Preparing your family for a weather emergency takes time

Preparing your family for a weather emergency takes time

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond won’t take a direct hit from Florence, but for a few days it was a possibility. And it may have had you, as parents, thinking how to prepare your family for a potential weather emergency - both physically and emotionally.

Sitting in the dark, in a storm is the last place you want to be with kids, for a lot of obvious reasons. With Florence set to make landfall, most parents would say they know planning for a weather emergency is important - but what’s more difficult, is finding the time to do it.

"Try to keep routines as much as possible while also keeping an eye on what’s going on around them,” said Michael Burbridge, Bon Secours Medical Director of Pediatric Hospital Medicine, at St. Mary’s hospital.

Physically, prepare a go-bag, and prepare for basic needs.

For babies, how will you keep pumped breastmilk cold? Will your pump work without power? What if you’re using formula - do you have enough? Will you have clean bottles and water?

For older children, involve them in the process. Help them know that you are preparing and watching out for them.

“No matter if they’re toddlers, up to high school age,” said Burbridge. “Just kind of letting them know what to expect.”

We grabbed some great tips from a parenting resource, Zero to Three.

They say pay attention to your body language and your tone. Stay in the present moment and remind everyone that you are safe. Let children know what’s coming next. And find ways to bring security items, or play and tell stories-

“Those old fashioned games, so non-electronic board games, card games, coloring books, books to read to children,” said Burbridge.

Not only will it keep them busy in a power outage or other weather emergency, it will bring them some normalcy as well.

Again, thankfully it looks like parents around here will have a little time to think about these tips, but they could apply to any emergency - so take the time and think about how they might help your family.

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