Storm Child Care
Irma, Harvey, Michael, Charley, Andrew. These names have a different meaning for Floridians. Storms and hurricanes are, unfortunately, all too common in our part of the country. Though we cannot prevent these catastrophes, we can properly prepare. Those with children must take special precautions to keep their families safe. In order to ensure your children’s welfare during the next storm, read on.
1. Listen to Evacuation Procedures
The best way to keep you and your children safe during a storm is by following the government’s official orders. They have your family’s best interest in mind, so if they instruct you to evacuate, do it. Contact family and friends outside of the evacuation zone to stay with while the evacuation is in effect. If you are unable to stay with anyone, book a hotel, and you could be eligible for free lodging. It is crucial to know your zone in order to properly follow evacuation procedures. Make sure to give yourself ample time to get to your safe location because the traffic is likely to be congested and, as you know, traveling with children slows everything down even more so. It is important to fill your tank with gas before embarking on your journey, in case gas stations run out of gas due to the panic. Pack activities, water, diapers, and snacks for your children. Don’t forget their special stuffed animal or blanket! It is essential to travel with emergency supplies in case of unforeseen events, so either make your own emergency backpack or order a pre-made one. Do not go home until the authorities say it is safe to do so.
2. Be Communicative
If this is the children’s first major storm, they may be confused and frightened. Explain to them what a storm is and that it is very important for them to listen to your directions. Being communicative with the children during the storm gives them more understanding, which reduces their uncertainty and fears. It is normal for children to ask many questions, just make sure to answer them with simple, age-appropriate responses.
2. Stay Positive
Children can sense when we are agitated, which can make them feel insecure or stressed. It’s crucial to try and remain calm and positive. When traveling, play car games such as I Spy, sing along to songs, tell stories, watch movies, and get them excited about the “trip” you’re all taking, whether it’s to a friend or family member’s home or a hotel. If you are not driving the car, sit in the back seat with the children and hold their hands. It will make them feel safer during this unfamiliar time. You should use a soothing, relaxed voice when talking to the child and other people within earshot of them. Protect the children from difficult, scary conservations because if they listen, it will unnecessarily stress them.
3. Fill out an Emergency Contact Card for Each Child
In the unlikely event your children become separated from you during the storm, it is crucial they have an emergency contact card. Fill one out for each member of your family and have them carry it in their pocket. This card includes their name, your address, important phone numbers (such as your own, the police, fire department, Poison Control Center, and their health care provider), the predesignated evacuation meeting location, a friend or family member’s information, and extra lines to include additional information (such as medication).
4. If You Are at Home
If you were not asked to evacuate or it is too late to safely leave your home now, make smart and safe choices at home. Installing hurricane windows and doors is one of the best ways to equip your home for a storm. You and the children must stay inside and avoid rooms with windows during the duration of the storm. Fill up your bathtubs with water. Unplug small appliances. Bring outdoor furniture and sports equipment inside, as these could be washed away during the storm. Continually check the storm’s status privately on your phone or computer, so the radio does not alarm the children. While waiting out the storm, keep the children distracted with fun activities. Good thing Monopoly is a long game!
5. After the Storm
Once the storm passes, watch the children’s behavior and mood. Hurricanes are traumatic for people of all ages, especially children. If they seem stressed or tense, try to talk it out with them. Nightmares, excessive clinginess, a drop in academic performance, moodiness, and anxiety are some negative side effects of a storm. Contact a child’s therapist if these behaviors do not go away weeks after the storm.
Protect Your Children with Max Guard Hurricane Windows and Doors
The more prepared your home is for a hurricane, the safer your children will be. The best investment we can make is protecting the well being of our families. Install Max Guard Hurricane Windows and Doors. Max Guard is a Southern Florida locally owned business operating for over 30 years. Our windows are masterfully constructed in the United States and are environmentally friendly. Request a free, no obligation quote or call at (561) 926-9727. Our prices cannot be beaten! Read all our of customer’s shining reviews.