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Children have unique needs that make them vulnerable during disasters, and experts say it’s important to build skills to help them prepare for weather emergencies, especially during hurricane season.
“Disasters really threaten what it means to be a child,” said Sarah Thompson, director of U.S. Emergencies with Save the Children told AccuWeather in an interview. “It can threaten their innocence, their ability to feel safe and their desire to play.”
Less than half of families in the United States have an emergency plan, according to Thompson. She says it’s important to have a discussion about weather disasters with children and to make a plan with at least these three things:
1. Identify emergency contacts – Make sure everyone knows emergency contacts, including an out-of-town contact in case local communications go down. Encourage children to memorize phone numbers.
2. Have a ‘home plan’ – Know evacuation routes, meet-up places and safe rooms.
3. Pack a ‘go bag’ for each member of the family – This includes basic safety and health supplies, comfort items and activities. These things can help young children cope, make them feel safe and keep them busy in case they have to leave home.
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Thompson recommends adults and children practice their family’s emergency plan, doing it in ways to make it fun and engaging.
Knowing what to do before and during a hurricane can help families feel more in control, according to hurricane resources from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
“Try to explain what is going on in simple, age-appropriate language," Thompson said. "Those types of explanations can help kids...feel a little more confident knowing what is going to happen so it is not all a mystery.”
Experts also suggest limiting a child's news media consumption before and during weather disasters. In the 24-hour news cycle, viewers may repeatedly see images of the disaster on television, which could elevate anxiety -- for both adults and children.
“Try your best to stay calm," Thompson said. "Kids are looking to us to know how to react so if we can keep our emotions in check and help guide them, that is going to help them cope."
For more safety and preparedness tips, visit AccuWeather.com/Ready.
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Conference play is well underway and several matchups will take place amid less than ideal weather conditions.
Tropical moisture will converge over the southern Plains and open the atmospheric faucet to the point of drought relief and flood potential into this weekend.
La forma en que FEMA evalúa tradicionalmente los casos de pérdidas por desastres en los Estados Unidos continentales y la realidad económica que impera en el territorio de Puerto Rico, ha provocado que miles de puertorriqueños continúen sin un techo seguro.
The administrative disparity between the way in which FEMA traditionally assesses cases in the United States and the economic and legal reality under which the territory of Puerto Rico operates, has left thousands of American citizens in the island sin techo (without a roof).
After Hurricane Maria passed through Puerto Rico last year, the neonatal intensive care unit of the the Dr. Antonio Ortiz University Pediatric Hospital suffered significant damage: a window was torn off by the forces of the cyclone, letting water and winds rage inside the room.
Even though the tropical Atlantic is void of organized storms at this time, conditions may again get busy over the next couple of weeks with a few areas of potential development.
Posterior a la emergencia, el centro de salud ha logrado seguir operando, en gran parte, gracias a la Fundación Hospital Pediátrico.
Following Ali and Bronagh, the United Kingdom braces for yet another possible windstorm that could plow through this weekend.