It’s hurricane season, and we know there’s been severe weather, floods, and storms lately. We want to share preparation tips so that you can keep your family safe. It’s always important to know what to do before, during, and after a storm and to have an emergency plan in place.
To prepare your family for disasters, stay up to date with the news and know your reliable sources where you can get weather updates. When a storm is coming, signing up for alerts can help with getting the latest information and warnings. Keep your family informed and talk to your children about the precautions that they should take. While it’s sometimes difficult to predict the outcomes of a storm, it’s good to be aware of the potential risks and have the necessary supplies should they be needed. That includes getting flash lights in case you lose power, batteries, portable phone chargers, a first aid kit, and plenty of food, water, and essentials in case you can’t go to the store for days. As you might not be able to heat food without power, it’s best to stock up on non-perishable food that doesn’t require cooking. For water, make sure you have about one gallon per person per day. Create a supplies list so that you don’t forget any item that you might need.
Before a storm hits, write down phone numbers of places you might need to contact within your local community, such as the doctor’s office. If Wi-Fi is lost during a storm, you may not be able to access the Internet to look up contact information. If evacuation becomes necessary or you’re at risk of losing basic utilities for a long period, plan where your family will go ahead of time. Know what you will need to pack for you and your kids.
Follow any warnings about flash floods and avoid driving when possible. Floods can be highly dangerous and wash cars away. If you are ever in a vehicle and it stalls, leave immediately and find higher ground. Rising water can engulf the entire car and everyone inside. Keep your kids away from flood water and do not allow them to walk through it.
If your area has been affected by floods, keep in mind that even the aftermath can be hazardous. Electrical dangers, mold, and contamination are some of the common things that occur after a flood. Children and teens should be kept away from flash flood recovery and clean up. They should only return to a home or area after it has been cleaned and disinfected. Double check your water supply before allowing your family to drink it.
To protect your home during a storm, board up windows and glass sliding doors. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are installed and have working batteries. To help stay warm during winter storms, insulate your walls and have enough blankets and sweaters for your family. If you are out of a heat for an extended period and you don’t have a generator or a fireplace, move your family to another home or alternative shelter with heat. Extreme cold can cause hypothermia. Do not use the gas stove as it can produce carbon monoxide. Generators should also be away from windows or any air intakes.
It’s common for children to feel anxious and scared before and during storms. We recommend limiting their media exposure and instead, explain to them with enough information for them to understand but not feel alarmed. Reassure them that by taking the necessary steps for preparation, they can remain safe.
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