A Kids Guide to Disaster Preparedness

Nature can be very dangerous. The forces of nature, like the rain and wind, can hurt people and destroy things. When this happens, it's called a natural disaster. There are many different types of natural disasters and they can happen almost anywhere. While you can't stop it from happening, you can stay safe during one if you know what to do.


Hurricanes are very rainy and windy storms that are pretty scary. Hurricane winds move so fast that it can hurt trees or damage houses and cars. It can also rain so hard that water rises and causes a flood. When there's a hurricane, your parents will listen to the news on the television or radio. The weather report on the news will tell them if the storm is so bad that you'll need to leave your home. If you can stay home, your family will need to know what to do before, during, and after the storm. Before the really strong winds start, ask your parents if you can help them bring in things that might blow through a window or hurt someone. Outdoor decorations, plants in pots, and even garbage cans should be put in the garage or the house. During the storm, stay inside toward the center of the house. Don't go near windows or anything made of glass. Glass can break and cut or hurt you badly. The best place to stay is in a room with no windows or under a sturdy table. Don't go outside until your parents say it is safe.

After the storm has stopped, don't drink from the faucet unless an adult says it's okay. Stay away from any flooded area. The water may not look deep or like it is moving but don't be fooled! It could be fast-moving or deeper than you think!


A tornado happens during some storms. It's a cloud that looks like a tunnel and has strong, fast winds. With a tornado, the wind can blow 200 miles per hour or faster! That's really fast and really dangerous! A tornado can even completely knock down a house! The wind also throws things around. These things can be small, sharp, or as heavy as a big truck or a tractor. When they are thrown around by the wind, they can hurt people and destroy things that are in their way. Lightning also happens when there is a tornado and sometimes hail, or chunks of ice may fall from the sky.

If there's a tornado warning go someplace that's safe from the wind and flying objects like a basement, a bathroom, beneath the stairs, or a closet. Your safe spot should be on the lowest level of the building you're in or your house. Go to a room near its center and stay away from windows or anything heavy that might fall on you. Chances are, your parents already have a tornado plan. Ask them about it before a tornado hits and go where they tell you if you can. If you're outside, run to a building. If you are in a car or can't make it to a building or your house, run to a low spot like a ditch. Get down low and cover your head with your arms. Because a tornado can pick up a car, never hide inside one.


Floods can happen very suddenly. Flood water can be deeper than it looks and fast moving. Don't play, step in, or go near it. It can carry you away, so stay away! Glass, snakes, and nasty things can hide in flood water. Some of these things can make you very sick so don't drink it or put it in your mouth at all. Move to higher ground or if water is flooding your house, go upstairs and away from the rising water.


A blizzard is a winter storm that can be really dangerous. During a blizzard, it's snowy and windy, and it can be hard to see. A lot of the time, blizzards are also really cold, even freezing. When it snows heavy, it's hard to get around. Stay inside where it's warm and dry if you can. If you're outside during a blizzard, dress warmly and be sure to wear gloves and a jacket. Always wear a hat to keep your head warm too. Try to stay dry and wear a scarf that you can use to cover your mouth when you breathe.


When the earth begins to suddenly shake, it's super scary. The shaking can be so bad that things sitting on shelves or hanging on walls may fall and break. Earthquakes that are really bad are strong enough to even make some bridges and buildings fall! You can stay safe during an earthquake by moving away from things that might fall. Get down under something that's sturdy and strong like your desk at school or a table. Protect your neck and head with a pillow if one is nearby or use your arm. If you can't find a table to crawl under crouch down by a wall that's away from windows and objects

If you're outside, go to a clear open space. Stay away from trees or anything that might fall over and hurt you. Stop, get down, and then wait for the shaking to come to a stop. Remember to cover and protect your head.

You are well on your way toward protecting your staff and organization.

Take the next step toward protecting your organization by learning more about emergency notification systems and the vital role they play in your emergency preparedness plan.