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Natural disasters: advice for kids

Floods, storms or bushfires are frightening to both adults and young people. It’s important that everyone looks after themselves after a natural disaster, including you. 

Tips to help you after a disaster 

Remember that it's no one's fault

Sometimes bad things happen and it's no one’s fault. When a disaster like a storm or flood occurs and good people get hurt, you might notice your parents blaming themselves. You might be blaming yourself too. Remember, natural disasters are out of anyone’s control and no one is to blame for what happened.

People around you will be upset

You might see some adults crying, or getting angry at strange things. When people get hurt or lose their homes or friends, it can be a very upsetting time. So if someone has snapped at you or said something mean, try not to worry or get upset. Recovering from bushfires, storms or floods is hard for everyone, even adults.

Talk about your feelings

After a bushfire or other natural disaster, you might feel scared or upset. You might have questions about what happened or what is going to happen and that’s okay. Everyone needs help to understand things sometimes. Talking to someone about how you feel or asking questions can help you feel better.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you feel angry?
  • Do you feel afraid?
  • Do you feel nervous?
  • Are you waking up in the night feeling really scared or worried?
  • Are you having nightmares?
  • Are you not getting hungry anymore?
  • Do you sometimes get images in your mind of the thing that happened?
  • Do you get headaches or stomach aches a lot?

If so, find someone you trust who you can talk to. It will make you feel better to talk about it.

Listen to your parents

Now that the natural disaster is over and the danger has passed, your parents will want to make sure that you are safe. Be patient and do what they say. They want to make sure that you're alright and keep you safe.

Remember to have fun sometimes

It’s important to remember to have fun and do things you like to do. When people are feeling hurt or upset, they sometimes think it’s not okay to have fun. But going out to a movie or playing a game can help take your mind off what happened. Remember to try to enjoy yourself when you can. It might help you feel better. 

Ask for help if you need it

Remember, you’re not alone and if you are having a hard time, the best thing to do is ask for help. If you need some advice or someone safe to talk to, Kids Helpline can help. You don’t have to give them your name and it doesn’t cost anything to call them on 1800 55 1800.

More information

For more information on recovering from disasters and extra support information, visit our 'Still Standing' publication page.

Visit the Still Standing page

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