When it comes to preparing your children for natural disasters, it can be one of the tougher conversations that you have with them. Parents naturally want to protect their children from the dangers of the world, however natural disasters are one in which they have very little control. So, it is important to know not only what to say, but how you say it so that it does not confuse the child about the potential dangers that natural disasters possess.
Here are three steps that will help you properly speak to your child so that they can be prepared as much as possible when the threat of a natural disaster strikes.
Tell Them the Dangers of Natural Disasters
Depending on their age, you will want to inform your child that natural disasters do happen so they can be as emotionally prepared as possible. When children pass the age of toddlers and start going to school is a good time to spend a few moments talking to them about natural disasters. The best time is when you are making preparations yourself so that your household is safe and prepared. Having them help you store food, showing them where to go in case a disaster should strike, and letting them know that they will have to work together as a family is a good place to start.
Where to Go
Obviously, if you are with your child when disaster strikes, you will go together to a place of safety or shelter. However, what if you are not with them? In that case, young children who are on their own such as coming home from school need to know what to do and most importantly, where to go if a tornado, earthquake, or other unexpected event should occur. Show them the safe place in your home so that they know what to do. Kids, like many adults may panic or worse, do nothing to protect themselves because they don’t know what to do. Tell them what to do and practice it once or twice a year so that it becomes automatic
Keep it Simple
This is advice that works for kids and adults that will help both of you make the right decision. Essentially, there are two types of natural disasters, the one that forces you into a shelter and the one that forces you out of the home. Tornados and earthquakes require you to seek shelter while fires and floods tend to force you out of the home. For natural disasters or any event that makes you evacuate the home, have a place for the kids to meet outside that is safe such as a neighbors house or even a familiar tree or landmark so that everyone can meet there.
Natural disasters are a part of life, so your children should know basically what they are and more importantly, what to do when they occur. By informing your children and preparing your home, you will arm them with the knowledge they need to survive in case you are not with them.
Nature is now fighting back against the desecration and it is no laughing matter!