Families play a critical role in helping to reestablish a sense of normalcy and safety for a child before, during and after a disaster occurs. Please take a moment to read through these suggestions on how to support your child.

Developmental Explanation

How to Explain Hurricanes to Children
Be honest with children and keep explanations simple. Encourage children to ask questions and lead the discussion. 

A hurricane is a really strong storm. For a hurricane to form there needs to be just the right ingredients. The “recipe” for a hurricane is wind and warm water. When the wind is at a steady flow and ocean water is just the right temperature the wind creates a circular motion that if it gets to 74 mph becomes a hurricane. 


Helping Children Prepare for Hurricanes
Encourage children to participate in planning as a family. Ask your child to think about what helps them feel safe, calm, and comfortable. Create with children a checklist of tasks to complete before the hurricane. This might include bringing toys from the outside in, gathering canned food, water, flashlights, and non electronic games to keep busy in case the power goes out.


All Feelings Are Okay
Using the following  Tools for Caregivers will help children to feel safe, calm and relaxed. After a storm children may want to feel useful and part of the clean up. Give children tasks that are safe and that they can handle.


Play It Out
Play is how children understand their world and learn to process difficult experiences. Children may re-enact a hurricane by moving like the wind. Create a safe space for children to pretend to be or blow like the wind. They may run around without direction, fall down spontaneously, and knock into structures they built only to rebuild and do it over again.

Expressive Art

Express Yourself
Children need opportunities to express themselves. Encourage your child to express emotions through movement, play, art or talking with a trusted adult. Encourage children to make their own pinwheel. To make your own pinwheel, check out the activity below.

Download an interactive PDF of this DIsaster-Specific Information On Hurricanes

Printable Activity Sheets

General Activity Sheets
Individual Activity Sheets with Instruction

5 Essential Needs for Children Following Disasters

Need more resources? Don't forget to check out our 5 Essential Needs for Children Following Disasters page for more videos, handouts and tips based on the child's age.