Children play with Child Friendly Space volunteers in the Florida Panhandle in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. Save the Children’s Child Friendly Spaces are safe play areas in evacuation shelters where kids can be kids again, express themselves and begin to cope. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we continue to help children, families and communities most affected by Hurricane Michael.

Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael was the strongest storm on record to hit the Florida Panhandle, packing winds as high as 155 mph when it made landfall in October 2018, taking many children from the lives they once knew. Knowing that recovery can take years, Save the Children continues to partner with Florida’s hardest hit communities to meet children’s long-term needs.

Committed to the Children of the Florida Panhandle

Children still need our help to fully recover from the impact of Hurricane Michael. Save the Children is committed to helping the children and families in the most affected communities in the Florida Panhandle.

Return to Learning: Communities cannot begin to recover after disaster until child care and early learning centers are back up and running. Save the Children continues to collaborate with early learning networks serving the most vulnerable children and families impacted by Hurricane Michael, helping restore child care and early learning centers so children get back to learning and playing with their peers – and parents can get back to work. We are also supporting youth organizations that provide afterschool programs and activities for children, helping them recover and expand to serve children affected by the storm.

Emotional Support: Disasters can steal children’s sense of security, affect their health, behavior and ability to learn and fracture their relationships for years. Save the Children is working with communities, early learning networks and university partners to deliver its social and emotional learning programs Journey of Hope and HEART, which help children understand and cope with the stress, fear, loss and trauma that can come in the wake of a disaster like Hurricane Michael. These programs draw on children’s strengths and creativity to support their emotional well-being.

Developed after Hurricane Katrina, Journey of Hope is an evidence-based program that provides children a safe, small group setting to explore and normalize their emotions, develop healthy coping skills, build confidence and foster positive peer relationships. It also helps parents and caregivers cope and become more resilient after emergencies, so they can be there to support their children’s needs. An arts-based approach for children affected by serious or chronic stress, HEART (Healing and Education Through the Arts), brings the proven power of artistic expression – drawing, painting, music, drama dance and more – to some of the world’s most vulnerable children.

Prepared for the Future: Emergency preparedness and resilience building are key to our recovery strategy in the Florida Panhandle. Through our community partnerships, we are helping child care providers gain knowledge and skills to be equipped for future disasters and we are teaching children preparedness and resilience skills through our Prep Rally program.

We continue to lead hurricane relief efforts in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, in North Carolina in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence and in Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

By contributing to our Children's Emergency Fund, you will help us serve children in the U.S. and around the world.


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