Tropical Storm Safety and Activities for Children

Severe weather and thunderstorms can be frightening and stressful for children and young adults. The strong winds, pounding rain, and destruction left in the wake of a tropical storm or hurricane can be devastating to a young mind, resulting in trauma that lasts much longer than the physical aftermath. To help your child cope in these situations, today's blog post will focus on tropical storm safety and activities for children.

 

Florida Tropical Storms and Hurricanes

Here in South Florida (as well as other locales off the Atlantic Ocean, in the Caribbean Sea, and in the Gulf of Mexico), hurricane season begins June 1st and ends November 30th. While tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes can all develop outside of this time-frame, most storm activity occurs between these months. Be sure to review safety plans and evacuation routes at the start of the season to help make sure your family is prepared in the event a storm makes landfall in your area. 

Tropical Storm Safety Tips for Children

Florida Tropical Storms and Hurricanes

The most important thing you can do to keep your children safe (and entertained!) during a severe storm is to be prepared. Planning is essential, and is more than just knowing the location of your nearest shelter or stocking up on a few gallons of water.  The first step you should take is to create a hurricane preparedness kit. Be sure to get your children involved in the process – it is a great way to educate them as they ask questions about the contents of the kit. Try to come up with learning opportunities as well. For instance, you could have them create an inventory of items and catalogue them, building math, spelling, and organization skills, all while having fun.

Creating a kid-friendly hurricane preparedness kit is also a great way to bond with your child and give them a sense of "responsibility".
 

Child-Friendly Tropical Storm Kit Contents

The ideal tropical storm or hurricane kit will have supplies that last anywhere from 3-7 days. If a bigger storm is headed your way, a two-week supply is even better. When creating your kit, remember to include essentials, as well as things to keep your children occupied. Keeping their mind off the stressful aftermath of a storm is important and the best way to do that is by including something fun in the kit. Better yet, let them pick a few items they would specifically want in the event of a power outage.

Your tropical storm kit should include the following:

• 3-7 day supply of water (One Gallon of water per person, per day)

• 3-7 day supply of canned or dry food (non-perishable)

• Manual can opener

• Flashlights or electric lanterns with extra batteries

• First-aid kit (check the contents to make sure you have a full supply)

• Prescription medications - make sure the expiration date is not past due. Don't 

forget any pet medications if you have them!

• Pet supplies (including water, food, and any special needs items)

• Tool-set (you never know when you may need a tool to repair something)

• Plasticware and utensils, as well as trash bags

• Personal hygiene items: toothpaste, moist towelettes, and so forth

• Emergency cash (get a mix of small bills and coins)

• Hand-crank radio or battery powered radio

• Mobile phone chargers

• List of emergency contacts

• Travel board games, reading material, coloring or activity books (don't forget 

pens and crayons!)

• Security items, such as a favorite wooby or blanket, stuffed animal, or 

other "comfort" item

• Diapers and other tot-centered toiletries

• Dry snacks such as cereal, animal crackers, or chips

Safety Plan

Create a Safety Plan

We cannot stress enough how important it is to have - and rehearse - a hurricane safety plan. The plan should include emergency contact numbers (including out of state relatives in case you get separated), maps and directions to local evacuation routes and shelters, copies of important medical records for each family member, an agreed upon meeting spot in case the family gets split up, and a plan of action for predictable events (ie; what to do if there is a fire, what to do in case of flooding, etc).  Make sure you have at least two copies of this plan in separate locations, all easily accessible to children. Finally, while having a tropical storm safety plan in place is great, it does no good if you do not practice it with your family! Take the time out to drive the route a few times to make sure everyone is familiar with the path and discuss the plan with your children. Make it interactive and ask questions to keep them involved and entertained.

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