Prepare For Storms

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Prepare For Storms | As parents, we prepare our kids for many things, but do we prepare our kids for storms? In an uncertain world, there is something we as parents can do to alleviate the fears and help our children cope with the unexpected and sometimes dangerous | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #Blessingsfromheaven #kids #kidsandfamily #PrepareForStorms #PreparePrepare For Storms – Episode 498

As parents, we prepare our kids for many things, but do we prepare our kids for storms? In an uncertain world, there is something we as parents can do to alleviate the fears and help our children cope with the unexpected and sometimes dangerous.

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Storms are a thing, no matter where you live. How prepared are you? As a teenager, I moved to southwest Florida after living up north, New York and even a few years in Canada, to be exact. I lived through ice, hail, and snow storms that kept us homebound for days. I watched as cars skidded off the road during ice storms, and my parent prepared our car with essentials in case we were stuck in a storm. This helped me grow up as I didn’t fear the storm as much as I feared being unprepared.

Here in Florida, heavy downpours and lightning storms are the norm in summer. The winters here are mild, with rain storms rare. However, early spring and summer are another story. We had our first near brush with a tornado that barreled down our street and hit a few houses badly but missed ours. We were not as unscathed by previous hurricanes. Most of our previously wooded acreage is now bare, and we had a roof that needed to be replaced after the last hurricane that hit.

Listen to this past episode from Rookie Rescue here.

Prepare Your Kids

One thing I will say is we are always prepared. Not so much for the tornado, since they are very rare, but we know the drill for hurricanes.

Safety is important, and letting our children know that we are preparing goes a long way toward helping them feel assured. They also go off of our stress. If we are upset or worried, they will know it. Of course, there is a need for concern. Being honest with your children and listening to their concerns is one way to alleviate any they may have. There are no guarantees, but when it comes to preparation, we can do that ahead of time. Allowing kids to help makes them feel productive and part of the family.

As a homeschooler, we turned storms into a science lesson; we studied the origination of storms, picked up a hurricane tracking map from our local news station, and listened for advice from the authorities. The children learned so much about upper lows, fronts, and storm surges. This last hurricane to hit Florida had a record storm surge unseen in past years. Sometimes there is a valid excuse to evacuate. The beach areas and intercostal were all advised to evacuate, and they did.

Here is a quick overview to help you prepare:

  1. Identify the types of storms that happen in your area.
  2. Do you have the necessary supplies to withstand a power outage?
  3. What non-perishable foods do you have on hand?
  4. Make a list of things you need, such as flashlights, batteries, and backup power chargers.
  5. Check over your list of supplies weeks before whatever “season” begins.

Preparation List:

  1. Batteries and flashlights, battery backup
  2. Boxed goods
  3. Canned goods
  4. Disposable plates, napkins, etc.
  5. Water in tubs.
  6. Power source: generator (only run outdoors).
  7. Extra propane for grills
  8. Fill up cars with gas (extra gas cans)
  9. Crank radio (or another source that does not need power)
  10. A backpack is packed and ready in case you need to leave.

In addition, all important items, such as papers or valuables, should be in waterproof bags and sturdy fire-proof safes. If you need to retrieve these items quickly, it helps to have them packed in a safe in waterproof bags ready to go.

We evacuated a few times during the hurricane season, especially when our children were younger. We turned this into a mini-vacation, with chest coolers full of perishable meats, and headed to visit our North relatives. These times were short, but at least we felt our family’s safety outweighed anything else. In recent years with grown children, we’ve hurricane proofed our house as best we can and have backup generators and gas grills for the length of time after we lose power. This last storm power was returned before the “normal for us” two weeks, but our internet capabilities did not for a good two months~ my friends are still a mystery.

Some children are afraid of lightning. Listen to their concerns. Are they afraid the storm will come into the home? Identify the problem and again (another time) have a lesson with your child about the science behind lightning. Explain that thunder causes lightning. Light travels faster than sound, so we see the flash before hearing the noise. When we hear thunder, it is too late! We need to get indoors immediately. There are weather apps you can get for your phone that track lightning and let you know when it is a safe distance away so you can go outdoors.

What other storms do you have in your area? If you have tornados, then it is important to have an evacuation plan. Do your children know what to do in case of an emergency? Go over the steps to evacuate or go to a safe area like a basement after a severe storm, talk to your children, and address any needs or concerns they may have about what occurred.

My children treated storms like a big adventure (I did not share their sentiment), but having kids who were excited rather than frightened was helpful. My daughter, now a young adult, weathered the last storm here with us. She had not been through a storm in all the years since she left for college. It turns out her area was not hit as hard as we were, but it was good to be together as a family for peace of mind, and we had food and generators running and were all safe.

When children are smaller, it is good to let them see the real world and not shelter them totally. That does not mean we go and show them the devastation in pictures or by watching startling news stories on air, but it does mean we address and deal with their concerns. In this way, our kids will grow to be resilient and prepared to deal with hardships in the future.

Some kids have an unfounded fear. For example, a fear of the dark. Think back to your childhood. How was this addressed? Sometimes our fears are not addressed, and that can make them worse. Scaring each other by hiding behind doors, under beds, etc., was not allowed in our home. This was a rule in my home growing up as well. I believe this helped my kids feel safe and confident in our homes. (I don’t like scary movies and never watch them for the same reason, this puts unneeded fears and concerns in our hearts for no reason!)

I think talking to your child and letting them stay with you during a storm is important. Being united as a family, being prepared and being aware of the dangers, and addressing them ahead of time is helpful.

 

 

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