Living in the Midwest, we see our share of spring thunderstorms and tornado warnings. Instead of waiting to see what the weather brings, take a proactive approach so you’re better prepared should severe weather strike. Getting your kids involved in the prep may help ease their fears about the potential for bad weather.
Make a Plan
One of the biggest preparations you can do is to have a plan when severe weather strikes. Choose a safe place in your home — away from windows and in a secure area. If a tornado is the threat, you want to be on the lowest level of your home in an interior room, such as a hallway or closet. Show your child where he should go in case of a tornado. Practice going to the spot so he knows exactly what to do in that situation.
If your child is old enough to play outside alone or go to a friend’s house alone, talk to him about what to do if severe weather comes. Discuss the need to watch the weather and get to a safe place if it looks like a storm is near.
If you haven’t used the storm shelter space in a while, get the family together to clean it out. You want easy access since severe weather often comes up quickly. You don’t want to be stuck moving boxes to get to a safe room.
Make an Emergency Kit
All homes should have an emergency kit no matter what type of severe weather threatens your area. The kit should include the essentials should you be stuck at home after a disaster without help. Clean drinking water and non-perishable foods should be part of the kit. Have enough on hand for your family to last at least 72 hours.
You will also want medical supplies in the kit. A basic first aid kit should include most of the items you would need for minor injuries during a weather emergency. Include bandages of all sizes and products to disinfect wounds. The instant cool ice packs are also useful for reducing swelling. Include a whistle with the medical supplies in case you need to signal for help.
Flashlights with extra batteries are always useful in storm situations. If you lose power, you’ll want a source of light, especially at night. A battery-operated radio is also useful for hearing reports on the weather or recovery efforts. Don’t forget extra batteries.
Monitor the Weather Together
Severe weather is often scary for kids. Watch as the weather changes so your child can learn what to look for. Check the weather reports together so you and your child know what might be coming. Reassure your child that you have taken steps to prepare. Don’t get mad at him if he acts scared or doesn’t want to be alone. Your child needs your support to get through the scary weather.