The Wide Sweep of a Hurricane: Natural Disaster Responses
The Wide Sweep of a Hurricane: Natural Disaster Responses
Faith Development, Families & Faith Development

When the world turns upside down, when that which was dependable becomes undependable, and that which was certain turns uncertain... we instinctively look for help in making sense of it all.
—Leonard Pitts, in the
Clarion Ledger, after Hurricane Sandy

Since the turn of the 21st century, huge environmental disasters have violently taken lives and destroyed many communities. No matter how far we live from Houston and the Gulf Coast, Haiti, or Indonesia's shores, the winds and rumblings of hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes reach us, too.

Help children process the devastation of a natural disaster. Help them feel safe. Review our Hate Violence, and Trama: Talking with Children.

Many children benefit from opportunities to take action. Like adults, children can discover their own spirit while tending to the hurts of our world and each other. Engage children to find out what survivors of a natural disaster need, and do a project to help. 

  • The UUA Disaster Relief Fund, launched in 2017, offers opportunities for families to donate.
  • Through local chapters, the American Red Cross trains and engages volunteers in disaster preparedness and prevention work as well as direct relief.
  • At home, use a guide from the American Academy of Pediatrics to include children in creating a family disaster plan.
  • On the Ready Kids pages of the Federal Emergency Management Administration website, children learn about weather events and other unexpected situations, and use online games with Flat Stanley and Flat Stella to plan for emergencies.

For more information contact

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