Wednesday, Oct. 29 is the 2-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy’s U.S. landfall. Sandy affected 24 states, killed 162 people, caused more than $50 million in damage and damaged or destroyed 650,000 homes and hundreds of child care centers and schools. It was the day that life turned upside down for thousands of children who suddenly lost everything – including their very sense of stability. Save the Children is still working with many of these children to help them rebound.
A recent poll by Save the Children shows that 49% of U.S. parents don’t feel the very prepared to protect their children from disaster. 51% don’t think their child’s school or child care center is very prepared either, and 42% of parents don’t know where to find their children if evacuated from school or child car.
I’ve written before about the importance of creating a family emergency plan, sharing helpful resources from Ready.gov. Save The Children has free disaster plan checklists for parents and for their children’s schools/daycare centers available here: savethechildren.org/checklists.
Save The Children also is encouraging parents to sign their pledge to protect children from disaster. By signing, you’ll receive full access to Save the Children’s 2014 Disaster Report Card: “What are You Waiting For?” You’ll see how your state ranks in protecting kids, where parents are falling short, and what you can do about it.
Losing your entire sense of stability at such a young age can be devastating. Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program allows children to express their feelings and learn critical coping skills that allow them to bounce back and more forward. Without adequate support, children often fall permanently behind in school while they grapple with intense sadness, depression and anger. Two years after Hurricane Sandy, Save the Children continues to work with children in the hardest-hit communities in New York and New Jersey.
Here is a recent picture of children from New York City’s Lower East Side expressing their feelings through drawing in Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program:
This picture goes back to shortly after Sandy, with 4-year-old Didi in Save the Children’s “Child-Friendly Space” at a NJ shelter:
Disclosure: I am writing this post as a member of PA/NJ Bloggers for Social Good. It is not a compensated post. I feel strongly about the importance of emergency preparedness, and I wanted to support the important work done by Save The Children.