"Mom, I'm bored!"
You will indeed hear this during or after a hurricane. I have a young adult, teens, and preteens so I know they have their cell phones, however given the possibility of no power, I recommend gathering board games, card games, books and art supplies, these will save your nerves. (also, any favorite toys or stuffies, depending upon their age) We create a camp zone in the living room, so everyone is in one safe place. Here we will also have snacks, drinks and games. If we have power, we have a movie day/night together. Not only does this make for some great family time, but it will also keep your kiddos distracted from the storm for a while.
This can be a scary time for any littles so talk with them about what's happening. There is no way they can completely understand why there are loud howling noises from the wind outside or why there is a lot of thunder and lightning. However, they understand that you are listening to them. Let them explain the emotions they are feeling and what about the storm the like or don't like. Example, my little one told me she likes that the flowers and trees are getting some much-needed rain. When the storm gets really bad, remember to close those blinds and curtains. Turn on some familiar music via phone or laptop and just be with them in that moment. Remember, YOU are their safe place.
Some things to remember:
If you are having to evacuate, take enough supplies for at least 72 hours. I created 72-hour backpacks for each member of my family. These include items such as clothing, first aid kits, socks, shoes, toiletries, and snacks as well as flashlight with batteries, glow sticks, and small non-aerosol bug spray. Each person can include a small favorite item or necessities such as phone and chargers. My bag includes all the above and medications for the family. My husband's bag will include all of the above and our families'/homes important documents.
One thing I have learned over the years is that you can never be too prepared.
Here in Florida, mother nature is our unstable but loving friend. She could be fine here and down the road throwing a fit and storming. At any given time, we could have a hurricane knocking on our door. It's great to have the flashlights, batteries, and water. However, what are you going to cook? How will you feed your family? These are the things that come to my mind. In reality, once the Wi-Fi goes down, and the kiddos can't go outside, guess what they will be doing. Opening up that refrigerator door that you are trying to keep closed or going back and forth to the pantry for snacks.
Part of your Hurrican Prep should include a meal plan for you and your family.
- Meals that can be cooked on a grill or kettle pot.
- Meals that can be heated up without the stove.
- Easy Breakfast items, such as pre-baked muffins.
- Easy lunch items, such as the good ol' PB and J. Lunch meats and cheeses could always be stored in a cooler with lots of ice.
My "Pantry and Freezer Inventory" page from my "All the Things" planner is where I keep track of what I have available in my secondary pantry. This is your emergency or backup pantry.
This is where I will "shop" from for my hurricane meals that include any non-perishable items. Using this page each month, allows me to see what I have vs what I need.
Before the storm, or perhaps the next one, talk with your family and create a:
Family Emergency Plan
There are MANY examples of this floating about on the internet. I like to work with checklist, then I know for sure what items I have and what items I need to get or let's be honest, what items I bought beforehand and need to find!
Creating a checklist like the one below will help out.
- Full gas tank
- 72-hour kits for each family member
- Supplies for the fur babies
- Recent photos of every family member
- Medications for family member/fur babies
- Family binder of important documents
- Tote / Crate of emergency supplies
I'm sure there are more items you can add to this list, but these are just some examples. Include your littles in preparing this plan, they will feel like they are being heard and helping out, plus they may be a little more at ease about storms.