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How To Prepare Your Home And Kids For A Storm

7 min read
How To Prepare Your Home And Kids For A Storm

Summer in Queensland means long days in the sunshine, holidays and trips to the beach but for some it can also mean battening down the hatches, taking cover in school halls and preparing for the worst.

For kids, the idea of harrowing winds, lightning strikes and rain can be frightening, especially if they watch the devastation shown by the local news outlets during a severe storm. With this in mind, it’s important to prepare them for what may be on the horizon, so that if a storm does strike, they know exactly what to do and how to act.

Families are being encouraged to jump on to qld.gov.au/getready and create your [WHAT-IF] plan together, working out roles and guidelines for if and when a big storm was to hit.

To help you work through your [WHAT-IF] plan, we have come up with a week-by-week guide to prepare your family for the worst.

WEEK 1.

Make a phone list with your children for the important numbers to call.

Kids love making phone calls, so this is a really simple way to get them involved in storm preparation. Numbers to include are: family members, school, local council, friends and emergency services. Remember, for storm emergency assistance from the SES call 132 500. For life-threatening emergencies call triple-zero (000).

Talk with the children about what to do if they are stuck at school when a disaster hits.

Schools are always prepared for emergencies especially when it comes to storm season, with halls often used as community safe zones. It’s important that your kids know to listen and follow instructions from teachers during this time, the same as they would at home.

Run through some of the [WHAT-IF] scenarios, such as:

[WHAT-IF] a disaster was predicted in your area?

  1. Chat with your neighbour about how you can help each other;
  2. Talk to your family about being prepared;
  3. Have an alternative route to get home in case of flooding;

[WHAT-IF] a disaster was only hours away?

  1. Invest in a car phone charger for power outages;
  2. Have a gas cooker in an easily accessible location;
  3. Monitor local weather notices online.

[WHAT-IF] you are separated from your loved ones?

  1. Create a phone list to call on for help;
  2. Identify a meeting point for the family if you can’t get home;
  3. Have a backup person to collect your pet and keep them safe.

[WHAT-IF] you have to leave your home?

  1. Chat with your neighbour about how you can help each other;
  2. Have a supply of safety stored water and canned food in your car;
  3. Take your evacuation kit with you including medications.

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WEEK 2.

Plan and practice an evacuation plan for the family

Make this a fun and interactive activity for the kids, giving them roles and responsibilities but also ensuring you continue to point out the severity of a storm event.

Here is a list to follow and tick off during a family role-play:

  • Go to qld.gov.au/getready and create your [WHAT-IF] plan;
  • Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony;
  • If it is safe to do so, check gutters, downpipes and drains are not blocked;
  • Unplug computers and appliances;
  • Find a space in the house where you will all be safe, this may be the bathroom or bedroom;
  • Make an evacuation plan, where you would go and how you would get there;
  • Put water, car charger and kids toys/books in the car in case you get stuck in traffic or have to leave your home quickly.;
  • Teach the children where the emergency kit is so they can collect it if you need to evacuate quickly;
  • Download the RACQ Get Ready Queensland fact sheets;
  • Talk to your local council to find out about their local Get Ready initiatives.

Next Page: Weeks 3 & 4 of Your Storm Planning

About Author

Kate Davies

Senior Journalist & Features Editor. As the modern-day media hunter-gatherer, Journalist Kate Davies is harnessing 10 years in the media to write...Read More engaging and empowering articles for Stay At Home Mum. Her years of experience working in the media both locally and nationally have given her a unique viewpoint and understanding of this dynamic industry. Hailing from a small town in Tasmania and spending many years travelling the world, Kate now calls the Sunshine Coast home alongside her husband and one-year-old son. Read Less

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