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Coping in the Wake of Mass Shootings and Violent Events

I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself, though I wish it could be under more pleasant circumstances. My name is Andy Roszak and I began working for Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) this week as the new Senior Director of Emergency Preparedness.

I’m excited to have been selected for this new position and to see the emphasis and investment Child Care Aware® of America is making on emergency preparedness. I look forward to working with our partners and members to increase emergency preparedness efforts within the child care community.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those in the San Bernardino community. As we reflect on the events of the past twenty four hours we are yet again reminded of the need to be ever-prepared and vigilant.

We know that the mass shooting incident yesterday was a tragic event for all, and interrupted many lives and separated many families. Those in the impacted area were placed in lock-down mode for several hours, disrupting traffic and the normal flow of activities, including access to child care facilities and the ability of parents to pick up their children. This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of advanced planning and preparedness, particularly the need for written and tested communication, lock-down, and family reunification plans.

We also recognize that this tragedy impacts those outside of the immediate area. No doubt children across the country are waking up with new questions and concerns after hearing stories or seeing images from yesterday’s tragedy.

If you are in the middle of a crisis or emergency event, please call 911 first.

The following list of resources provide guidance in dealing with the aftermath of mass shootings and other acts of violence – you can view a more complete list on the CCAoA website:

Disaster Distress Helpline: (800) 985-5990
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) .

The helpline is also available in Spanish, by text, and by TTY
SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.

How to Help Children Cope with a Crisis
Save the Children

Talking to Children about the Shooting
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
This two page document provides tips for talking with children after a shooting.

And if you have questions on emergency or disaster preparedness, you can get in touch with us by email: preparedness@usa.childcareaware.org.

Child Care Aware of America

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