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The Upheavals of Hurricane Season

Are Katyites prepared for a possible storm?

The beginning of hurricane season brings with it many stressors. Two of the biggest are the hassles of hurricane preparedness and the worries of helping young children understand and cope with what’s happening. So how can parents make this easier for themselves and their children? By getting the kids involved in the process.

First, have your children help compile 2 lists: the first contains hurricane supplies that your family will need, the second contains the nonperishable foods your family would like to eat. Next, send the children on a hurricane scavenger hunt around the house. Let them see how many of the items they can find on the hurricane supply list. After that, let them help you check the supplies to see what needs replacing (like batteries) and what still needs items are missing from the list (i.e. radio, first aid kit). After all, even small children can check flashlight batteries and light bulbs to see if they need replacing. Do the same with the hurricane food list.

Second, assemble your hurricane supply box. You may need to get a couple boxes from one of the moving supply stores or mini-storage places that sell boxes. Have the kids help fill the boxes with emergency supplies. Save at least one box for foods, paper plates, garbage bags, cooking and eating utensils and anything you will need for meals.

Third, have older children help locate the safest room in your house and even help with an evacuation plan. Should your family needs to evacuate however, parents will need to have an evacuation plan and evacuation route ready. The kids can help load the car since they already know where the supplies and food are collected together. Including them in the planning should lower their stress levels somewhat because they know what’s going on and because they are helping out.

Older kids can help with hurricane tracking charts. These are available from all the major stations here in town, so go online and request one now. You can even download them from each of the stations websites. Chars are also offered through just about every grocery and hardware store as well. What about letting younger children track storms? That depends on the child. Only parents will know which of their younger children can handle this job. You’ll have to decide this on an individual basis. Either way, track each new storm with a different color ink pen or start a new map for each new storm – just to make it easier to tell storms apart.

Finally, once the emergency is over, why not get your family involved in the cleanup and recovery. Your family efforts could be something as small as checking on an elderly neighbor or offering food to a stranger. Or it could be something like volunteering at a Red Cross shelter or clearing debris around town. What other preparations or cleanup efforts can your family do together?

NOAA Hurricane Supply List: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/prepare/supply_kit.shtml

 NOAA  Hurricane Disaster Plan: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/prepare/family_plan.shtml

Local Stations all have printable hurricane tracking maps and information:

 KTRK, Channel 13: http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/feature?section=weather/hurricane&id=6139670

KPRC, Channel 2: http://www.click2houston.com/hurricanetracker/index.html

KHOU, Channel11: http://www.khou.com/weather/severe-weather/hurricane-center/Printable-tracking-chart-67771777.html

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