Helping Kids Deal With the Trauma of Storms and Flooding

FloddAs this post is published, Hurricane Harvey is still battering parts of Texas and Louisiana in the United States with rain and flooding. As the storm eventually passes and the flooding recedes, families will be able to get back to their homes. They will, no doubt face devastation, loss and week or months of rebuilding. For many of the kids involved, this may well be the most traumatic thing they have ever experienced. For many it will become a permanent marker in their lives from which they will date things, as in “Remember before the flood…” or “that was after the hurricane.” If the effects of this trauma are not dealt with proactively in these kids, they will left to fester and likely show themselves in far more serious ways.

Fortunately, the fine people at the Mentor Research Institute have developed a resource called “The Great Storm and Flood Recovery: Children’s Story and Activity Book.

This workbook encourages the child to fill in the blanks to explore their own experiences as well as color the pictures provide. It talks about the storm that caused the flooding, having to evacuate, cleaning up, rebuilding as well as the emotional impacts of the flooding. At all points, it gives the child a chance to reflect on their own experience.

A parent guide is included at the back of the workbook that covers:

  • Emotional Consequences of a Flood
  • Steps to take is symptoms are severe or significant
  • Common Stress Reactions Following a Flood
  • Symptoms of Fear and Panic
  • Symptoms of Depression
  • Helpful Hints to Recovery

A Spanish Version of the workbook is also available.

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Written by Wayne Stocks
Wayne is the founder and executive director of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. He is a happily married father of four kids with a passion for helping young people who are going through rough times. In addition to Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne previously started I Am A Child of Divorce and Divorce Ministry 4 Kids to help kids who are dealing with the disruption of their parents' relationship. These are now part of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. Wayne speaks frequently at conferences and churches on issues related to helping kids learn to deal with difficult emotions and life in modern families. Wayne lives with his wife, three youngest kids, three dogs and an insane collection of his kids' other pets outside of Columbus, Ohio. In addition to his work with Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne is a partner in a local consulting firm, an avid reader, coaches his son's soccer team and is a proud supporter of Leicester City Football Club (and yes, for those in know, his affinity for the club does predate the 2016 championship). You can reach Wayne at