Natural disasters come out of nowhere and can cause damage to our homes and towns. The destruction and disruption of natural disasters can scary for adults to deal with, but even more terrifying for children. Even if you are prepared and safe during a natural disaster, your children may not feel that way.
Prepper's Base wants you and your children to feel safe and secure during an emergency. Check out these suggestions on what parents can do to help their kids stay calm in a natural disaster:
Staying calm may seem simple, but during an emergency it will be harder than you think. Children can easily pick up on the emotions and reactions of their parents. If you show you are upset or terrified in a natural disaster, your kids are more likely to feel distressed as well. Keep them calm by staying calm and collected yourself.
Avoid the News Station
If you still have access to electricity while a natural disaster is taking place, do not turn on the news station when your children are around. Kids can be traumatized if they see their hometown and school destroyed right before their eyes.
Children need physical reassurance, and staying together as a family is a great way to fulfil that need. Physically hold your children and verbally reassure them that they are safe. And try not to split up when looking for help or assistance.
Let Your Children Talk It Out
A great way for children to relieve their worries is to talk about them. Encourage them to tell you how they feel. Let them ask as many questions about the disaster as they want. Patiently listen to them, and give answers that will assure them that everything will work out.
Help Your Kids Serve
There are a lot of ways children can help out during or after a natural disaster. Involving children in community clean-up activities will help them feel responsible and helpful, while also keeping their mind off of the natural disaster at hand. Assign chores that are reasonable for your children’s ages. Even if it’s a small task (like picking up branches), they will feel happy that they are helping things return back to normal.
Don’t pack only food storage and supplies in your emergency kit. If you have small children, pack activities and games that will keep them occupied during the natural disaster. They could even go to the store with you to pick out what they want to include in their activity kit. Coloring books, board games, card games, and puzzles are a few suggestions.
Discuss What Will Happen Beforehand
Teach your children the importance of emergency preparedness and safety before a natural disaster hits. Talk about what might happen, like the lights potentially going out for a while. Show your children where you keep your emergency supplies and flashlights.
Another good idea is to teach them not to be afraid of policemen, firemen, or paramedics if they come to rescue your kids. Having this discussion will help children feel more confident and prepared when a natural disaster hits.
Watch Your Language
Your children will be especially sensitive to what you tell them during a crisis. Avoid saying things like, “There’s nothing to be afraid of” or “Don’t be scared.” Instead, use reassuring language such as, “We are safe now,” “I will take care of you,” and “Everything will work out.”
Don’t Let The Natural Disaster Throw Off Your Groove
Your children are used to a daily routine. Try to stick to your kids’ daily schedules as closely as possible during a natural disaster. If your children have certain rituals during bedtime or meals, try to observe them (even when there isn’t any light or water in your home). Additionally, after the disaster put your children back in the school or daycare routine as quickly as possible. Routines and rituals provide a sense of security in the home.
Remember to read our other blog posts about surviving a natural disaster for more advice for preppers.