Living in Florida the reality is we must keep hurricane season in mind. Hurricanes in general can be very stressful for families, thus learning how to react to them in a calm and informed manner will teach children to do the same. Since children learn through behavior they see or experience, it is important that we stay poised and teach our children the right way to react in emergency situations such as hurricane season.
In Florida hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30 and reaches it peak during August and September. So, what exactly is a hurricane? Well, the National Ocean Service explains “hurricanes are powerhouse weather events that suck heat from tropical waters to fuel their fury. These violent storms form over the ocean, often beginning as a tropical wave—a low pressure area that moves through the moisture-rich tropics, possibly enhancing shower and thunderstorm activity” (U.S. Dept. of Commerce, 2021). Therefore, we must be prepared to act fast while ensuring everyone’s safety. When preparing and reacting to a hurricane threat or emergency situation think of the following acronym.
- S-Smooth the way. You want to make sure that you are being proactive instead of reactive by preparing your family with emergency equipment such as flashlights, generators, dry food, water, etc.
- T-Think fast. In emergency situations where you might have to evacuate you home, you want to think fast but remain calm so that you can easily communicate a plan with your children.
- O-Open. Keep an open mind as your plans may change along the way and you might have to improvise.
- R-Routine. Try to adhere to your normal routine as much as possible, while taking necessary precautionary measures. This will allow children to remain calm without disrupting their environment.
- M-Monitor. Monitor your children and your surroundings along with new coverage or radio coverage to know when it is safe to return to your home or normal day-to-day activities.
Keeping children informed and aware will not only help the situation but will also develop their coping skills to emergency situations if they arise later on.