Welcome to the May 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Emergency Preparedness
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their plans to keep their families safe. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
Living in Missouri means sitting right on the edge of tornado alley. Every spring is riddled with storms and every storm carries the possibility of a tornado. I grew up hearing family stories about tornados that my grandparents, my mother and her siblings lived through.
Movies like “Twister” with Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt and “Night of the Twisters” are our favorites to watch this time of year as are Storm Stories and similar programs. We allow our little ones to watch them as well. We don’t sugar coat what tornados can do, but we assure them that neither daddy or I, nor have their older brothers ever seen a tornado. However we feel it’s important for them to know how dangerous they can be so they will take us seriously when we tell them that it’s time to get in the basement.
I am fortunate to have never seen a severe tornado. There have been mornings when I have woken up to discover a little tornado passed in the night, evident by strange damage done to our property and sometimes reports on the news about small tornados and microbursts, but thankfully nothing worse than that. Joplin Missouri is still recovering from the EF5 multiple vortex tornado from 2011 that leveled half of the city. So even though most people around here have never seen a tornado in person, you notice they become edgy and excited when the sky turns green or when the clouds become tall and swirly.
Each spring here in Missouri is also riddled with many false alarms. Usually once, twice or even three times each year the weather man will break into our regularly scheduled programming to tell us that we should take shelter in the most inner and lower levels of our homes and to stay away from any windows. I have spent many an irritating evening stuck in a basement trying to entertain and reassure bored little ones that we would be safe. I hate to admit it, but now when we are given tornado warnings we just sit there watching the news ready to dash for the basement if we see a twister out the window or of course, if the sirens go off.
Every year when they start talking on the news about cold fronts and warm fronts, we watch our tornado movies and talk to the kids about ways to be safe. We tell them what would happen if there is a tornado and what they are supposed to do if one were to touch down in our neighborhood.
The kids know what corner of the basement is safest. It’s the one that is well away from anything that could fall on us or cause injury if a tornado ripped through the house, like the furnace and hot water heater, the stand of bicycles or the work bench with all of the tool boxes and sharp things. We will keep some water and some blankets in this corner I need to add books and puzzles and a cellphone charger. The children understand that the blankets are meant to cover us up and protect us from flying debris.
They also understand that if they are not at home (if the teenagers are at their friends home or if we are visiting family) and there is no basement available, the best place for them is in an innermost room of the house, preferably in a bath tub, covered by a blanket. They understand that if they are not in a building but outside, the safest place is in the deepest ditch they can find, lying as flatly as they can. Bridges and overpasses may look tempting, but they are the worst places they could run to if they are outdoors, as these create a vacuum and are extremely dangerous.
We have citywide tornado siren checks every Wednesday afternoon during tornado season. Schools and families often use these times to reinstruct children on tornado safety and to perform drills. We have not done this with our littlest two yet, but we will soon.
Hopefully, we will all go our entire lives and never see a large tornado or be directly affected by one. It’s certainly possible. It’s also certainly possible to have one tear through our neighborhood and cause life altering devastation. Although there is no mental or emotional preparation for that sort of event, we do the best we can to teach our children the best ways to stay physically safe and hope that it will be enough if the time comes.
What natural disasters are most common where you live? How do you prepare for them?
Photo Credit: Juergen Pohl
***Visit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon May 14 with all the carnival links.)
- Be Prepared for Emergencies — Becky at Crafty Garden Mama is reviewing Angela England's new ebook, The Untrained Housewife's Guide to Getting Prepared. See what measures she is learning to adopt in her family.
- Prepare to Expect a Safe and Beautiful Natural Birth — What do you need to have prepared so that you can have a nice and relaxing birth at home? Lisa at The Squishable Baby shares her list in a guest post at Natural Parents Network.
- Fire Boxes for Emergency Preparedness — Jana of Jananas tells why she bought a fire box to store important documents and what is stored in the box.
- Firefighter Training Homeschool Curriculum — Kellie at Our Mindful Life helped her homeschooled kids prepare for emergencies through a Firefighter Training unit.
- 3 Secrets to a Royal Emergency — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep tells the secret to living like kings during a storm-induced power outage.
- Is Your Family Prepared for an Emergency? — Chrystal at Happy Mothering shares an overview of what her family has done to become more prepared for emergencies.
- What to Do in an Earthquake — Julia at A Little Bit of All of It gives instructions for staying safe in the event of an earthquake as well as tips for teaching your children to keep safe and where to find information online after an earthquake.
- Spring Cleaning & Preparing, Part 2 — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger organizes and replenishes her emergency supply every spring and is learning to add to the food stockpile by preserving year-round.
- 15 Must-Haves For The Natural Minded Family When Disaster or Emergency Strikes — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she prepares for disaster or an emergency as a natural minded mama. Learn what 15 natural items you should consider having on hand!
- Emergency Preparedness: Cosleeping, Cheezits, Chocolate — Kristine at All the Things in the World was happy to have cosleeping in her emergency tool kit during Hurricane Sandy.
- Being Prepared For Personal Disasters — Luschka at Diary of a First Child draws on her own recent experiences and considers five things every parent should have in place to ease the burden when sudden disaster strikes.
- The Natural Emergency Kit That I Always Carry in My Diaper Bag — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares the four green and natural items in her emergency kit that she can't do without when she's out and about with her little ones.
- Prepared... or not? — Is it dangerous to not prepare? Jorje of Momma Jorje shares whether her family prepares…or not.
- Pack a car safety kit — Whether you're out for a leisurely drive or fleeing a disaster, Lauren at Hobo Mama offers tips on stocking your car with emergency supplies that will tide you over if you're stranded.
- Teaching My Children About Tornados — Destany at They Are All of Me writes about preparing her children for tornado season.
- Preparing our children for emergencies — Preparing for emergencies means preparing your children, and Robbie at Going Green Mama shares ways on how to empower kids when it comes to emergencies.
- Emergency Preparedness in Sub-Saharan Africa — After living in Sub-Saharan Africa for 7 years, emergency preparedness is not just a concept any more to Laura from Authentic Parenting.
- Five Ideas to Keep Babies and Toddlers Safe from Choking — Do you have a baby or toddler who likes to put everything (and I mean *everything*) in her mouth? Dionna at Code Name: Mama does, and today she's sharing a story and some tips on how to keep your little ones safe from choking.