February 26, 2016

Disaster preparedness

I'll Know What to Do: A Kid's Guide to Natural Disasters
by Bonnie S. Mark and Aviva Layton

Blizzards aren't mentioned, but this book does offer tips on how to prepare for earthquakes, floods, mudslides, hurricanes, tornadoes, and fire. Some of the advice require the assistance of adults - you can't expect kids to board up windows, sandbag homes, or water down roofs by themselves - but most can be easily put into action. More lists would have been helpful in terms of format.

A child and adolescent therapist, Mark uses the last half of the book discussing feelings like anxiety, fear, relief, or guilt that may arise after surviving the disaster. She then provides ways of coping with those feelings such as talking with others, helping others, writing a story, or creating artwork. While these ideas are good, I suspect that for some kids, making a permanent remembrance of a disaster - like a scrapbook or a film - may traumatize them further. Parents should read the book first, before giving it to children.

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