Talking To Your Kids About Natural Disasters

We East Coasters were definetly shaken up by yesterday’s earthquake (5.9 magnitude). The earthquake centered around the Virginia area, but it was still felt in Washington D.C., New York, Boston and even as far north as Connecticut.

With some schools already in session, the evacuation plan took effect, which made some kids scared and unsure about what was going on.  Geez, who could blame then.  So with my toddler attending nursery school this September, it leaves me to wonder…how do you explain to your kid’s about natural disasters? and how do you keep them safe and calm if they are not with you?

With all these thoughts in my mind, I went online and came across The FEMA (The Federal Emergency Management Association) website.  I was glad to learn that they had some great advice and recommendations on how to plan & prepare for an earthquake, hurricane or tornado:

* Stay calm: Guess this is easier said that done, but remember, our kids look to us for comfort and support, so keep this in mind, besides you’ll lose total creditability if you act scared.  FEMA recommends taking cover under a sturdy table or piece of furniture.

* If your child wasn’t with you during the quake: Once they come home from school, talk to your kids about what they might have felt or heard from their peers, ask them if they have any questions, and go over what the family should do if a quake happens again. Comfort them and continue to tell them that everything is okay.

* Educate: Teach your kids how and when to call 9-1-1 or fire department.

As always, no matter what disaster may occur in or outside of your home, continue to watch your child’s behavior for any signs of anxiety or changes.

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2 Comments

  1. August 25, 2011 / 1:14 am

    Being in LA we have this discussion all the time. Great tips here for helping you child through it.

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