Schools Respond to Disasters in the Phillippines [and Other Parts of the World]

Special  thanks to the UCLA School Mental Health Project for sharing:

Around the world schools need to respond to the disaster in the Philippines, [Mexico, Puerto Rico or any other international disasters].

Schools need to respond because news of a disaster anywhere in the world can have an impact on their students, families, school staff, and communities.

Reaction to the news of the disaster may stem from having relatives and friends who have been directly affected or because the media images they experience trigger feelings of empathy, anxiety, fear.

Whenever there is a major disaster, schools can mobilize to provide support to those affected directly and indirectly by the event.

For example:

>  For those at school who have relatives in the impacted country, schools can consider providing appropriate opportunities to share what they know about the situation, what concerns they have, how they might address those concerns (e.g., up-to-date information, ways their families/communities are reaching out to find/support friends and relatives, what plans are underway for recovery).

>  For those at school who have strong emotional reactions to the news reports (e.g., are anxious that such a disaster might occur in their community), schools can mobilize those facets of their emergency aftermath plans to provide appropriate supports.

>  To help with disaster relief, schools can follow the lead of and connect with those organizing such relief (e.g., the Red Cross, UNICEF, Doctors without Borders, etc.

>  Schools can also tie the responses into their efforts to promote social-emotional learning, character building, etc.

>  And, as always, schools should review school crisis plans and encourage families to involve their children in understanding what to do if there is a disaster, where to get help, etc..

For more resources related to crisis response and trauma, see our quick find topic page 

Finally, part of our Center’s function is to share what others are doing, so please take a moment to let us know about anything local schools are doing in response to the disaster so that we can compile and share with others. Send to .

Best wishes from Howard and Linda at UCLA

Howard Adelman, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology & Center Co-director

Linda Taylor, Ph.D.
Center Co-director

Dept. of Psychology, UCLA
Box 951563
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563
Ph: 310/825-1225 email:
Center website: