Disaster Response, Teaching Preparedness and Resiliency

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Sisters Jalayisa (5) and Marissa (10) lived in Columbia, South Carolina with their family in 2015 when a ‘1,000 year flood’ came pouring down. For almost a week water fell from the sky in sheets, with more than 18 inches of rain reported in the area over just one 24-hour period. The girls didn’t fully understand what was happening. Their schools were closed. The power was out and they couldn’t leave their house for five days as the water was up to their door. Major roads were inaccessible. After the rain subsided it left the Boyd family with damaged pipes and mold that forced them to move. The girls wondered why so many bad things were happening all around them.

Disaster changes lives — especially for children who need to process their experiences in order to begin the healing process and rebuild hope for their future. Camp Noah, a program of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, is designed to help children heal from disaster and trauma by focusing on building resiliency skills and helping children prepare for whatever storms in life they may experience.

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A Perfect Double Storm

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Andrea Trautman was at work with her newborn baby an hour away from home when the twin tornadoes merged into one massive funnel cloud and slammed into her community. Meanwhile, Andrea’s brother raced against the storm to pick up his sister’s older children, Graycen and Ashlyn, from daycare and get them safely to their grandparents’ house — a home built to withstand the severe weather the prairies can bring. Cuddling her newborn and following the path of the tornado from afar, Andrea listened as the storm headed for her parents’ house. Her husband, Levi, was also working that day and following the path of the storm.

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