When severe weather strikes, even the bravest adult can suddenly feel small and vulnerable. Now, imagine being a young child in a similar situation.
Fear is caused by the unknown, so putting together an emergency severe-weather kit can help alleviate worry for both children and adults. What happens if we lose power? We have flashlights with fresh batteries and a hand-crank weather radio. What happens if somebody gets hurt? We have a fully stocked first-aid kit. What happens if our house floods? We have waterproof containers and bags to keep our essentials dry. Get the idea?
By being prepared, you can take some of the unknown out of a weather emergency, and this can make everyone feel less afraid.
Make It a Fun Family Project
Putting together an emergency kit can be fun, so get your children involved. A fun way to get everyone involved is by turning it into a game, such as a treasure hunt. Here are a few ideas for getting started:
- Let your children pretend to be pirates. Mom and dad can be ship captains.
- Crumple a brown paper bag and write on it all of the supplies an emergency kit should have in it. This is the “treasure map” the kids will use.
- Mom and dad should collect the various safety supplies and hide them around the house. Items to be “discovered” can include:
- First-aid kit
- Battery-operated radio or TV
- Fresh batteries
- Bottled water
- Cash or credit cards
- Canned food (and opener)
- Waterproof bags/containers
- Sleeping bags
- Personal hygiene items (soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.)
- Games and books for the whole family
Once you’ve assembled your kits, call a family meeting to discuss what everyone should do in case a severe-weather emergency arises. This could include gathering all family pets and heading for the basement, and setting an agreed-upon meeting place outside the home.
By involving your children in emergency preparations, you’ll give them a sense of control that will help banish the irrational fear that comes from the unknown. On a practical note, preparing an emergency kit can save lives if a real severe-weather situation arises, so it’s a win-win for all involved.