Prepare Kansas

Help Children Cope during Crisis

Children and adults experience and react differently in times of crisis. A K-State publication, written by Bradford Wiles and Elizabeth Kiss, both associate professors and extension specialists, includes information that can help communities recognize the negative effects that tough times have on the mental well-being of children. Read the full news release here.

A publication, titled Disasters: Children’s Responses and Helping Them Recover, is available online from the K-State Research and Extension bookstore. It is also available in Spanish.

Wiles and Kiss outline suggested ways parents can help children cope during hard times:

  • Reassure the child that you are still together and that you will be there to help as long as you can.
  • Return to pre-disaster routines to the extent possible, including bedtime, bath time, meal time and waking up times.
  • Make sure you are taking care of yourself. It can be difficult to take care of a child if you are not feeling well.
  • Talk with your child about your feelings.
  • Encourage children to draw, write or tell stories about their experiences. Talking about how the disaster or tough time has changed them can be beneficial.

The publication also includes signs to look for in children and how to emerge in a positive direction from times of crisis.

K-State Research and Extension has compiled numerous publications and other information to help people take care of themselves and others during times of crisis. See the complete list of resources online.

Local K-State Research and Extension agents are still on the job during this time of closures and confinement. They, too, are practicing social distancing. Email is the best way to reach them, but call forwarding and voicemail allow for closed local offices to be reached by phone as well (some responses could be delayed). To find out how to reach your local agents, visit the K-State Research and Extension county and district directory.

Get COVID-19 Information from Official Sources

K-State Research and Extension is a statewide network of educators sharing unbiased, research-based information and expertise on issues important to Kansas. As in any disaster or emergency, it is important to get information from official sources. The following official sources are providing information about COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus 2019).

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization

Many resources are available in languages other than English. Access them from web pages linked above.

From the Archives: Handwashing

This post was written by Londa Nwadike, State Extension Consumer Food Safety Specialist for Kansas and Missouri. It was originally published in September 2016

Handwashing is very important for our health, and is especially important after touching foods that have been contaminated with flood water.  Some researchers estimate that handwashing reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 31%. The following steps should be taken to wash hands properly:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands (including the backs of your hands, between your. fingers, and under your nails) by rubbing them together with the soap.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air drying.

Save for the Unexpected

Making a plan and building a kit are two aspects of being prepared for  disasters and emergencies. A third is to save for the unexpected. The challenges of rebuilding our lives after a disaster or other emergency can be smoothed when we have at least some money set aside.

Consider this…If you have a savings account with at least $400 accessible, not only will the “unexpected” only be a minor inconvenience (or a mad dash to grab those concert tickets), but you will have more savings than approximately 60% of Americans.

Don’t have an emergency fund or looking to grow your emergency fund? Take the Kansas Saves Pledge and commit to successfully building an emergency fund of just $500. Embrace the “Start Small and Save Big” mentality.

Since 2007, America Saves Week has been an annual celebration as well as a call to action for Americans to commit to saving successfully. This year, America Saves Week is from February 24 – 29, 2020.