How Can You and Your Family Respond During a Natural Disaster?

Even if we are fortunate enough to escape a natural disaster’s devastating physical impact, simply being near or part of a disaster can cause anxiety and stress. Even if our children are safe from the direct bearing of a storm, floodwaters, or wildfire, their demeanor may reflect our concerns or what they see on the news or photos they see in the paper. Or, if you are close enough physically to the damage, they might see the actual devastation in your neighborhood. What if your family is safe and sound, but the images around them are not? Sometimes taking initiative to pitch in and help those around you can reduce some of this anxiety while also giving your family a feeling of community and accomplishment.

How Can You and Your Family Respond?

Provide Power for Your Neighbors

  • For those in your area where no power is available, extend a multiple power outlet strip from your front yard which will enable neighbors to charge their phones or other electronic devices.
  •  If you have extra batteries or flashlights in your house, but you have power, put out a box of “free batteries/flashlights” for others to utilize.
  • Food is power too. Are there emergency workers or neighbors doing strenuous work to help clean up the area? Offer them some granola bars or snacks to boost their energy while they do the work.
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Joanna Keating-Velasco About Joanna Keating-Velasco

Joanna Keating-Velasco has worked with students with various special needs ages 3 through 22 as a Paraprofessional for over twelve years and is currently specializing in adult transition. She has authored two books, A Is for Autism, F Is for Friend and In His Shoes – A Short Journey through Autism. Learn more about Joanna at A is for Autism.




  • http://www.facebook.com/martianne.stanger Martianne Stanger

    Great ideas! Would love to see some addresses for places that would like clothing and other in-kind donations for folks in need after Sandy. Please, folks, if you have a family member who was personally hit and needs things, comment and let us know so we can lift you and your family up with practical help. And, if you know of organizations, relief centers, etc. that are seeking in-kind donations, let us know that, too, so we who were not hit hard will know where to send items to those who were.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tiffani.lawton Tiffani Lawton
  • http://www.facebook.com/JudyEndow Judy Endow

    Thanks for this info, Tiffani and thanks Joanna for a great article that reminds us all that we can each do something to be helpful. It does not need to be on a grand scale. It also is helpful to our kids when they can make a positive difference. It really warmed my heart when I was in a shelter with my three boys and one of them asked for coins to put in the jar at school to help the “poor people” (his name for all those in the shelter). He really had no idea he was, in essence, helping his own family! The great part about this was a little boy felt empowered to do something positive. It was many years ago, but the lesson my son taught me that day remains with me.