10 Tips for Teaching Toddlers About Hurricane Preparations

This month we were threatened with a direct hurricane, so we had to get our family prepared! We were very concerned about our toddler's reaction to the storm. Here are some tools we used (along with the help of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood).

1. Make a checklist so your toddler can participate in the emergency preparations. Our toddler list had the following items:
  • First Aid Kit
  • Flashlights
  • Water
  • Safe Room

2. Find the Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Storm Episode (Season 2 Episode 10)
A Storm in the Neighborhood/After the Neighborhood Storm

This episode walks the kids through storm preparations, and helps prepare them for cleaning up the neighborhood after a storm. It can be traumatic for little ones to see their neighborhood after a hurricane, and this episode reminds them that when grown-ups are helping, everyone will stay safe. It helps them understand that storms are loud, and sometimes the lights go out. It also talks about one of my favorite Fred Rogers quotes: when things are scary "look for the helpers".

image via pbskids.org

3. Make a toddler friendly first aid kit. We let our little one build his own kit, he counted each item and stored them in a plastic case. (A little math practice is always good)

His first aid kit included:

  • cotton swabs
  • cotton balls
  • cotton pads
  • tissues
  • bandaids

4. Teach them how to use a hand crank radio. This is a fun activity, and our kiddos were VERY interested! This is a great tool to have on hand for emergencies... find it here.

5. Let them practice using a flashlight... any toddler will LOVE this!

6. Let them be in charge of a small water supply. You can grab a few extra gallons of water (in addition to your emergency supply) and let your toddler help you organize the water.

7. Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk about the lights going out. Talk about the sound of wind. Talk about holding a grown-ups hand if they are scared. We encouraged our little one to ask a lot of questions!

8. Take pictures before the storm. You can take pictures of your house (to record damage) and pictures of your neighborhood. Let your toddler take photos with you!

9. Let your toddler cross each of the items off of the checklist (fine motor skills at work).

10. Above all, be safe! Make sure you have a solid (grown-up) emergency plan in place. Plan your escape if needed, and keep up with the local updates. Here is a great beginner's emergency kit from The Red Cross EMERGENCY KIT

We were fortunate, the storm hit landfall just south of us... stay safe our there!