Children rely on the structure of daily routines to feel safe. A natural disaster, such as a hurricane, may require your family to leave home and stray away from daily routine. This can cause children to become anxious, confused or frightened.
How you react to an emergency will give your children clues on how to act. If you react with alarm, your child may become more afraid. They will see your fear as proof that the danger is real. If you seem overcome with a sense of loss, your child may feel their losses more strongly as well.
Disasters often strike quickly and without warning. They can be traumatic for children, especially if they don't know what to do. Provide guidance and reassurance to help ease their fears and emotional stress.
Keep in constant communication with your children before and during a hurricane. Talk with them about your family’s plans and let them help gather supplies.
Consider assembling a child-friendly evacuation kit. This could include toys, games or stuffed animals – items that provide your children with a sense of comfort and stability, but do not necessarily require power, batteries or electricity. Let your children choose these items as it gives them a sense of control; they will know what is important to them.