Not only are we entering into the most active part of the hurricane season, but we are fast approaching the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s impact on our community
. So even as you gather together all the supplies for your family’s storm evacuation kit this year, it would be a good time to pause and spend some time with your children to help them face the memories and fears that could be brought up as they see all the news and social media reminders about Katrina.
Give your child a safe place to talk about any feelings they may have. If they remember Katrina and the years of rebuilding, you may find they need your support in handling painful or fearful memories.
Your patience, guidance and strength will be an anchor for them if they are troubled, especially by all the pictures and video they may see of Katrina’s destruction here.
Here are a few tips:
- Calmly explore with your child what’s happening with the approach of Katrina’s anniversary. Don’t let your child’s only information come from television or friends. Let your child see you are calmly reacting to your own memories or fresh reminders. Answer your child’s questions and engage him or her in discussing what happened, what they remember or what they want to know about.
- Talk about your family’s losses from Katrina as appropriate. Help your child develop the awareness that loss can be survived, even the loss of a home. Remind your child that a house is “stuff” – and as long as your family’s safe, you can face bad times together.
- Ease your child’s anxiety if a storm does approach this season. Show your child you are prepared for the storm and possible evacuation because he or she benefits by knowing that keeping your family safe is your number one priority. If our local officials call for an evacuation, your child’s anxiety may grow greatly – as may yours, if we’re being honest.
No one wants to go through another storm like Katrina. But facing what happened with an open heart and also preparing your child for future hurricanes that may come our way is an important task as a parent raising children in our community.
At Ready.Gov, the federal government’s handy website to guide you in preparing for storms, there is a special Kid’s Section
with some tips and activities for you and your children.
The Katrina Flag, which flew over the Slidell City Courthouse during the storm