Resilience is the capacity to bounce back. For a community to be resilient, its members must put into practice early and effective actions, so that they can respond to adversity in a healthy manner. If residents, agencies, and organizations take meaningful and intentional actions before an event, they can help the community reestablish stability after the event. Resilience implies that after an event, a community may not only be able to cope and to recover, but that it may also change to reflect different priorities arising from the disaster.
Children and teenagers are at risk for stress reactions following a disaster. They may have sleeping and eating disturbances, problems concentrating on schoolwork, irritability and anger, or headaches and stomachaches. They may start to have academic or behavior problems at school, lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, avoid friends, or even engage in dangerous behaviors.
Children’s responses to disasters are influenced by several factors: extent of exposure to the disaster, family distress, loss of loved ones and/or property, available support systems, disruption of school programs, and the community’s response to the event. This guidebook for building community resilience is focused on children and their families because they are a vulnerable population.
Click HERE to download the Building Community Resilience for Children and Families Guidebook.
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