UN-L for Families: Tips to help ease stress of recent Nebraska disasters

Recent disasters in Nebraska have created damage to homes, farms and businesses. Many have experienced loss of their livelihood, livestock, personal belongings and more.
    These circumstances can cause an enormous amount of stress, financial burden and emotional stress, reports Extension Educator Rhonda Herrick.
    Disasters can leave children feeling alone, insecure and frightened.
    For many kids the reactions are brief, for others it might be long lasting. It is important for adults to recognize these reactions and in turn help children deal with their emotions.
    Youth who may have longer lasting responses are due to three risk factors. Direct exposure to the disaster--such as being evacuated, observing injuries of others or experiencing injury.
    Loss/grief—relating to the death or serious injury of family or friends. On-going stress—from secondary effects, such as temporary housing, loss of personal possessions, or mom and dad’s jobs.
    Parents and caregivers are the largest factor in on how children learn to cope.
    When adults can deal with their own feelings, disasters can be less traumatic on children. There are certain key influences that will help kids cope.

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