Talking To Your Family About Hurricane Safety
When creating your Family Hurricane Plan, be sure you also talk specifically to your children about what to do.
Remember that in the event of a real hurricane, if you haven’t talked to your kids about what to do, they may be more scared or upset. While it may seem tempting not to scare them by bringing it up, it is better for them to know what to expect.
When you talk to your kids about hurricane safety both before and during a storm, be sure to be patient and calm. You’re their example of how to react, so don’t panic, and be reassuring.
Before the storm, be sure to:
- Go over the plan with your kids. Make sure they feel safe and empowered by knowing the plan. Be sure to talk about pets, other family members and friends they can turn to for help, and other concerns they might have. Give them small jobs to allow them to be involved and help prepare.
- Encourage discussion. If they are scared or nervous about hurricanes, now is the time to teach them to deal with those feelings. But don’t force them to talk about it if they aren’t ready.
- Let them help prepare their hurricane and evacuation kits. Let them know what they can and can’t take with them if you must leave. Be sure they have games, coloring books, or other distractions, and also a few favorite comfort items and snacks.
- Role play. Ask “pop quiz” questions or have home drills so your child feels comfortable with what they need to do, and give them positive feedback to help them feel confident about making the right decisions.
During the storm:
- Let children express their fears– talking, drawing, journaling, music, singing, exercise
- Continue to be calm and patient.
- Keep children away from the TV or radio so they aren’t overwhelmed or scared. Help them focus on other tasks or getting ready.
- If you have to evacuate, try to keep the same routines and schedules as much as possible, so there’s some level of normalcy.
Have any other tips about helping children prepare for a hurricane? Share them here.