STORM SAFETY FOR KIDS

Storms are severe weather conditions which occur in all parts of the world. Storm types are categorized depending on where they occur and what the weather conditions are at the time. Storms may bring heavy rain, snow, wind, thunder lightening and even dust or ice.
It is important for kids to understand the different types of storms and be prepared with how to ensure their safety and possibly those around them when extreme weather conditions occur. Regardless of whether children are playing outside or in the comfort f their own homes the knowledge of storm safety is an invaluable asset in their education.

Types of Storms
Depending on where one lives, a pattern of storms will be seen on an annual basis. If you’re in the colder areas of the world winter storms such as ice storms, blizzards, snowstorms, and hailstorms are very common. Summer storms such as thunderstorms and rainstorms are very common throughout most of the world. In the tropical regions of the world specifically near the equator, tropical storms such as hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons are common. Less common are windstorms, firestorms and dust storms which occur in various regions around the world.

Severe Weather: Descriptions of different types of storms caused by severe weather.
Types of Thunderstorms: A detailed description of the different types of thunderstorms.
Severe Storms: Their danger, types, and components.
Hurricanes, Typhoons, Cyclones: Background on science, people, and issues involved in hurricane research.
All about Winter Storms: What are winter storms, how they develop, and their dangers.

Dangers from Storms
Regardless of what kind of storm children are facing there are a number of very serious dangers which they may have to face.
Strong winds are known to knock down trees, telephone lines, and electricity poles.
Debris from storms have been known to break windows in homes and schools
Extreme rain in a short amount of time can cause flooding even where storm drains are present. Prolonged rain can also cause mudslides in mountainous regions making driving unsafe.

Lightening can cause serious injury or even death. Lightening can even occur during snowstorms.
Strong and continuous hailstorms can damage roofs, dent cars or even shatter windshields.
Snow can make travelling in vehicles difficult or even impossible. It can even become necessary to shovel snow away from the main entrance of a home to go out. 

Storm and Storm Safety: Different storm dangers and how to protect yourself
Recognizing Tree Hazards: How to recognize a tree that can cause danger and what to do with it
Thunderstorm and Lightening Safety: Knowing when you are in danger and how to protect yourself
Thunderstorm Hazards: Health hazards from thunderstorms

Top 8 Storm Safety Tips for Kids

  • Children should be involved in preparing a storm safety kit and be well aware of its contents, location and purpose. Items to include in a storm safety kit are:
  • Flashlight with spare batteries
  • Long lasting, high energy snacks such as granola bars, chocolate, and cereal
  • A few bottles of water
  • Basic first aid supplies such as crème for burns, bandages and alcohol cleaning pads
  • A compact but small blanket
  • A small fire extinguisher
  • A battery operated radio
  • If there’s a baby in the house, diapers, wet wipes and a few bottles of baby food should also be included
  • If a family pet is present, an extra bag of pet food should be kept
  • You can even include some board games or colouring books to keep the kids entertained in the event that the electricity goes out for a significant amount of time
  • Include a list of emergency phone numbers in the kit and make sure to go over it with the children so that they know who to call in case additional adult help is needed
  • In storms where extreme winds and rain are expected such as hurricanes and thunderstorms it is best to prepare beforehand. Windows can be boarded up by adults and loose items around the house such as flower pots should be brought inside. Kids must be taught to stay away from the windows even though it may be tempting to watch nature’s fury.
  • If you are expecting a bad winter season explain the importance of layering clothes to children. If the heat goes out or they are forced to go outside in case of an emergency they must know how to keep themselves warm.
  • If power surges are being experienced and there is no way to turn of the main power, turn off all lights and main electrical appliances.
  • In the event of power outages use flashlights instead of candles to prevent the danger of fire. Make sure to have extra flashlights and batteries present.
  • To avoid being in danger by lightening kids must avoid being in open fields, near trees, partially opening structures such as gazebos, high poles such as cell phone towers or flagpoles, metal objects such as fences and bleachers, and open bodies of water such as swimming pools and lakes.
  • If flooding occurs, children must be taught to move up to the safest highest point in the house. It is also a good idea to teach them to tie a white sheet on a window sill to signal to help.
  • Tornadoes strike hard and fast. To be prepared for this kind of event it is a good idea to have drills with the children at home. Make it a game to time how long it takes them to get to the basement, a very heavy table or underneath sturdy stairs.

Office of Climate, Water and Weather Services: A number of preparedness guides for different kinds of extreme weather.
Kids Lightening Information and Safety: Lightening safety at home and in school.
Safety and Prevention: Winter storm disaster fact sheet.
Severe Storm Preparedness Checklist: Tips for families to share to prepare themselves in extreme weather.

References
Tropical Storms, Worldwide: General information on current tropical storms around the world.
What Forces Affect our Weather: All about powerful storms and how they are formed.
Hurricanes and Storms: Details on one of nature’s most destructive forces with many references.
Weather Forecast and Climate History: Multiple tools for viewing various kinds of weather and storms currently occurring.
Weather Watch: Severe Weather and Nature Disasters
Hurricane Preparedness: Surviving nature’s fury
Ice Storm Safety: Tips for keeping yourself safe during an ice storm