Severe storms can be a hazard that catches your family off guard. Damage, loss, injury, and even fatalities can occur if you are not prepared. When you have children, the problem becomes even more difficult. Preparing in advance for a disaster can make all the difference in helping your family overcome disasters.
One of the most common disasters is a severe weather event. Hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods, and more do a lot of damage to homes and health. Here is what you need to know to prepare for this kind of disaster.
What to Do Beforehand
When you live in the path of these extreme weather events, there are a few things you can plan for in advance.
- Create an emergency supply kit. Have water, batteries, flashlights, candles, medications, first aid kit, and a charger as basics. You may also want to stock up on nonperishable food, blankets, and additional clothing. Make you sure to cover survival gear essentials.
- Create a disaster plan. Make sure these plans are specific to your family. Do you have a family member with special needs? What about your pets? (Read this article from The Pet Show on how to prepare your pet for a disaster.) Customize it as you see fit. Teach your kids how to create a plan with these games from Ready.gov.
- Share the information in your plan with others. This is especially critical if you get separated from family and power lines go down. Share the plan with others, too, so that you can be found.
- As part of your family plan, get the kids on board. Parents.com recommends reading books about disasters to them, as well as doing disaster drills so they are ready for these events. This post from Preparedness Mama has a long list of books that teach kids to face disasters without the fear.
There are a lot more fun ways to teach your child about these events that can protect them undue stress and fear. Read these savvy teacher tips for helping kids from Concordia University’s Education blog.
Now that you are ready with information such as the local evacuation route, you may think you are done planning. However, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration states that part of this process is being vigilant and staying up to date. For example, are better evacuation routes available now? Have your emergency batteries gone bad? Do you have your water purifier ready? Revisit plans and tools to make sure you don’t get stuck during a crisis.
During The Storm
When the storm hits, listen carefully to any official announcements and follow recommendations, including evacuation notifications or flash flood warnings. You can stay informed by receiving text messages from FEMA during the emergency.
After you’ve taken all the measures to be safe, your children may be nervous about what’s happening. It may be a good time to create a little fun to distract them from what’s going on outside:
- Create an in-home scavenger hunt.
- Hold a fun storytelling hour. Here are 10 fun storytelling ideas from Confidence Meets Parenting.
- Listen to upbeat music. An impromptu dance party can be fun.
After It’s Over
After the event is over, it’s time to assess the damage. You may want the kids to stay with friends or family for a while if your home took a hit. First, be sure to talk with them. Be confident and encouraging and focus on the importance of everyone’s safety over the lost property and possessions. It’s important to intervene at this time to keep your child hopeful about rebuilding and repairing.
Severe storm events can take a toll on your family, but preparing in advance can help reduce stress after a disaster. Start planning now to help your family cope.
This article is written for us by Bradley Davis. He gives expert advice about disaster preparedness at his website http://DisasterWeb.net/.