Tag Archives: trauma

Things kids must know about natural disasters

Flood is something that I dread since I was in grade school. I knew what its like to stay in a flooded area for days since we live near Laguna Lake. Water level rises during a heavy downpour. I remember two particular typhoons wherein my family was forced to vacate our house to transfer to our neighbor with an elevated house.

The highest flood in our place if I may recall reached as high as 4 feet, a far cry from the flood that submerged several areas in the eastern part of the National Capital Region. I’m not sure how the experience had affected me or if it has ever affected me at all.

My good friend Pehpot share her traumatic experience with Ondoy. Their house was one of thousands of houses affected by flood water in Pasig causing traumatic experience to her family especially to her little boys. She said the mere sound of rain cause her young ones to fret. I hope they’ll recover from that bad experience soon.

Here’s a bit of information about teaching kids how to respond during and after emergency situations.

Children must be taught on disaster control and how to respond during emergency situations. They need to learn the key measures on how to respond during and after natural calamities. Natural disasters are traumatic for these young children. These natural disasters include an earthquake and storm, which both brought horrific devastation to the environment.

The child’s sense of security is threatened and he/she will find this confusing especially if it happens when the parent is not at home. Making them cope well with these calamities would be a big help.

Children learn to take their cues from the adults in their lives. So, as parents, you need to acknowledge the reality of the situation to your child so that he is assured that everything can be taken cared of. Assure them that their family and friends will take care of them no matter what happens.

You need to encourage them to express whatever feelings they may be repressing as a result of the trauma of the calamity. Strategies such as drawings and music or drama can bring out their fears in a creative way. There are activities that should help your children to apply problem-solving skills to these stressors.

Calamities may not happen often but when they do, it is better to be prepared and able to respond well. Some children may be at a risk of post-traumatic stress disorder. Some may be irritable, others may do the opposite and just sleep their stress away. But if you help them cope with it, then they normally will be able to bounce back.

For school-age children some of the more common and practical solutions would be classroom discussions and small group counseling. A referral system may be put in place so that there will be a parent-referral system that could help you and the kids.

Another strategy that can be done is to help children to recall past ways with which they coped with the stresses in their lives. A mechanism also needs to be in place for self-referral and parent-referral of students.

Remember that you need to be strong for your children. If they see that you are able to cope well with the situation, they will also learn how to deal with the event.

Be very responsive to the way you deal with the relocations that will entail along the way. Changing locations will be a stressful one especially when the child is attached to his home.

 Source: People’s Journal and How to do things dot com. 

More volunteers needed for typhoon victims

Even before thousands of typhoon victims could recover from the devastation brought by Ondoy, another super typhoon has already entered the Philippine area of responsibility. We can only pray  typhoon Pepeng would not cause as much damage as Ondoy…

Aside from volunteers who will help in the repacking of goods, social welfare and development authorities are requesting assistance from individuals, group of friends, corporations and organizations and even families who have the desire to contribute knowledge, skills, time and resources.

Authorities are needing the services of people (elder volunteers) who can provide advice and comfort to victims of disaster. Experts call it stress debriefing session.

Volunteers at work. 
Interested workers may contact the DSWD-NROC located at Chapel Road, Pasay City (at the back of Air Transportation Office), with telephone number 852-80-81. (Photo source: DSWD website)

From what I’ve heard about disaster victims, it may take months or years before survivors can fully recover from the physical and emotional trauma caused by the tragedy.

 Woman grieves in Pasig City (photo source: Maya.Sindu )@yahoo.com>

Stress debriefing session allows survivors to ventilate or pour out his or her feelings and fears to lessen his emotional burden.

For those who are willing to serve as volunteer may visit www.dswd.gov.ph. Click the icon on Bayanihang Bayan Volunteer Registry to know about the program and fill-up the DSWD Volunteer Registration Form (VRF).

The registry of volunteers is part of the national data base of volunteers for disaster operations and facilitate the deployment of appropriate volunteers to an emergency or disaster operation.

Now, do you have what it takes to be a volunteer?