When a hurricane is predicted, everyone is glued to the television and radio. People run to the grocery store to stock up on milk, bread and cookies! Our children are watching this and may have an anxious reaction. The best way to make children feel less anxious is to get them involved – from tracking the storm to preparing your hurricane kit, involving them in your plans and letting them know your decisions.

Have your children help put the following items in a kit (3 days worth of supplies) and have them gather other supplies to keep at the house (at least 1 week).

Supply List:

Water

Canned Food and manual can opener

Extra medicines

Eating utensils

First aid kit

Trash bags

Cash

Pillows and blankets

Sleeping bags

Water Jugs

Battery operated radio with fresh batteries and replacements

Portable alarm clock

Extra Batteries

Flashlights

Rope

Hammer and nails

Duct tape

Extension cords

Tarp

Mosquito Repellent

Cleaning Supplies

Extra cellphone and tablet Rechargeable batteries (fully charged)

Tasks your children can help with (depending on age):

  1. Fill water bottles and jugs
  2. Pick up the yard so items don’t become projectiles
  3. Allow them to find, test and place new batteries in flashlights
  4. Have them choose a few toys to take with you if you need to evacuate
  5. Stock up on glow sticks, etc.
  6. Make a plan for a storm family sleepover (everyone in one interior room, lots of pillows and blankets and stuffed animals, favorite snacks and the sharing of stories). Let the kids make sandwiches for dinner in case power goes out and store in cooler.
  7. Brainstorm games that you will play (hurricane bingo, the story that never ends, charades, etc.)

Our family regularly talks about the great times we had during Hurricane Isabel (and how quickly the Oreos were finished…), cooking on the grill during the week of no phone service and electricity. By keeping your kids involved and focusing on fun and safety, hurricanes may end up being a treasured memory in the future.

Basic Hurricane Preparedness:

  • Have a week’s supply of food and water in your home. Also have a 3-day supply in your disaster supplies kit.
  • Have protection for windows and doors.
  • Know your flood risk and prepare accordingly.
  • Make an evacuation plan: Know where you would go in evacuation and how you will get there. Let your family know where you would go. Make a plan for pets. Put a phone list of emergency contacts in your disaster supplies kit.

During a Hurricane Watch:

  • Stay tuned to news (have a battery-operated radio available.) Hurricanes can change rapidly so it is important to stay alert and informed.
  • Fill the gas tank of your vehicles.
  • Bring outdoor items indoors.
  • Trim weak branches from trees and loose limbs from bushes.
  • Board up glass windows and doors.
  • Turn refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings. If electricity goes out, avoid opening them frequently.
  • Turn off propane tanks. Listen to the directions of the authorities concerning utilities.
  • Store valuables on the highest level of your home if you are prone to flooding.

During a Hurricane Warning:

  • Evacuate if told to do so.
  • Close all interior doors and secure and brace external doors
  • Have a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy. If you have solar lights in your garden or walkway, you can bring them inside in a pot or vase and they will give extra light.
  • Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, sinks and plastic bottles.
  • If power is lost, unplug appliances to reduce the power surge when electricity is restored.
  • Don’t be fooled by the eye of the storm. The worst part of a hurricane can occur after the eye passes and the winds change directions.
  • Do not drive across a flooded road.

After a hurricane, stay tuned to authorities to know the conditions in your area, carefully inspect your home, avoid floodwaters and move forward.

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