Hurricane Preparedness & Lightning Safety
Thanks to El Nino, last year's hurricane season was very quiet. This year, weather forecasters predict a more active season. Hurricanes can be very scary events for children, who may not understand what is happening, or why. You can minimize the risk of fear and injury during a hurricane by making sure that your family knows what happens when a hurricane strikes, and that everyone is well prepared for the storm. Hurricane season officially starts on June 1 and runs through November 30.
What Is a Hurricane?
A hurricane is the largest of all storms. A storm is officially classified as a
hurricane when the speed of the wind reaches 74 miles per hour. Hurricanes are severe
tropical storms that form in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and in the
Pacific Ocean. Hurricanes gather heat and energy through contact with warm ocean waters.
When they come onto land, the heavy rain, strong winds and heavy waves can damage
buildings, trees and cars.
Hurricane Watches & Warnings
Watch: Hurricane conditions are POSSIBLE within about 36 hours. Your family should start getting prepared and stay tuned to television or radio for weather updates. In the event of a hurricane, WPBT has partnered with WFOR and will be broadcasting their storm updates and complete hurricane coverage.
Warning: Hurricane conditions are EXPECTED in the warning area within 24
hours. All of your family's hurricane preparations should be complete and all of you
should be together in a safe place.
Talk about what it is like to be in a hurricane and let kids take an active role in creating a Family Hurricane Plan. Here are some guidelines for formulating a plan:
Hurricane Supply Kit
Put together a hurricane supply kit long before a hurricane threatens the area. Kids can help gather the following items that should be included in the kit:
Anyone who lives in Florida knows that summer is the season for afternoon thunderstorms. But did you know that lightning can strike even when it is not raining? At the first sign of thunder or dark clouds, be on the lookout for lightning! Make sure to know the following basic rules of lightning safety (these apply for adults, too!):