Immediately after the disaster, try to reduce your child's fear and anxiety
How you react to an emergency gives them clues on how to act
They see our fears as proof that the danger is real. Children's fears also may stem from their imagination, and you should take these feelings seriously. A child who feels afraid is afraid. Your words and actions can provide reassurance. When you're sure the danger has passed, concentrate on your child's emotional needs by asking the child what they are thinking at the moment. Including the children in recovery activities will help them to feel that their life will return to "normal". Your response during this time may have a lasting impact. Be aware that after a disaster, children are most afraid that --
the event will happen again.
someone will be injured or killed.
they will be separated from the family.
they will be left alone.
Keep the family together. While you look for housing and assistance, keep the family together as much as possible and make children a part of what you are doing to get the family back on its feet, instead of leaving them with relatives or friends. Children get anxious, and they'll worry that you won't return.
Calmly and firmly explain the situation. As best as you can, explain to your children what you know about the disaster. Let them know what will happen next. For example, say, "Tonight, we will all stay at Aunt Betty's house". Get down to your child's eye level and talk to them.
Encourage children to talk. Let children talk about the disaster and ask questions as much as they want. Encourage children to express their feelings. Listen to what they say. If possible, include the entire family in the discussion.
Include children in recovery activities. Give children chores that are their responsibility. This will help them to feel a part of the recovery. Having a task will help them to feel that everything will be all right.
You can help children cope by understanding what causes their anxieties and fears. Reassure them with firmness and love. Your children will realize that life will eventually return to normal. Seek help from a mental health specialist or a member of the clergy, if necessary.