Dear youth in other disasters...
I just really want you all to know that: one, you need to be there for each other and two, it’s ok to continue with regular life. It’s hard being a youth in a disaster.
Adults all have their roles: fixing the house, dealing with insurance, making sure children are all looked after and that they are okay.
Being a youth is difficult because you might feel like you are left out since no one is looking after you or giving you jobs to help with. I think the most important job for youth is to be there for each other.
Youth need other youth.
Even if you aren’t dealing with the exact same thing, youth who went through disasters have a way of understanding other youth.
Everyone can feel a little lost and it is best to be able to talk to close friends or even not to talk about it; sometimes it is best to not talk about the disaster.
This leads into my second point that it’s ok to go on with your daily life.
I know that sometimes you might feel like you just need to do something to help out or need to talk about the event but, sometimes it really is best to do something normal. No matter how you are feeling or what is going on with the recovery process it can always help to feel a little normalcy.
For those of you that maybe didn’t lose anything: the most important thing to do is to be there for your friends and family. Although you might not always be talking to them about the disaster, always be available for them to talk to you.
You can be that normalcy in their lives if you are not always pushing and asking about the disaster. I did this for my friends during the Slave Lake fire and I know they really appreciated it.
All in all, keep positive.
Things can get hard and very emotional. It’s okay to feel sad. Remember that. It is okay to show emotion and it is also okay if you don't. Everyone deals with things in their own way. You need to process the disaster your own way and allow others to do the same.