When it comes to hurricanes, your kids take their cues from you.
Here are some ways to keep your children calm and safe during hurricane season.
• Talk about hurricanes' danger in words they understand - but let them know you have plans in place to keep them safe.
• Involve your children in the preparation process. Let them pack their own suitcase and take a toy or game.
• Limit the amount of TV and radio coverage your children are exposed to.
• Tell them what your family will do during a watch or warning - from listening to the radio, to assembling disaster kits, to the location where the family will evacuate.
• The American Red Cross has a Disaster Preparedness Coloring Book to help parents and children talk out what they'll do during disasters. Find it at www.redcross.org/services/disaster/eduinfo/colorbk.pdf. (Of particular interest are the pages on hurricane preparedness and disaster supplies.)
• The American Academy of Pediatrics also publishes a Family Readiness Kit to help prepare the whole family for disasters. Go to www.aap.org/family/frk/frkit.htm. Click on the "Understanding Disasters" section for a list of preparations tailored to specific disasters, including hurricanes. The "4 Steps to Prepare Your Family" section will walk you through creating a disaster plan - including directions to hold a family meeting.