When disaster strikes, like the recent wildfire that swept through suburban areas between Denver and Boulder in December, children are vulnerable. It’s important to remember that children cannot adjust on their own when the people, places and routines they depend on for safety and well-being are affected by upheaval.
Parents or caregivers may be overwhelmed addressing the needs of their whole family’s recovery. Child care centers and schools may be damaged, destroyed or used as shelters.
Infants, toddlers and children require special care and supplies at times of emergency. Their brains are still developing. More than one million new brain connections form every second from belly to age eight and this continues into adulthood! The interaction of genes and experiences shapes our brain and relationships are the active ingredient in this serve and return process.
It’s because of this that the experiences and relationships young children have in the early years can impact them for life. Children are also most likely to suffer long-term developmental, physical and psychological setbacks following a disaster if parents and communities don’t offer support.
These types of challenges place similar overwhelming stress on families and it’s important to know what resources are available in your community to keep your family strong – before you or a loved one are in crisis.
If you are a single parent, these challenges are significantly more challenging if you don’t have a network of family and friends to help you take care of your children and keep them safe and healthy.
Preparing ahead of time to meet children’s unique needs at times of disaster is critical to their protection. But, family crises don’t just come in the form of a natural disaster.
- Medical emergencies
- Financial and food instability
- Substance use disorders
- Mental health challenges
- Violence in our homes
- Lack of child care
Create a Plan
Creating a family emergency preparedness plan is one of the multiple ways to earn points in the contest to win a $2,500 grant for your favorite Colorado nonprofit, school or child care provider!
The plan walks you through five essential steps:
- Step 1 – Know Your People
- Step 2 – Know Your Coverage & Available Assistance
- Step 3 – Find Your Concrete Supports in Times of Need
- Step 4 – Make List of People You Can Talk To
- Step 5 – Share Your Plan
How to Get Started
Enter the contest by pledging to grow a better tomorrow for all children! Creating a family ermergency preparedness plan will be one of the options to earn points.
Thank You to CCWSC!
Thank you to the Colorado Child Welfare Scholars Consortium for helping with this Family Emergency Preparedness Plan and for making it possible to award a grant to the winner of the contest!