Can Your Child Answer This Important Severe Weather Question?
The question I would like for every parent to ask their children, especially if those kids spend time home alone is this. "Do you know where the safest place in the house is in the event of severe weather"?
Here in Louisiana severe weather, including tornadoes, can spin up in minutes. Even with the advanced warning of Doppler Radar and other methods predicting these storms, their path, and how strong they are is still a very inexact science.
Another aspect of severe weather in Louisiana is not only the damage that can occur because of rotating or straight-line winds but lightning. Just last week, we had a typical afternoon thunderstorm that sparked four different calls to local fire departments. One of those calls was for a house that caught fire after being struck by lightning.
Do your kids know basic lightning safety rules? I think most of us understand you don't want to be under a tree in a lightning storm but what about all of that electronic technology in your home?
Should your kids be using the computer if lightning is dancing about the sky? What items need to be unplugged to prevent damage in the event of a strike? If your home was struck by lightning and there was damage or a fire would your children know where to find a safe haven if you weren't home to assist? For that matter, how many of you adults can answer those questions?
Another aspect of our seemingly innocent afternoon showers and thunderstorms would be flash flooding. Some of those storms can drop a lot of rain in just a very short period of time. This can lead to localized street flooding. Some of which we saw in Monday's storms.
Would your kids know what items to move to higher ground? Would they know which appliances need to be unplugged should water move inside your home?
Severe weather and its consequences can sometimes happen without a three-day cone of uncertainty. The potential for a pop-up strong or severe storm happens almost every afternoon in south Louisiana during the summer months. So, it's not a matter of "if" it's more a matter of "when" your action steps will be needed.
That's why you and your children need to have a discussion today on what they would do and where they would go in the event that a strong storm popped up over your house. Do they know what room is the safest? Do they know the difference between "A Watch" and "A Warning"? Do you have a designated meeting place to find each other after the storm has passed?
Just remember it's a lot easier to plan now than during an actual emergency. I think your kids and your family will appreciate the forethought as well. After all, it's better to be ready for an emergency and not have one than to have the emergency and not know what the best plan of action needs to be.
And just in case the lights go out and no one has a phone that's been charged.
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