If you have kids, you’ve probably had to comfort them during a thunderstorm. If you shelter in place during a hurricane, the usual comfort may not cut it. Knowing what to do and expect during hurricanes can help kids feel less anxious. Talk with your family about what might happen during the storm, whether you are staying home or evacuating. Showing them the way you prepare and reading books about storms can also make the process less frightening.
If your children are older, you can delegate specific age-appropriate preparation responsibilities. For example, a teenager could be in charge of annually reviewing your emergency kits to be sure there are no expired items. They could also be responsible for the pets during the emergency, if you make a care plan together. You may find that local hurricane shelters won’t accept pets. Ask your teens to help you put together an emergency contact list of those you’ll want to check on and those who will want to know that you’re safe.
However you delegate your plan, write down the process you’ll follow in the event of an emergency and include the specific tasks to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Writing your plan in advance and keeping it in your emergency kit for reference will make it easier to complete your final preparations during the hurricane warning, and will help you keep track of the quantities of supplies you’ll need, such as plywood, screws, and sandbags.
If your teens are incapable of accomplishing tasks without supervision, you may wish to ignore these recommendations. Good luck out there.
An extremely important part of your plan will be maintaining access to information, especially if you are sheltering in place. Be sure you have access to a radio that will continue working if there is an electricity interruption. Research the official communication channels that your local community, city, or state will use to issue warnings and updates. Sign up for those local alerts. The National Weather Service offers a basic alert system, as do third-party public safety organizations such as Alerts for Good. Follow your local government’s social media accounts, since they make make frequent updates while you still have wifi or cell service.
Another key part of your plan should be evacuation drills.