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Sesame Street Talks Natural Disaster Anxiety


Children’s media prepares kids and adults for emergencies and big changes.

Last week I posted about being a Hurricane Andrew kid and some professional tips for caring for kids during a natural disaster. Unfortunately, Harvey wasn’t the last we’d hear of hurricanes in the news cycle. Hurricane Irma, the Atlantic’s most powerful hurricane yet, is approaching South Florida and much of my Facebook timeline is Miami friends and family talking about the panic to get supplies. Some of my friends have voluntarily boarded up and evacuated, I think mostly to avoid the scramble, but most of them are not in areas under evacuation order.

By accident I found a special Sesame Street episode from 2001 that was re-released in 2012 following Sandy floating around on YouTube all about Big Bird coping with his nest having been destroyed and the clean up. This actually a Part II of a hurricane special so there’s not much about prepping for the hurricane, but there’s a lot of good stuff about what to do after its over. There’s a lot of reassuring that things can be fixed and that it will all be okay. Probably something adults need to hear too!

The Part I of this episode is available from non-official Sesame Street sources. They talk about taping windows to make them stronger, which is not exactly a wise strategy for Floridians but we can move on. At least Oscar The Grouch, who thinks the hurricane looks like “fun”, is a familiar archetype for a Floridian.

The Sesame Street website also has an Emergency Toolkit for comforting children who are separated from home, or dealing with power outages, and disaster specific information.

Has anyone else come across good media for children about natural disasters? Or good media for adults?

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