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Friday, July 23, 2010

Sue Scheff: FEMA Website for Kids

If you are a resident of South Florida, have been through the past decade or so of Hurricane Andrew or more recently Hurricane Wilma, you are no stranger when these tropical storms start hitting our news waves.


Hopefully many have their preparations in place, however are you mentally prepared and are your kids ready for when or if a storm or hurricane hits?

This can be a very traumatic experience for adults, for kids it can be more upsetting since they are not mature  enough to understand either the seriousness of it or truly fear from all the media attention.
Talk to your kids about the preparations.  Get your teens involved with helping you prepare your home and your pets.

FEMA for Kids has a great website for kids to better understand hurricanes and storms.  Here are some beneficial talking points:
  • Listen to a radio or television for weather updates and stay in touch with your neighbors about evacuation orders.
  • Plan a place to meet your family in case you are separated during a disaster. Choose a friend or relative out of state for your family members to call to say they are OK.
  • Assemble your disaster supplies kit. Store extra water now! Check to make sure you have enough food.
  • Storm shutters are the best protection for windows. If your house does not have them, help an adult board up windows with 5/8" marine plywood. Tape does NOT prevent windows from breaking!
  • Bring in outside furniture. An adult should remove roof antennas, if they can do so safely.
  • Help an adult shut off your utilities -- water, electricity and gas.
  • Make sure there is gas in the car and you are ready to evacuate immediately, if you are told to do so.
  • If you don’t need to evacuate, be sure to STAY INDOORS during a hurricane. You could be hit by flying objects. Don’t be fooled if there is a pause in the wind. It could be the eye of the storm, and the winds will come again.
  • Avoid using the phone except for an emergency so the phone lines can stay open for others.
  • If you do evacuate, do NOT go back home until local officials say it is safe.
  • Hurricanes can be very scary. If you are scared, be sure to talk to someone about it.
Be a good neighbor, pass this on to your friends and family.

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