Weather emergencies may scare your kids, but helping them understand what to expect can help reduce the stress. Carefully go over your family emergency plan and teach them how to stay safe whatever the disaster.
Emergency Preparedness: Getting Ready for a Disaster
Complete the following with your family so severe weather doesn't catch you off guard:
- Create an emergency supplies kit. Include water, nonperishable food, flashlights, blankets and kid-friendly activities.
- Practice your emergency plan. Include two evacuation routes, a safe room and two different meet-up locations — and make sure kids can run through it calmly.
- Run through the basics. Kids should know how to call 911, identify themselves, identify their location, reach emergency contacts and get to predetermined safe locations.
Know the Various Weather Scenarios
Teach your kids about the different disasters and how to react in each:
- Tornado: Go into the lowest level of the building and stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. If you are outside with no car or nearby shelter, lie down in a ditch and protect your head.
- Severe thunderstorm: Go indoors if you see lightning or hear thunder, and don't use items that plug into electrical outlets. Avoid using running water, as faucets can conduct electricity.
- Earthquake: Practice the 'Drop, Cover and Hold On' method, [link to: http://dropcoverholdon.org] and learn to recognize safe places in each room at home and at school.
- Hurricane: Stay away from glass windows and doors, and be ready to follow evacuation instructions from emergency officials if necessary.
- Flooding: Don't go into flooded areas. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you off your feet, and standing floodwater could be contaminated or contain sharp objects.
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