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By: Jason Jowers, MS, MFT

Military service members and their families face many challenges related to deployments, frequent moves, family transitions, spouses changing jobs, and kids changing schools. It is all part of the “normal” family lifecycle of a military family. However, what happens when that normal lifecycle is interrupted due to added stress and turmoil of a natural disaster or hazard that comes into play for military families? It is then time to dig deep for resilience techniques and practices to help military families persevere.

With this in mind, we wanted to share several resources we found to help military families prepare for and cope with disaster.

  • The CDC shares this article on helping children cope with emergencies. They go over the factors that influence the emotional impact on children, as well as common reactions to disasters and emergencies by various age groups and for special needs children.
  • This article is another great overview of talking to kids about disasters from They include ways for parents to help children cope, to support grieving processes, and to help in the aftermath of violence.
  • is a one-stop shop for tons of resources around disaster preparedness. Their Ready Kids section includes games and tips to help kids, teens, and families talk about prepping for disaster preparedness.
  • This ongoing list of blog posts from Military One Source displays all their resources on preparing families for emergencies. They also have a place to call to talk to a qualified professional to help with military families and their peace of mind.
  • The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) shares this list of resources from reputable organizations on how to talk to children about tragedies and disasters. Many of these include guidance on, not just what you would stereotypically think of as emergencies like natural disasters, but includes resources on substance abuse issues and talking about attempted suicide attempts within a family.
  • In addition, the American Red Cross shares this article highlighting their Hero Care Network, which provides a free app to connect military families with Red Cross services during times of crisis. The Hero Care Network offers confidential services to all veterans and their families by connecting them with local, state, and national resources worldwide.
  • Finally, please be sure to RSVP for our ongoing OneOp Military Family Readiness Academy, which has two more sessions in 2020 and several more in early 2021. The 2020-21 Academy provides a foundational overview of disaster and hazard readiness relevant to military families and for military family service providers working in any field. Our next session is on October 28, 2020, at 11 am EST and is entitled, “Impacts and Responses in Disaster and Hazard Readiness.” Be sure to RSVP for that session here and for the 2020-21 Academy as a whole on the MFRA homepage.

Disaster preparedness is important for all families to talk about, but even more so for military families. We hope that these resources can help some of you out there. Feel free to share any resources you recommend in the comments below!

Blog Post Image:Pexels [Book by Caio, CC0]