Trees are no longer merely trees. Clouds are not merely clouds. Not to my eight-year old who watches the sky for signs of trouble. A rumble of thunder glues him to my side. A year after Sandy swept into the state and two years after a freak October snowstorm toppled trees, power lines and any hope for a worry-free birthday party, my son still contemplates how to best climb onto the roof to await rescue.
True, the winds gusted over 100 miles per hour, a number of very large trees fell in our yard and the electricity went out but we were lucky. The only injury came after the storm blew through when I shooed my oldest daughter out of the house with her Flip video recorder in hand and she tripped backwards over a downed pine tree. My girl might have ended up in the ER but she never stopped filming. So not a huge drama here but still my son tenses in a breeze. I can only imagine his state of mind if we'd been living on the coast or instead of a swing set trying to rebuild a home, a school, a boardwalk...a roller coaster. Really, Mother Nature?
I'm taking stepping off my usual skeptical social media perch today because a year after the hurricane, families are still coping with the storm's aftermath. Life has not returned back to normal for a number of children in the region. It's easier with each passing day to forget those families. It's easy to forget about the storm. It's easy to forget to prepare for the next storm. So on the first anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, the second anniversary of Frankenstorm, don't forget to get yourself, your school and your state ready for the next big one. It's the least we can do before digging into the bags of candy sitting in the basement. Still untouched save a few Reese's peanut butter cups.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY
before the kids get home
|Save The Children Checklist|
1. Check out Save The Children and their Get Ready, Get Safe campaign.
2. Check to see if your state has plans in place to protect children in emergencies including:
evacuating child care centers
assisting those with special needs
plans for multiple emergencies
In case this sounds like unnecessary calls to action, today I learned it took 6 months for the last child to be reunited after Katrina. So I'm pleased to see New Jersey has addressed these issues though 28 states have not yet.
What about your state?
3. Find out if what kind of plans your school has for emergencies.
Forward the principal or the superintendent the checklist for professionals available at Save The Children.
4. Check out this video on how kids are coping one year after Sandy.
5. Get your child shrink groove on. Read up on how to help kids deal with traumatic events. Go to New York's own Child Mind Institute for tips on how to get your kids through natural disasters or other similar stressful situtions. Hint: keep calm, turn off the tv and play a game.
If you only have time for one action today check out the preparedness checklists from Save The Children.
How are you dealing with Sandy one year later? In my house we are hoping for Halloween this year. My son isn't quite sure he likes Halloween but d@#!! it, he will go trick or treating Thursday and remember it. Or else. Those naughty trees and clouds will find themselves in time out until they learn to control themselves a little better.