Lessons from the flood

Flood is something that I dread since I was in grade school. I know what it was 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 and recently the several provinces in Region 3. I’m not sure how the experience had affected me or if it has ever affected me at all.

One of my good friends 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.

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 that could use Siegel pop up booth. 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 relocation that will entail along the way. Changing locations will be a stressful one especially when the child is attached to his home.

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

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