I live in New York City, and there has been TONS of coverage on the news about Hurricane Irene and how to prepare your family and apartment. The more I think about it, with hurricane season making headlines, kids may be scared by the storm coverage they see on the news. I read about these great tips to keep child fear and stress down during such scary times that kids may have never experienced with the weather from The Federal Emergency Management Agency.
1. Be Prepared
Assemble a disaster supply kit that includes flashlights, batteries, candles, lighter or matches, fire extinguisher, generator and fuel, and first aid kit. Make sure you have prescription medications filled.
Store food and extra water (as well as water purification kit) for the family, at least a week’s worth. Consider non-perishable foods and juice, baby formula, a manual can opener, paper plates and coolers for food and ice. Other supplies to consider having on-hand, personal wipes, hand sanitizer, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, deodorant, toilet paper, and pet food.
3. Battery Operated Radio
Families should listen together to a battery operated radio or television during the storm for weather updates. FEMA also reminds everyone to stay inside during a hurricane because you could be hit by flying objects.
4. Meeting Spot
Also, arrange a place to meet your family in case you are evacuated or separated during a disaster. Choose a friend or relative out of state for your family members to all call to report they are OK.
Go over all of these tips with your children so that the fear of “unknowing” helps dissipate. Alternatively, sometimes it helps for kids to write about the experience or to draw pictures about how they feel.
The National Hurricane Center, part of the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, tracks tropical storms and hurricanes. Click here for a map your child can print and use to track storms.