June 6th, 2014 at 12:26 pm
By Kim Ross
Weather can be very scary for children this time of year. It is important to prepare your children for bad weather such as thunderstorms, tornados, and hurricanes, depending on where you live.
One thing that is great to do is to create an emergency kit with your children. Purchase a plastic tote to keep under your stairs or another safe place in case of a disaster. In it you can include water (a gallon per person for a few days is recommended), canned foods and an opener, a first aid kit, emergency medications, blankets, towels, a flashlight with extra batteries, and a whistle or horn to signal for help.
Thunderstorms with Lightening
These can be very scary for children. A neat way to ease a child’s fear is to count from the flash of lightening until you see the BOOM of thunder. Once you have your number of seconds, divide that number by five. For instance if you count 30 seconds divided by five, the thunderstorm is six miles away.
- If they see or hear a thunderstorm, they should come inside right away.
- Stay away from metal objects when a thunderstorm is going on.
- If they cannot get inside, they should stay away from anything tall and crouch down on their knees, protecting their head with their arms.
Tornadoes are very dangerous for communities. It is good to discuss with your children things to look out for when a large thunderstorm is approaching. This would include coming inside before a thunderstorm hits, the sights and sounds of a tornado, what the warnings mean on the news, and ways to safely secure themselves should a tornado hit.
Tornadoes often sound like a train or airplane. If they hear a siren or these sounds, they should take cover right away. When bad weather is approaching the news or a radio should be monitored constantly.
- Go to a basement, or if there is no basement go under something sturdy, such as a staircase, or in a closet in the center of the house. This should be the lowest lying area in your home as well.
- Stay away from windows or doors.
- If you are in a car, get out and go to a sturdy building or the lowest lying area of ground you can find, such as a ditch.
- Keep your face covered with your arms protecting your head.
Talk to your children how hurricanes are formed. These storms are able to be tracked and form over the ocean so there is typically more time to prepare for these than other storms. Talk about the different effects of hurricane on coastlines and watch for warning alerts that occur with hurricanes.
- If you live in a mobile home, near the water, or in a high-rise building, seek shelter in a safer area.
- If you must stay in your home, go to a basement, safety shelter or the most secure area.
- Stay away from windows and doors.
If you live in an area where flooding can occur, go over safety information. Be sure to stress that playing with water is fun, but floods are dangerous and can be harmful.
- Get to the highest point in your home.
- Do not drive through rushing waters during a flood.
- If you are caught in flooding waters get to a tree, higher ground, or grab ahold of anything that is floating in the water to climb on.
- If you are in a car, get out ASAP.
Here are some fun resources to explore the weather:
NOAA’s Play time for kids – http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/reachout/kidspage.shtml
Interactive Weather Maker – http://www.scholastic.com/kids/weather/
Weather Wiz Kids - http://www.weatherwizkids.com/index.htm
Most importantly, make sure your kids know that you will do everything in your power to keep them safe!!