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Calls to Action

Autism Speaks Responds to Recent Tornadoes

April 30, 2014

(April 28, 2014) - Autism Speaks extends our deepest sympathies to the families affected by the recent devastating tornadoes in the middle part of the country. 

We are working hard to provide information, resources and assistance to families affected by autism who have experienced or continue to experience the effects of these horrible events.


AutismCares provides grants for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders during times of crisis or unplanned hardships. Financial support awards provide financial relief for individuals with ASD and their families to help cover costs associated with critical living expenses.

Autism Response Team

The Autism Speaks Autism Response Team is taking calls from families affected by autism and the tornadoes. Trained staff members (both English and Spanish speaking) are available to provide support and resources during this difficult time. Families can call the Autism Response Team at 1-888-288-4762, en Español at 888-772-9050, or email us at

Autism Safety Project

The Autism Safety Project provides information for families and First Responders with information and guidelines for communicating with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in emergency situations.

Resources for Children with Autism 

In the wake of the tornadoes, children all over the country are asking questions. Children are likely very frightened and may need help better understanding what happened. Helping a Child Living with Autism to Deal with Disaster is adapted from an article by school psychologists Dr. Peter Faustino and Dr. Andrew Livanis.

Helping Children Deal with Tragic Events in the News, a resource from Mr. Rogers at PBS, is another great tool to help your children better comprehend and cope with yesterday's tragedy.

FEMA's Tips for Helping Children Cope with a Disaster is another tool to help children understand the tornadoes..

American Red Cross

Find help in your area. Find an open shelter, search the safe and well listings, and read disaster recovery guides.

Contact your Local American Red Cross

Find an Open American Red Cross Shelter

Federal Emergency Management Agency

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Apply for Assistance from FEMA 
If you do not have access to a computer, you can apply for assistance via your smartphone at, or by phone by calling (800) 621-3362 or TTY (800) 462-7585 for people with speech or hearing disabilities.

Tips from FEMA: What to do Before, During and After Tornadoes 
FEMA's provides tornado-specific tips, information about putting together safety plans and more.

Tips from FEMA: Coping with Disaster
The emotional toll that disaster brings can sometimes be even more devastating than the financial strains of damage and loss of home, business, or personal property. FEMA has put together a page of tips to help you and your family cope with the aftermath of natural disasters. 
A special section on Tips for Helping Children Cope with a Disaster:

Find a Disaster Recovery Center Near You 
A Disaster Recovery Center is a readily accessible facility or mobile office where applicants may go for information about FEMA or other disaster assistance programs, or for questions related to your case. The Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) Locator allows individuals to search for DRCs nearest to their location. DRC Locator also provides additional information about each DRC, such as hours of operation, services offered, and driving directions to the DRC.

 For more information or resources, contact our Autism Response Team at 888-288-4762 (en Espanol 888-772-9050) or email us at