4 Tornado Safety Tips You Need to Teach Your Kids
Category : Oklahoma Storm Shelters
Kids these days are smarter than their predecessors. They’re also living in a time of climate uncertainty and need to be equipped for emergency situations such as tornadoes. If you’re a resident of Oklahoma, you know the frequency and unpredictability of these weather events and how crucial it is to be prepared.
We understand that it’s difficult to know where to draw the line, without overloading your kids with information, scaring them or making them panic. But you’re better off teaching them more than nothing at all.
Some crucial tips and advice to share with your children regarding tornado safety are:
1. They need to know the signs of a tornado
Tornado warnings aren’t always timely or accurate, which is what makes these weather events all the more dangerous. Some of the most evident signs of an incoming tornado are dark greenish skies, clouds, large hail, and roaring thunder. There are a few more signs, but these are primarily the biggest identifiers.
2. Tell them your disaster or emergency plan
This includes what they need to do in case the storm arises and the things they need to do, whether or not they’re alone or have supervision. From seeking shelter in a low lying place at school, or sticking to the group and heading to a safe zone, to hiding out in your home’s underground bunker or garage shelter, they should know what’s important to do.
Prepare them for what to do if they’re outdoors or in a vehicle too, and how dangerous it can be to remain exposed. Laying low, seeking shelter, and hiding in a low spot is crucial to their safety.
3. They should have access to the storm shelter
If you have a storm safety shelter at home, it should be accessible to your kids. No locks and keys and elaborate codes that might malfunction, be out of reach or difficult to unlock for a kid—or anyone. Emergency situations are stressful, and it’s easy to make mistakes when you’re panicked.
Schools and public places will develop contingency and emergency plans, and it’s important that your kids know the importance of following those. Stranger danger is real, but some situations call for compliance.
4. What to do after a tornado
While waiting out the storm, they might not realize that danger could still be lurking. They should not leave the safe room until there is an announcement that it’s safe to leave. Additionally, wearing protective, covered clothing and avoiding rubble, broken cables, and other potentially fragile or dangerous objects is key.
Get them involved in volunteering, cleaning up, and helping neighbors and community members out when the coast is clear. It’s a life skill and a lesson in humility, which also teaches them to be involved with their community.