Why do we have hurricanes?
Why does the Water Rise?
Where will we live?
These are only a few questions children have as they survive or watch the devastation of hurricanes in Florida, Puerto Rico, and surrounding Islands. As adults, whether directly impacted or not, we search for answers to these and other questions for children.
This blog offers suggestions for parents preparing their families for hurricanes and tornadoes in their community. It provides information for families not in a region prone to such weather conditions.
Increase children's knowledge about weather conditions such as hurricanes and tornadoes regardless of geographical region. Storybooks are great for young children. YouTube, the internet, and other media, including The Weather Channel, can be excellent resources for older children to expand their knowledge.
Develop an "Emergency Exit Plan" with your family members and conduct drills monthly to ensure everyone understands the plan's urgency and can follow the procedure when necessary. If feasible, draw a project diagram and post it in areas of your living space. Assign older children a particular task to assist younger siblings in the Emergency Exit Plan.
Discuss the potential impact of hurricanes and tornadoes with family members, such as losing their homes, pets, and others. These pre-emotional conversations about the loss will be helpful if such a tragedy occurs during a storm.
Encourage family members to think about a small item they want to place in a "special box" should they have to evacuate with it—place items such as crayons, paper, pencils, and one or two favorite books to read.
Use examples of tragedies from hurricanes and tornadoes as a source for promoting understanding of compassion, sharing, and giving to others by donating food and water.
Visiting and donating items throughout the year to help local shelters in your community will help children understand what a shelter does for people in the community.
No matter what happens, remember always put safety first! If any issues conflict
with your safety, don’t do it. Material goods are not worth your life. While other items can be cherished, they can be replaced. Your health and safety is ultimately the only rule that matters.