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When storms hit

on May 26, 2013
Severe weather

Severe weather (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Storms, it seems we are getting hitting more in the south in the United States. In my 49 years I have never seen so many bad hits to towns and my yard in one year. Lost 22 trees in a storm a month ago and  this week a tree decided to become a hood ornament on my car. Not fun, or fashionable on a Scion xB. The past few storms were only listed as floods, no wind or lightening was on the alerts. So many of these surprise storms are popping up.

Many people in my area are now in panic mode because so much damage is happening. Insurance folks are not as friendly in some aspects because the claims are mounting. Others are at a huge loss for not having insurance. Families are left homeless or without a means of travel. When tensions rise and stress sets in tempers fly and anger becomes a daily mindset. It is difficult being happy and positive with you have lost everything with no means of getting any of it back. The food and clothing banks are running low due to all the demands. The Red Cross and other agencies are not able to keep up due to the economy and so many disasters happening back to back.  And, we must accept the consequences because no matter how hard we try to prepare, Mother Nature is a force beyond all human means to prevent.

The best prevention is preparation. Sit down with your family and talk out plans for multiple crisis situations. This will reduce the fear and panic response if children know ahead of time what they need to do. Prepare special backpacks with supplies, to include a few small toys and activities so little ones have something to occupy themselves during the aftermath of a crisis. Children with challenges need more preparation. Make sure you have extra medication, medical records and information, as well as any special supplies such as diabetic or asthma needs in the pack. The more involved your child is with medical needs the more you need to plan. If your child is deaf or has communication needs consider making a special picture communication system if your child gets separated from you and must relay information. I am aware many deaf do not like using picture symbols but in a crisis communication is top priority. My next blog will review what a picture communication is and why they are important even for those without hearing or communication needs. Make sure you have a few comfort food snacks and some protein sources in the pack as well. A map of your safe place is also a good idea to have. Anyone can become disoriented after a disaster.

If you have concerns about safe places in your house you might want to contact your local authorities to help you decide where is the best place in your home during a tornado or high winds situation. Each house is different especially when considering the age and structure type. You can also search on the internet for information on safety during tornadoes. It is good to have a plan. If I am aware of severe weather I will go ahead and get our safe zone ready so we can get there without having to grab other items that might slow us down from getting there in time. Sometimes you only have seconds to respond.

During a fire, make sure you children know how to escape especially if trapped on a second floor. Practice safe  routes out. You might consider buying a safety ladder which is used out a window. Designate a safe place to meet because there might be a chance you, as a parent, cannot get to your child. During talk sessions about escape plans reassure your child that going back into a burning house is not a good idea. The fireman are trained to handle to handle the situation. Their safety is important, other things are replaceable.

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