Storm Camp: A Fun Way to Help Kids Prepare for Natural Disasters

March 5th, 2014 by Maggie Davis

Preparing Kids for Severe Weather

Severe storms and natural disasters can be very frightening for kids, especially if they are unsure of what to do during these weather events.  Including kids in storm preparedness activities and talking to them about their fears of a storm can help them cope during a severe weather event.  While it’s important to include kids in preparedness planning, it can also be a fun family activity.  To help families make severe weather preparedness more fun and engaging for younger children, a local group, the Montgomery County Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT), is hosting its first ever Storm Camp on Saturday, March 29th.

At Storm Camp, kids ages 4-10 can learn how to prepare for severe weather by becoming a “Ready Pirate.”  As a Ready Pirate, the kids will complete fun activities related to severe weather preparedness that they can share with their friends and parents.  While the kids become pirates, parents and other adults in attendance can learn practical skills for responding to an emergency.  More information about Storm Camp can be found below:

Montgomery County CERT’s Storm Camp
Saturday, March 29th
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Montgomery County Public Safety Headquarters Building
100 Edison Park Drive
Gaithersburg, MD 20878.
Parking is plentiful and free on the east side of the building.


Helping Kids Recover from Severe Weather

Even after preparing for a storm, severe weather can still be very frightening for kids.  Parents and guardians can help kids cope with the changes caused by a severe storm and show them how to recover from the storm.

One good way to help kids cope is to talk openly about their feelings and concerns after a storm.  By listening to them and validating their concerns you can help them overcome their fears.

Another key step in keeping kids calm during and after a disaster is to monitor their exposure to news.  Repeated images of the disaster can be confusing to young kids who may not understand that the danger has passed, causing extreme anxiety.

Finally, kids learn best by example.  Parents who are calm and reassuring during a disaster can help minimize a child’s trauma from a severe storm.  Being as calm as possible and finding support through friends, family, neighbors, or community organizations can help parents, kids, and the entire family recover from a natural disaster.


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