There is an unwritten rule in every home about discussing bad weather with children. We discuss all other kinds of topics with them, we make sure they understand about talking to strangers, we make sure they know the dangers of drugs and any other topic that will keep them safe, so why do we hide the knowledge we have about the weather when it turns bad. We are so afraid that they will have nightmares or they will become too scared of the weather but if it is done correctly there shouldn't be any side effects from the explanations only the benefit of knowing your child is as ready as they can be for whatever weather that may come their way. It is essential that you know how to prepare children for bad weather.
If you live in a place where tornadoes are common then your child should be aware of what to do and especially if your child is old enough to be home alone they should be taught the procedures for when weather like this is around them. They should be able to handle any weather emergency if you are not there with them. Weather is unpredictable and can come in the form of tornadoes, floods, thunder, lighting and hail storms. It is better that they are prepared for this than not.
Gather your children and start explaining about storms and how they happen. Do some research on storms and discuss this with your children. When you feel that they understand what takes place before and during a storm then you can start discussing a disaster plan for the whole family. You should cover topics such as contact information and escape routes that can be used in case of emergencies.
Discuss which room in your home would be the safest. You can also include their friend's house or other places they visit on a regular bases. If your discussing tornadoes then make sure they know that the best place in a house to be is in the basement, bathroom or the inner walls of a hallway. In the event of strong winds, thunder storms or tornadoes when safe rooms are not available then they should know that they can also get shelter and protection under heavy sturdy furniture while using their arms or pillows to protect their head and neck.
If they are outside tell them of the dangers of seeking shelter under a wide span roof where the wind can easily blow the roof away. Be sure they are aware that if they are in a car to leave the car and seek shelter in a ditch. If your teens are old enough to drive they should be told to never try to outdrive a tornado.
in the event of a bad thunder and lighting storm make them aware that if they are out in the open without protection the best posistion to be in is crouching on the ground with their hands folded around their heads. make them aware that a tree is probably one of the most dangerous places to take shelter. if they are in a vehicle tell them to stay there and not to touch any metal part of the car. they will be safe in the car due to the rubber tires that are on the ground.
During bad weather season keep supplies on hand and make sure your children know where they are. Keep a radio with batteries, a flashlight, pillows, blankets, water and snacks stocked up so that you will have enough supplies to last you for a few days. The children can gather this up with you. Have a place planned to meet outside if you get separated. Practice this drill the same way you would a fire drill until you're sure the children understand what to do.
We are all afraid to tell our children about how awful storms can be but shouldn't we be more afraid not to tell them. The knowledge they have may save their lives.