How to Talk to Your Kids About Hurricanes
With a hurricane approaching, families have safety preparations on their minds. While you and your family are gathering emergency supply kits, take time to sit down and talk with your kids. Hurricanes can be scary for young children, but reassuring your child that you have a plan to stay safe can help calm their worries. Here’s how to talk to your kids about a hurricane.
- Explain hurricanes to your kids and tell them one may impact your area. Using easy and clear explanations, describe what hurricanes are to your kids so they know what to expect. Talk to your kids a few days before the storm and explain how they may hear thunder, lightning and heavy winds.
- Talk about what kinds of things may happen. Explain to your kids that a hurricane might damage cars or houses, knock over trees or cause the power to go out. Let them know that school may close for a few days or that they might need to stay somewhere else for a while.
- Share your family’s plan to prepare. Knowing how your family will prepare for the storm helps your kids feel safe. Involving them in your preparations can also be reassuring. Let your kids help pack your family’s emergency kit and gather games or toys that can comfort and entertain them.
- Describe safety steps for when the storm arrives. Warn your kids to stay away from windows and doors and show them where you will wait out the storm. This helps them clearly know what to do when the storm arrives, which can help soothe last-minute worries.
- Stay calm. Your kids look to you for support and safety – try to remain calm and reassuring while you talk to them about the hurricane and during the storm itself.
- Listen to how they feel. It’s perfectly normal for your child to feel anxious and worried about an upcoming hurricane. To comfort them, listen to how they are feeling, reassure them that you understand and let them know you are always there to help them.
- Reassure them they are safe. Throughout your conversation, remember to remind your kids that you will be there for them and that even though hurricanes can be dangerous, your family is prepared to stay safe.