by Fawn Pattison
Hurricane Florence is having a devastating impact on our state, particularly in eastern North Carolina. As we go to press, Wilmington, NC has been cut off from land access, and many await rescue amid rising flood waters in Lumberton, Fayetteville, New Bern, and other eastern cities. As many cope with displacement, loss, grief, and uncertainty, we’re bringing you this list of resources to support children through a disaster. If your organization is conducting relief work, or needs assistance to get operations back online, please let us know by commenting on this post, by email, or tag NC Child on Facebook or Twitter.
Sincere thanks to Elizabeth Hudgins, executive director of the NC Pediatric Society, for compiling many of these resources.
How to Donate and Volunteer to Support Florence Survivors
Local agencies are most in need of cash donations right now to weather this disaster. However, if you are safe and have high-priority items to donate including non-perishable food items, diapers, and personal care items, Triangle residents can donate at the locations below. Before you go, please review the organizations’ wish lists to avoid overwhelming agencies with items they can’t sort or use immediately.
- The Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC is accepting donations and volunteers at its Raleigh and Durham locations. Review the disaster wish list to find out what is urgently needed.
- The Diaper Bank of NC urgently needs diapers and wipes at its Durham location for distribution in southeastern North Carolina. You can also donate diapers virtually via Amazon. Volunteers are also needed to assemble hygiene kits.
- You can donate to the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund online or by check.
Info from the American Academy of Pediatrics: This includes information on floods, which is one of the major problems associated with this record rainfall.
- Promoting Adjustment and Helping Children Cope After Disaster and Crisis
- Flash Floods/Flood Recovery
- HealthyChildren.org – Flash Flood Recovery Information for Families
- AAP Promoting Strategic Communications and Systematic Messaging page
- What to do before, during and after a hurricane: Hurricane Disaster Factsheet
- Talking with children about tough topics
More Resources for Families & Caregivers
- From Sesame Street: Resources for both providers and caregivers. Hurricane-specific, and includes videos and activities for young children.
- Ready.gov Family Readiness: Resources for Individuals with Disabilities and Access and Functional needs
Resources for Recognizing & Coping with Children’s Trauma, from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network
- Parent Tips for Helping School-Age Children after Disasters. This handout from provides parents with common reactions after a disaster, ways to respond to those reactions, and examples of things you can say to your school-age child.
- Parent Tips for Helping Infants and Toddlers after Disasters. This handout provides parents with common reactions after a disaster, ways to respond to those reactions, and examples of things you can say to your infants or toddlers.
- Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event. This handout describes how young children, school-age children, and adolescents react to traumatic events and offers suggestions on how parents and caregivers can help and support them.
- Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology: Psychological First Aid and Coping for all ages – scroll through comprehensive resource list.
Volunteer Info for Clinicians:
Clinicians who want to volunteer their skills to help affected areas can sign up with the American Red Cross. Clinicians may also want to contact their local hospital to inquire about opportunities to support the hurricane response and recovery. For doctors and PAs from other states who are interested in volunteering, the NC Medical Board just passed an emergency policy to process temporary licenses during a disaster or State of Emergency. Learn more.
General Hurricane Safety Resources
- ReadyNC / Ready NC en Español Resources to plan and prepare, stay informed, and recover and rebuild – in English and Spanish
- North Carolina 2-1-1 Community health and human services resources and services, and real-time support and communications during emergencies and disasters
- Duke Energy Power outages and outage status updates
- NC Department of Public Safety Comprehensive updates on evacuations, road conditions, and shelter locations
- CDC How to Help Loved Ones in Hurricane-Affected Areas in English and Spanish
Resources in Additional Languages:
- NIH HealthReach Preparing for Emergencies: Guide for Refugees – includes Kinyarwanda and Karen
- CDC Natural Disasters and Severe Weather – Educational Materials by language
- NIH Health Reach Emergency Supply List in several languages
- NIH HealthReach Plan for an Emergency in several languages