Children In Disasters Real Stories: Family Emergency Planning

 Photo of a boy hiding in a corner of a room.

“Early, Extra, Emergency: Isiah’s Story”

When a tornado struck the northeast United States in 2012, Nancy was with her son Isiah, who has Down syndrome and a seizure disorder. As a result of trees that had fallen, Nancy could not enter her home.

 Photo of hurricane evacuation sign with storm in the background.

“Planning Ahead: Kevin’s Story”

Karen was prepared when Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav, and Isaac struck her southern town. She had experienced multiple natural disasters in her town that caused her to evacuate with her family, so she had emergency plans in place.

 Photo of woman with young boy.

“Safe Transport: Sam’s Story”

In 2011, a severe ice storm hit the Midwest, leaving Mary and her family without power, heat, or a reliable car. Mary’s son, Sam, has cerebral palsy (CP), which is a group of disorders that can affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.

 Photo of car driving on a flooded street.

“Coping with Disaster: Sara’s Story”

A major flood swept through Cathy’s town, resulting in 4,000 homes and businesses being destroyed, unclean public water, limited access to local food, and displaced individuals with developmental disabilities.

 Photo of people looking at a wildfire.

“Time to Evacuate: Zoe’s Story”

More than 500 homes were destroyed when a wildfire swept across Lorraine’s town, forcing hundreds of families to evacuate. “Evacuations began when both parents were at work, leaving our child with her nurse assistant stranded at home while we rushed home fighting traffic,” says Lorraine.

5-year-old Savannah, and her 9-month-old twins Caden and Kylie

Keep Calm and Sing On: Trapped on the Road with a Preschooler and Infant Twins

Emergencies don’t just affect people physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Trapped on the road with a preschooler and infant twins, Kelly worked to protect her family from the physical dangers and fear from the scary world outside their car.

Page last reviewed: September 1, 2020