Kids require extra storm preparation
When the weather outside is so frightful that the power goes out, families need a little more than water, flashlights and batteries to keep the kids happy.
A family's storm emergency kit should also include filling food the kids will eat, as well as games and activities that will keep them (and mom and dad) busy for hours or even days.
Food supplies include:
- Granola bars
- Juice boxes
- Trail mix- Try my Autumn Apple Trail Mix, and place in snack size bags to prevent overeating
- Fruits, like apples, oranges and bananas
- Bread and bread alternatives, like tortillas or plain crackers
- Peanut butter and/or hazelnut spread- both can be spread on the bread, tortillas and crackers for a meal or snack
- Muffins- make your own before the storm, or buy ready-to-eat
- Pop Tarts
- Squeezable applesauce and/or smoothies
*Any food kept in storage should always be checked for expiration.
Tip: If the grocery store is out of bottled water, try baby supply stores. These stores usually sell bottled nursery water, and always have pallets of water waiting while the grocery store shelves are bare.
Other supplies include:
- Baby wipes- to aid with cleaning
- Freezer bags filled with ice cubes- they will help keep cold food cold longer, but if the power is out long enough that the ice melts, the water can be reused instead of using bottled water
- Board games
- Popsicle sticks
- Construction paper
- Crayons and other writing utensils
- Batteries for personal game devices
Another great idea is to have each child pack a backpack the night before a major storm. Tell them to place those electronic devices, a favorite stuffed animal, a book, a personal flashlight or other items they want to have in the bag. If the power goes out, all their things will be in one place, and if an evacuation is ordered, their favorite things won't get left behind.
Ideas to keep everyone busy include:
Play a board game. Games like Clue, Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly are great for families, and can also fill the time.
Create your own Mad Lib. Find a favorite nursery rhyme, board book or even moments from Harry Potter. Write it out on a piece of paper, leaving out a few words, but adding the descriptors (name, noun, adjective, verb, adverb, etc.). Each family member can even pick their own story. Then, let those who did not choose the story come up with words to fill the blanks. Once all the blanks are filled, read the new story aloud.
Make a bowling set. Many people get water bottles in addition to the gallon water jugs for storm emergencies. Reuse those bottles by turning them into a bowling set. Fill the bottoms of nine (or fewer, if preferred) with a few coins to make it a little harder to knock them down and set them up at the end of a hallway. Kids can first test out different types of balls or other non-breakable round objects to determine what could work best as a bowling ball. Once everyone has a ball, play! (You can also make a glow-in-the-dark version by placing a glow stick in each bottle. Glow sticks can be found year-round at party supply stores and some craft stores.)
Create a puppet show. Kids can choose a favorite story or create their own to act out with puppets. To make the puppets, use construction paper or even the insides of cereal boxes in the recycling bin, crayons and attach to popsicle sticks using glue. When everything is ready, kids can use one end of the dining room table as the stage as the parents watch the show from the other end.