Families play a critical role in helping to reestablish a sense of normalcy and safety for a child before, during and after a disaster occurs.  Please take a moment to read through these suggestions on how to support your child.

Developmental Explanation

How to Explain Floods to Children
Be honest with children and keep explanations simple. Encourage children to ask questions and lead the discussion.

Usually when it rains, the ground is able to absorb all the water. When there is too much water for the ground to absorb this causes flooding. Floods usually occur after other disasters like hurricanes, tsunamis, heavy rains, melting snow, and overflowing drainage systems or levees. 


Helping Children Prepare for a Flooding
Encourage children to participate in planning as a family. Preparing for and talking about flooding helps children cope with fears and anxiety. Work with children to identify items they may want to put on a higher shelf or a higher part of the house in case water enters the home.  Empowering children with tools to feel prepared will lessen their fears and anxiety and develop skills that may keep everyone safe during severe weather. If you need to evacuate consider a “Go Bag”.


All Feelings Are Okay
Using the following Tools for Caregivers will help children to feel safe, calm and relaxed. Telling or making up stories, playing a game, or creating art as a family builds connections and helps children feel heard, cared for and listened to.


Play It Out
Play is how children understand their world and learn to process difficult experiences. Creating a safe space to act out, express, and recreate moments is how children learn to understand their experiences. After a flood, children may want to play in water.  Fill bowls, sinks, pots, pools or the bathtub with water, add  figurines, blocks, cars, and boats for play.  

Expressive Art

Express Yourself

Children need opportunities to express themselves. Encourage your child to express emotions through movement, play, art or talking with a trusted adult. Watercolor painting encourages children to use water in a safe, creative way. Suggest painting their feelings or describe their experiences. Painting alongside children demonstrates it is something you are working through too.

Download an interactive PDF of this DIsaster-Specific Information On Flooding

Printable Activity Sheets

General Activity Sheets
Individual Activity Sheets with Instruction

5 Essential Needs for Children Following Disasters

Need more resources? Don't forget to check out our 5 Essential Needs for Children Following Disasters page for more videos, handouts and tips based on the child's age.