The past week has been a hard one for many Louisianians who are dealing with the destruction left behind from Hurricane Laura. In the days leading up to the storm when we weren’t sure where it would make landfall, I, like many, was glued to the TV and social media waiting for updates. As I scrolled through Facebook, I saw several variations of the following post:
This got me thinking. Even though I have lived in Louisiana my entire life and have been through my fair share of storms, there hasn’t been a serious hurricane in our area since I’ve become a mom. Growing up (and even as a young adult in college), my parents handled any and all storm prep. My biggest concern was stocking up on food and wine for our “hurricane parties” when class or work would inevitably get canceled.
Now I’m the mom with kids at home who rely on me and my husband to keep them safe. I am the one who is responsible for preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. Sadly, I can’t say I’m 100 percent confident in how to do that, but I know the day will come when we need to prepare, so why not be ready.
Whether you are hunkering down to ride out the storm or evacuating to a safe location, here are a few things you can do to make sure your family is ready in the event of a hurricane:
Prepare Your Home and Gather Supplies
I could list out all the things I think are important in preparing for a storm; however, this handy checklist from the American Red Cross covers most of it. In addition, I would video and photograph rooms and valuables in my home in the event it is destroyed. This will help when filing insurance claims. Also, if you are planning on staying home you may want to invest in a generator in case you lose electricity.
Help Ease Kid Stress
While your child’s safety is your top priority, you also want to do your best to ease the fear and anxiety that often comes with bad weather. Make sure to have indoor activities planned that don’t involve electronics or electricity. Things like board games, easy science experiments, crafts, and books are always fun. You can also use this time as an opportunity to educate him on hurricanes by reading books like this one.
Make a List of Items You Want to Take If You Have to Evacuate
I don’t know about you, but in times like this, I often lie awake at night devising a mental list of things I would take in the event we would need to evacuate. While I know material objects aren’t important, there are things I would want to make sure to pack if I had the time and space. Having a list of these things is a good idea for emergency situations when you can’t think clearly. One good thing about hurricanes though, is that you usually have a few days’ notice, so you can pack special personal items if you have the ability to do so.
Other than the items listed in the checklist above, here are a few things I would consider packing:
- Our family command binder and a file box that stores all important documents and paperwork. Having everything in one spot makes it so much easier to grab and go.
- Expensive or sentimental jewelry
- Kid’s baby books and family photo albums
- Small electronics and chargers
- Irreplaceable items
Always remember, your families’ safety is most important, and material possessions can always be replaced.
While the Baton Rouge community was fortunate in avoiding the major impact of Hurricane Laura, unfortunately, our neighbors in Southwest Louisiana were not as lucky. Even though moms prepared, Mother Nature was too powerful, and the devastation is real. Many people lost everything. Please keep them in your prayers, especially all the moms who are will be struggling to rebuild and support their families in the days and weeks ahead.