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National Preparedness Month

September was first declared as National Preparedness Month in 2004. Since then, September has been a time to acknowledge the importance, and take steps to prepare for emergencies in our homes, businesses, schools, and communities.

Disasters, violence, and terrorism can have devastating physical and psychological effects on children and families. Children and adolescents are at risk for stress reactions including sleep and eating disturbances, irritability, anger, headaches, and stomachaches. They may also have behavior problems at school, lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, avoid friends, or engage in dangerous or risky behaviors. To significantly improve the emotional well-being of children and families after a disaster, many strategies can be put in place beforehand. Being prepared for terrorism and disasters reduces anxiety, and promotes confidence and resilience in children and families.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has compiled a list of helpful resources for parents and caregivers, children and teens, mental health providers, first responders, educators and school staff, and policy makers.

NCTSN Resource

Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR) Online

Type: e-Learning Course

Aims to help survivors gain skills to manage distress and cope with post-disaster stress and adversity. This course utilizes skills-building components from mental health treatment that have been found helpful in a variety of post-trauma situations.

NCTSN Resource

Family Preparedness Wallet Card

Type: Special Resource

Allows families to list important telephone numbers and other information that could be useful in the case of an emergency. Each member of the family should carry these cards with them at all times in case an event occurs and all family members are not together.

NCTSN Resource

Family Preparedness: Thinking Ahead (in Russian)

Type: Tip Sheet

Accompanies the Family Preparedness Wallet Card. This guide helps families develop a safety plan so that they may be prepared in the event of a disaster. This is the Russian version of Family Preparedness: Thinking Ahead.​

NCTSN Resource

Family Preparedness: Thinking Ahead (in Vietnamese)

Type: Tip Sheet

Accompanies the Family Preparedness Wallet Card. This guide helps families develop a safety plan so that they may be prepared in the event of a disaster. This is the Vietnamese version of Family Preparedness: Thinking Ahead.

NCTSN Resource

Psychological First Aid (PFA) Online

Type: e-Learning Course

Includes a 6-hour interactive course that puts the participant in the role of a provider in a post-disaster scene. This course is for individuals new to disaster response who want to learn the core goals of PFA, as well as for seasoned practitioners who want a review.

NCTSN Resource

Family Preparedness: Thinking Ahead (in Korean)

Type: Tip Sheet

Accompanies the Family Preparedness Wallet Card. This guide helps families develop a safety plan so that they may be prepared in the event of a disaster. This is the Korean version of Family Preparedness: Thinking Ahead.​

NCTSN Resource

Family Preparedness: Thinking Ahead

Type: Tip Sheet

Accompanies the Family Preparedness Wallet Card. This guide helps families develop a safety plan so that they may be prepared in the event of disasters.