Americas Youth and Emergency Preparedness


Today’s article comes from my friend Uryan Nelson of 10 years. I have sought his advise on many topics of emergency management. We meet while serving in Yorktown, VA for the United States Coast Guard. He has an impressive list of past employers to his credit, such as:

Safety Technician II/ Hazmat Technician
University of Texas

Safety Manager
State of Missouri

Safety Technician
Vanderbilt University

Click here for a link to his full work history.


Author: Uryan Nelson     June 27, 2014

In America we have many tools available for adults to utilize when learning how to either, prepare, respond, or recover to incidents and disasters. That being said, this information is slightly harder to get for a younger audience, leaving children dependent upon others when it comes to disastrous events. “Disasters often strike quickly and without warning. They are frightening for adults, and can be traumatic for children, especially if they don’t know what to do” (Children and Young Adults, 2014). Not only can these disasters have physical effects such as broken bones, on America’s youth, but they also leave a lasting psychological trauma, as everything they previously knew to be true and safe is now questionable. In an effort to prevent disasters from having detrimental effects on children, it is my belief that, we must first provide them with the tools essential to cope with these situations as well as provide them with resources in order to prepare for these events.

Mental health reports, and studies, show that even 2 years following Hurricane Katrina, children still had severe emotional disorders, and this is just one type of disaster. Some of the signs and symptoms that many children will show following a disaster are: lowered self-esteem, insecurity, aggression, sadness, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). That being said, if parents, and children, are provided with information that can be easily understood about how to deal with these disasters it may lessen the trauma associated with disasters.

When children are in school during fire prevention week, in October, they are provided information as well as training for what needs to be done in order to remain safe. This is also a time when children bring home information for family members and have the ability to discuss what they have learned during the week, ultimately raising awareness for the adults as well. While the importance of fire safety and prevention is high, this is not the only threat that needs to be prepared for. That is why it is our responsibility, not only as individuals, but also communities, to ensure that America’s youth are prepared and are aware of what actions to take and resources are available when it comes to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.

Resources Available:

American Academy of Pediatrics-

American Red Cross- 

Center for Disaster Philanthropy- 

Youth Disaster Preparedness and Recovery 


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