As a follow up to our last blog, Guest Blogger and Behavior Analyst Kristen Stine, M.ED provides some helpful strategies and tactics for parents to use with kids dealing with trauma and stress after a disaster.
Guest Blogger: Lisa A. Mazzeo, LCSW, BCD
When adults feel stressed, they can usually pinpoint the related feeling as well as the cause. They typically take appropriate action and hopefully begin to feel better shortly after implementing a strategy like listening to music, walking the beach or going for a drive. They choose anything that might bring a peaceful feeling back to their overall being.
When children feel stress, the cause, identification and intervention is not always that simple. This is due, mostly, to the fact that children have limited vocabulary to express what is going on, underdeveloped coping mechanisms to deal with it and an inability to make sense of what is happening in their environment.
Guest Blogger: Maggie Babyak, LCSW
They say that one of the top three stressors in life is moving. Your normal routines are disrupted, there are weeks of packing and planning to ensure that perfect move day. Then a furniture delivery is late and your carefully planned move day is disrupted. You become angry with the person on the phone who is just trying to help, you become snappy with your significant other and your stress level skyrockets. However, by the end of the day you are in your new home filled with your possessions, cozy in your beds and your family is safe and fast asleep.
Now imagine making eggs on the stove for the kids, rushing around packing their school bags, checking your work email, and getting the dog out the back door for one last run. Then you hear a beeping sound and turn around to see your kitchen on fire. Instead of scheduled moving trucks you have first responders running to your home to put out the fire. That night you and your family are sleeping in a motel or neighbor’s basement. You have nothing but the clothes on your back.
‘Tis the season to be indoors and cozy on the couch with a good movie, and I have just the one that will change your world… or at least change your perspective on disasters. Ever wonder what post-Katrina life was like for people in New Orleans? Want a glimpse into the life of an insurance claims adjuster?
We have likely all seen the movie Christmas Vacation, can likely quote the memorable parts, and cringe when Cousin Eddie empties the trailer septic tank into the storm sewer. But watching Uncle Lewis ignite the Christmas tree is absolutely the highlight. But that could never happen, right? Or could it?
When a disaster is large enough to receive attention from national media, it usually means people come out of the woodwork to help. This was the case for the Texas floods as well. State and local governments, emergency management departments, FEMA, Red Cross, and a plethora of other organizations came out in droves to offer resources and financial assistance that made a tremendous impact to many Texans who were affected. But is that enough?
Spring floods in Texas took the state from a 4-year drought to major flooding in a matter of days. Dozens of lives were lost, almost 1,000 homes were destroyed or majorly damaged, and over $43 million worth of infrastructure damage altered the daily lives of Texans, according to official reports. The flooding made national headlines for about a week until something more newsworthy took over.
It’s amazing how much there is to know about disasters – how to prepare for them, what to do first after they occur, where to find help, and how to deal with the entire process. Suffering a disaster can be emotionally overwhelming, financially challenging, and one of the most isolating experiences we ever face. Find your community and don’t go it alone.