Prepare Your Family for Hurricanes

Children at Play

Hurricane Sandy devastated the northeastern seaboard in 2012. Make sure your family is ready to respond to hurricanes.

Hurricane season has officially started, so what better time to observe Hurricane Preparedness Week and ensure your family is ready to weather any storm?   Every year, an average of 10 tropical storms develop over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico—and six of them are likely to become hurricanes.  These destructive storms can batter homes and whole communities with high winds, heavy rains, large waves, flooding and hail. Children are particularly vulnerable when disaster strikes, but the simple steps below can help protect your family.

 

10 Tips to Keep Children Safe in Hurricanes

PREPARE:

1. Talk about hurricanes. Spend time with your family discussing why hurricanes occur. Explain that a hurricane is a natural event and not anyone’s fault. Use simple words that even young children can understand.

2. Know your risk. Find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation area. Assess your risks from a storm surge, flooding or wind damage that may accompany a hurricane.

3. Practice evacuation drills. Practice your family evacuation plan so that, during an emergency, you can evacuate quickly and safely.

4. Learn your caregivers’ disaster plans. Ask about evacuation plans and if you would be required to pick up your children from the site or from another location.

5. Stay informed. Use a NOAA weather radio or listen to a local station on a portable, battery-powered radio or television.

 

DURING A HURRICANE:

6. Evacuate if instructed to do so. Evacuate if told to do so by local authorities or if you feel unsafe. If advised to evacuate, avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges. Local officials may close certain roads, especially near the coast, when effects of the hurricane reach the coast.

7. Stay indoors, if not evacuated. If you are not advised to evacuate, or are unable to do so safely, stay indoors, away from windows, skylights and doors. Continue to monitor weather reports and do not go outside until the storm has passed.

 

AFTER A HURRICANE:

8. Limit media exposure. Protect children from seeing too many sights and images of the hurricane, including those on the internet, television or newspapers.

9. Ensure utilities are available. Before children return to areas impacted by a hurricane, make sure utilities, such as electricity and plumbing, are restored and living and learning spaces (e.g., homes, schools, child care facilities) are free from physical and environmental hazards.

10. Involve children in recovery. After a hurricane, let children help in clean-up and recovery efforts in age-appropriate ways as this participation may increase their sense of control over the situation.

 

Additional Resources: The tips above are just the start of knowing how to prepare for and respond to hurricanes. Use the following resources to help ensure your family is ready for the next hurricane:

 

American Red Cross: Hurricane Preparedness. http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/hurricane

National Hurricane Center: Hurricane Preparedness—Be Ready http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php

 

How Save the Children support schools: A Parents Point of View

Mario Chungara. Asistente de Comunicación de Patrocinios. Cochabamba - Bolivia

Mario Chungara Yugar, Sponsorship Assistant

Bolivia

May 2014

 

 Because of the nature of my work, I am constantly in contact with members of the community. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak about Save the Children with a local school board president. Here’s what he told me:

 

“Hello, my name is Gumersindo Fuentes Ramirez. I am the parent of 4 children and have participated at my children’s school since 1996 when I became school board secretary. I’ve been president for 13 years.”

  Gumersindo helping out a sponsored child with her correspondence

“Save the Children came to our school with the proposal to improve the quality of education for our children. We started working together in August 2011. For us parents, the arrival of this organization has been a blessing.”

“Save the Children has given teaching skill workshops for teachers, and we have noticed that teachers seem more motivated and filled with new knowledge that is applied in their classrooms. We also had vitamin supplementation and children were taught the proper way to wash their hands. The presence of Save the Children has been very beneficial and valuable, creating significant change in our children’s lives and education.”

“We parents have been trained on children’s rights, against violence towards children and against family violence. This is very important because parents are changing the way they treat their children and are more understanding and caring.” Mom's at Family Center prepare nutritional food for their children

Gumercindo also pointed out the importance of Family Centers, implemented to promote development of children under 4, promoting bonding between mothers/caretakers and children. At the centers, children learn to be better prepared to transition into school, and mothers learn how to prepare nutritional food for their families. 

 

 

 

How does Save the Children support the Schools it works in?

Veronica Gonzales Quiroz Sponsorship Assistant

Verónica Gonzales Quiroz, Sponsorship Assistant

Bolivia

May 2014

 

 Interview with the Oruro School’s Administrator

My name is Veronica Gonzales Quiroz and I am a sponsorship assistant here in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with one of our school’s administrators, Roberto Chapana Villegas, who wanted to share his opinion on the support provided by Save the Children since it started working with his school in August 2012.

School Administrator Roberto Villegas next to first aid kitMr. Chapana has been the administrator for Oruro Educational Unit School for more than 19 years. He told us he has gotten to know the work Save the Children carries out in various schools in Cochabamba.

Schools sign an agreement with Save the Children. The institution will provide support in order to improve the quality of education, by providing workshops where teachers can learn new teaching techniques that will be applied to children in their school.

Mr. Chapana remarks “I think it was a very wise decision, which we have felt and touched, both in theory and practice.” He also wanted to share with us that he participated in a “Handling and Use of First Aid Kits” workshop [first aid kit donated by Save the Children], since he is responsible for the school’s first aid kit.

He also commented that, since the school’s teachers and personnel have attended these workshops, he has seen an improvement in the quality of the education at his school, a strengthening of teaching skills and the use of new teaching methodologies such as Cuisenaire rods and the Doman Method. This change and improvement is ultimately reflected in the school's children who are now more interested in learning and participating in the classroom.

Teacher Betty Coca using the Doman Method with her students

Last year, Save the Children carried out various activities such as the celebration of Children’s Day and holding a children’s drawing contest. This is done in order to awaken talents and discover children’s abilities. These activities have pleased parents and made them aware of the benefits their children receive from Save the Children’s programs.