multimedia learning package on hurricanes for middle school students. The package integrates hurricane safety and preparedness with science instruction which provides an engaging interactive learning environment.
National Service-Learning Partnership Founded in 2001, the National Service-Learning Partnership is a national advocacy network through which its members educate, organize, and mobilize for strategic leadership that promotes and strengthens the practice of service-learning. Service-learning is a teaching method that engages students in service to their schools and communities as part of their academic studies. The Partnership is dedicated to advancing service-learning as a core element of the educational experience of every elementary, middle, and secondary school student in the United States. The Partnership concentrates on strengthening the impact of service-learning on young people's learning and development, especially their academic and civic preparation. For the Partnership, service-learning is about educational excellence.
National Parent Teachers Association The mission of the National PTA is three-fold: to support and speak on behalf of children and youth in the schools, in the community and before governmental bodies and other organizations that make decisions affecting children; to assist parents in developing the skills they need to raise and protect their children; and to encourage parent and public involvement in the public schools of this nation.
School Counselors and Psychologists
NASP Culturally Competent Crisis Response for School Psychologists - This 7-page paper informs school psychologists how to approach disaster with cultural competence. This includes preparation for disaster, responses to parents & students in the event of a disaster, & crisis response evaluation.
Hope & Healing – Recovery from School Violence - This 9-page personal essay from school psychologist Cathy Kennedy Paine details her own experience with school violence, as well as the long road to healing in her community.
Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Student or School Staff -"Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Student or School Staff" are designed to help school administrators, teachers and crisis team members respond to the needs of students and staff after a loss has impacted the school environment such as after the death of a student or staff member or when deaths occur that affect many people in the community.
PFA SchoolCrisis - This booklet provides ways to support children's emotional well being before, during and after emergencies. It builds on ideas, strengths, and practices parents, teachers and schools naturally use with children and provide additional ideas and tools they can call upon in times of disaster or terrorism.
NCTSN -- Resources for Schools - This page from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers psychoeducational and therapeutic tools for helping students who have experienced stressful and traumatic events.
NCSCB overview The National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement Center was created to: 1) Promote an appreciation of the role schools can serve to support students, staff and families at times of crisis and loss. (2) Enhance the training of individuals in school-related professional education programs in the areas of crisis and loss. (3) Link efforts to provide trauma-related and bereavement support services within school settings. (4) Collaborate with professional organizations, governmental and non-governmental agencies and community groups to further help students, staff and families at times of crisis and loss. (5) Serve as a resource for information, training materials, consultation and technical assistance for school systems, professional training programs, professional organizations, governmental and non-governmental agencies, communities, children's groups and projects in the areas of crisis and loss
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) represents school psychology and supports school psychologists to enhance the learning and mental health of all children and youth.
The Center for Social Organization of Schools (CSOS) was established in 1966 as an educational research and development center at Johns Hopkins University. The Center maintains a staff of full-time, highly productive sociologists, psychologists, social psychologists, and educators who conduct programmatic research to improve the education system, as well as full-time support staff engaged in developing curricula and providing technical assistance to help schools use the Center's research. The Center currently includes the federally-supported Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At Risk, and the Center on School, Family & Community Partnerships. The Center provides access to many of its technical reports and other publications.
Responding to a Crisis at a School
This 148-page resource aid published by the Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA () is partially sponsored by SAMHSA. It contains materials to guide & assist with school staff training & student/family interventions -- including overviews, outlines, checklists, instruments, & other resources that can be reproduced & used as information handouts and aids for training & practice. This includes information about crisis intervention, crisis response, & the creation of crisis teams in schools.
NASP Responding to Natural Disasters Helping Children & Families Info for School Crisis Teams
This 6-page document published by the National Association of School Psychologists provides a brief overview of many of the areas necessary for preparation for disaster response in schools – including disaster-specific information, short- & long-term effects on children of various age groups, as well as information for school crisis teams.
Working Together to Create Safe Schools.pdf
This 6-page document from the National School Safety Center outlines various ways school administrators can help create a safer school through planning & community involvement.
Color coded alert system for schools
This series of worksheets assists school administrators in thoroughly planning the school’s response to each color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System designation – from green (the lowest risk) to red (the highest).
This webpage from the U.S. Dept of Education provides information that can help school leaders plan for any emergency, including natural disasters, violent incidents, and terrorist acts.
Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Student or School Staff
"Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Student or School Staff" are designed to help school administrators, teachers and crisis team members respond to the needs of students and staff after a loss has impacted the school environment such as after the death of a student or staff member or when deaths occur that affect many people in the community.
American College Health Association (ACHA) is the principal advocate and leadership organization for college and university health.
American Association of School Administrators (AASA) founded in 1865, is the professional organization for over 14,000 educational leaders across America and in many other countries. AASA's mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. The four major focus areas for AASA are:
- Improving the condition of children and youth
- Preparing schools and school systems for the 21st century
- Connecting schools and communities
- Enhancing the quality and effectiveness of school leaders
The National School Safety Center serves as an advocate for safe, secure and peaceful schools worldwide and as a catalyst for the prevention of school crime and violence.
National Education Association (NEA) is America's oldest and largest organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. Founded in 1857 in Philadelphia and now headquartered in Washington, D.C., NEA proudly claims more than 2.5 million members who work at every level of education, from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliates in every state as well as in over 13,000 local communities across the United States.
English NASP – Coping in Unsettling Times – Tips for Students
This 3-page document briefly outlines student tips for coping during times of crisis or disaster. The language appears to be directed toward older middle school & high school age students.
Communication Poster for Kids
This is a fun 1-page poster designed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; it features the acronym C.O.M.M.U.N.I.C.A.T.E., designed to aid in children’s preparation for disasters.
Children's National Preparedness Month song
A children's National Preparedness Month song written by teachers and students of Parks Elementary School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. National Preparedness Month is in September!
FEMA for kids
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Kids website, featuring fun activities for children. The site teaches kids how to be prepared for disasters and prevent disaster damage. It’s also a great place to learn what causes disasters, play games, read stories, & offers kids a chance to become a Disaster Action Kid.
College Students and Administrators
FEMA Building A Disaster-Resistant University Handbook
This 55-page handbook from FEMA aids in creating informed and prepared university campuses.
ARC Steps for Forming RC Campus Club
Are you a student interested in helping others and making your community a better place to live? If so, join the Red Cross Club on your campus! If there is not a Red Cross Club on your campus considering starting your own with help from the links below. As a member of a Red Cross Club you can provide Red Cross-related services to the campus and local community through:
- Disaster services, such as disaster relief or community disaster education
- Health and safety activities and training such as first aid and CPR
- Biomedical and blood services such as blood drives
- International services such as the Measles Initiative
- Armed Forces Emergency Services such as volunteer service to military hospitals
- Community service projects
American College Personnel Association (ACPA) supports and fosters college student learning through the generation and dissemination of knowledge, which informs policies, practices and programs for student affairs professionals and the higher education community.
The BACCHUS Network™ is a university and community based network focusing on comprehensive health and safety initiatives. It is the mission of this 501(C)(3) non-profit organization to promote student and young adult based, campus and community-wide leadership on health and safety issues.
The National School Safety Center at serves as an advocate for safe, secure and peaceful schools worldwide and as a catalyst for the prevention of school crime and violence.