Hurricanes, even those in Category 1, can be a traumatic experience for children. They may have trouble understanding that this situation will pass and that you have done everything so that they are not in immediate danger.
Of course, explaining to them how the hurricanes are created and informing them about the current situation can help a lot. Including them in your hurricane preparedness process can also help them feel safer and better prepared. But a leaking door, shattered windows and scenes of a destroyed home can easily bring back the fear, no matter how many times you try to explain that the house is a safe place to be and that everything can be repaired.
It is up to you to make sure that you have done everything in your power to secure your home, stock it with food and water supplies, as well as disaster kits, in case of severe storms. If at any moment, you realize that your home may not be the safest place to be, especially if it is a home located in a flood-prone area, you should evacuate to the nearest hurricane shelter as soon as possible.
Practice The Evacuation With Children
Since children may have a hard time understanding the dangers of a hurricane, you should take the time to practice the evacuation with them, even if it means staying in one room inside the house or leaving for a hurricane shelter.
The routine and familiarity of evacuation practice can give them a sense of security and reduce their fears and panic once the hurricane actually happens. What is more, they may even see it as a fun game. Practice can also help you reduce any unpredictable behavior or reactions to a sudden change of daily routine.
Make Sure You Evacuate If Authorities Instruct You To Do So
In case your local authorities proclaim that the hurricane is a high category and that an evacuation is necessary, going to the nearest shelter is the only safe solution for you and your family. You should follow the media during Hurricane Watch and Hurricane Warning, make sure your car is filled with gas, know the emergency route and take it to the nearest hurricane shelter.
Stay Indoors Until The Authorities Decide It Is Safe To Go Outside
In case the evacuation is not necessary, you should stay in the closed space at all times and find a room with no windows, if possible. Make sure you have your food and water supplies with you, as well as your disaster kits, tools, flashlight, and a portable radio.
Don’t leave your home until the authorities proclaim that it is safe to go outside and keep your children away from any still waters and unsecured wires.
Make Sure Your House Is Protected As Much As Possible
Your house probably isn’t the safest place to be during high category hurricanes, but you can try your best to secure it for those times when your home will be safe enough. That includes installing hurricane shutters that protect windows from harsh wind and debris impacts or replacing your old and unreliable windows and doors with impact-resistant ones that can sustain severe weather conditions.
Windows can be your house’s weak spot in extreme weather conditions with dangers such as shattered glass, water leaks and collapsing roof due to a change of pressure inside the house. This can not only destroy home for your children but also put their health and their lives in danger.
An investment in impact-resistant windows and doors can be an investment in your children’s safety and your peace of mind for years to come.