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.
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.
Wildfire Awareness Week reminds Kansans to remain vigilant as wildfire season approaches.
The Kansas Interagency Wildfire Council and partner agencies suggest the following to mitigate the risk of wildfire and reduce potential impacts if a wildfire does occur:
- Create defensible space around homes by removing leaves and other plant debris and flammable material that could catch embers. Replace or repair loose or missing shingles. Provide adequate space between the home and trees or other landscaping.
- Establish a community or neighborhood group to participate in or be a part of creating a wildfire mitigation and response plan.
- Prevent wildfires from starting by avoiding activities that can spark fires near buildings and potential fuel sources.
- Write and follow your burn plan for prescribed fire including checking the weather forecast, and continue to monitor the burn area to make sure it hasn’t reignited.
- Consider volunteering with your local fire department. Quick responses by local fire departments prevent what could become a devasting wildfire.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has proclaimed Feb. 3-7, 2020, as Wildfire Awareness Week in partnership with the Kansas Interagency Wildfire Council and multiple state agencies. Read the full release here.
September is here and that means the annual #PrepareKansas challenge and National Preparedness Month. Details of this year’s Prepare Kansas weekly challenge tasks will be posted here each week starting September 3rd.