Planning Ahead Key To Keeping Calm During Severe Weather Season

Monday, April 25th 2016, 10:06 pm
By: Tess Maune

With bad weather comes anxiety, especially with children. But experts say having a plan is key to keeping calm.

With her bag packed, 7-year-old Presley Fields and her family are ready for another round of bad weather.

“I’ve got a unicorn in my bag,” she said. “These are all just coloring books.”

Her mother, Lindsey Fields said, “It was awful close last time, so we just want to be ready this time, too.”

Last month's tornado touched down just about a mile from their house in Owasso.

“It's really scary, cause if a tornado hits, ya know, your house is gonna be damaged, but you're gonna be safe,” Presley said.

The Fields were in a friend’s storm shelter where they take cover in any severe weather event.

For Lindsey, tornado season is most nerve-wrecking weather of the year.

“With kids, it's definitely scarier. You don't want your kids to have to go through something like that,” she said.

So, to ease her mind, she prepares. She's had the tornado bags packed for several days, which also includes extras clothes and 24-hour essentials.

Pediatrician Dr. Donna Krutka said having a plan, being prepared and practicing ahead of the storm goes a long way.

“Because the parents’ whole attitude and their response to that situation is going to set the tone for the child,” Krutka said.

So, even though Lindsey doesn't love storms, the way she handles the situation has made her girls less anxious.

Tess: “What is the number thing you do to stay calm?
Presley: “Pray…I think that we just need to stay calm and pray.”

The Fields said as soon as the storms start firing up out west they'll head to their friends to wait out the storm.

Krutka said every person is different as far as staying calm – some people sing, some tell jokes. She said reassuring a child that statistics say it should be OK can help.

She also mentioned there’s a point where storm anxiety can cross over into phobia, so if a child is constantly worried about the weather, it may be time to talk them talk with a professional.