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Teach Your Child Weather Safety

This article will be written in a different format than you are used to here on “Teach Kids How. EInstead of age group, teachings for weather safety will be written to categorize the individual weather phenomenon, to give an overall view of ways to teach your children to take cautionary measures for each category. Therefore, for each age group it is advised to go over these weather conditions with your child as you see their learning ability is best understood.

No matter what age your children there are online venues, books and other creative material for you and your child to review. The material was intended to help you and your children understand how these systems develop and ways to protect themselves, should an incident occur locally.

Many families have prepared them and their families with an emergency kit should tragedy strike, this is a good idea to have. You can purchase a large plastic bin and keep it in the basement or other safe place, like under the stairs, in case of a natural disaster. In your emergency kit you could include water (at least a gallon per person for a few days), a flashlight with batteries, canned foods with a can opener, a radio, any emergency medications and first aid kit, blankets, moist towels, pet food(if applicable), and a whistle to signal for help. You can include other emergency items at your discretion of things you and your family might need.

Thunderstorms – Lightening storms
Thunderstorms can rumble through any part of the country at any time, sometimes without a lot of notice. The crackle of thunder can be especially frightening for young children. It’s important to talk to children about what to expect when a thunderstorm rolls through their community. They should be secure in their home and stay away from windows.

A neat way to see how far away a thunderstorm is can be done when you see the flash of lightening; count until you hear the BOOM of the thunder. Once you have your number of seconds, divide that number by five. For instance if you count 30 seconds divided by five, the thunderstorm is six miles away. This is a fun way to help children with their fear issues of a thunderstorm.

Yet, thunderstorms are not to be taken lightly as thunderstorms are producers of tornadoes, which you can read more about in the next part of this article. Be sure to go over the below safety tips with your children.

Main safety tips to address:

  • If they see or hear a thunderstorm, they should come inside right away.
  • Stay away from metal objects when a thunderstorm is going on.
  • If they cannot get inside, they should stay away from anything tall and crouch down on their knees, protecting their head with their arms.

Tornadoes
Tornadoes can happen just about anywhere in the United States, they are extremely dangerous, and can quickly emerge without much of a warning. Tornadoes come from thunderstorms, which is the very first step in the creation of a tornado. Children should be aware of the danger of tornadoes, as being the most violent land produced storm. Tornadoes can reach winds of up to 200 mph and can demolish an entire community within a matter of minutes.

The dangers of tornadoes are apparent and precautionary measures can be discussed with your children in the area of things to look out for when a large thunderstorm is approaching. This would include coming inside before a thunderstorm hits, the sights and sounds of a tornado, what the warnings mean on the news and ways to safely secure themselves should a tornado hit.

Explain to your children that tornadoes sound like a locomotive or sometimes explained as the sound of an airplane. If the local siren goes off right before, during or right after a major thunderstorm or they hear the sound of a tornado they should take cover right away. When bad weather is approaching, the news should be displayed on the TV or listened to on the radio. They will indicate whether a tornado watch (meaning the conditions are right for a tornado to form), or there is a tornado warning (meaning a funnel cloud or tornado was spotted and you should take cover.) Go over with your children the main safety tips below.

Main safety tips to address:

  • Go to a basement or if there is no basement go under something sturdy, such as a staircase, or in a closet in the center of the house. This should be the lowest lying area in your home as well.
  • Stay away from windows or doors.
  • If you are in a car get out and go to a sturdy building or the lowest lying area of ground you can find, such as a ditch.
  • Keep your face covered with your arms protecting your head.

Hurricanes – Typhoons
Talk to your children about how hurricanes and typhoons are formed and how they approach coastal cities. Hurricanes can approach coastal areas with much more preparation time than other storms. Normally hurricanes are confirmed to be developing in the oceans and can give those, who are in the path, a few days for preparation and/or to get out of the projected path.

Hurricanes can become major storms that can range 400 miles in length, with an eye reaching 20-30 miles alone. As interesting as these storms can seem children should also be aware of the danger they impose on coastlines. There are two alerts you and your children can discus about the hurricane, one is a watch that indicates a storm is within 24-36 hours of the area under the watch, the other is the warning indicating that the storm is within 24 hours of the coastal area. Go over with your children the main safety tips below.

Main safety tips to address:

  • Get out of the house if you can.
  • If you cannot get out of your home, go to a basement, safety shelter or the most secure part of your home.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.

Floods – Tsunamis
Go over flood and tsunami information with your children, especially if you live in an area where either or both of these can happen. Although tsunamis and floods are different, tsunamis mostly end with a terrible flood and their main safety tips are one in the same. While a tsunami doesn’t have much warning, a flash flood will normally have warning and watches for floods or flash floods. The only indication that a tsunami may occur is when an earthquake is felt near the body of water that normally means a tsunami will follow.

A tsunami can reach the height of 100 feet, but can go undetected while traveling through the ocean waters until it reaches more shallow waters. Tsunamis are known to move at a rate of 500 mph, as fast as a jet aircraft, but they usually slow down as they reach shallow waters and the coastline.

For those who live in high flood areas review your landscape and those in the community close to you, know the highest ground in your immediate area, if you get caught in the car in the middle of a flood get out of the car and go for the highest ground you can. If you are in your home when a flood happens get to the roof, taking something bright with you to indicate you are trapped there and flag down for help.

Be sure your children understand, while playing in water is fun, these two types of floods are deadly and can harm anyone who doesn’t feel they could be affected by either of them.

Main safety tips to address:

  • Get to the highest point in your home.
  • Do not drive through rushing waters during a flood.
  • If you are caught in flooding waters get to a tree, higher ground, or grab a hold of anything that is floating in the water to climb on.
  • If you are in a car, get out ASAP.

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

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