Safety During Clean Up
Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves, and gloves.
Learn proper safety procedures and operating instructions before operating any gas-powered or electric-powered saws or tools.
Clean up spilled medicines, drugs, flammable liquids, and other potentially hazardous materials.
After a tornado, children may be afraid the storm will come back again and they will be injured or left alone. Children may even interpret disasters as punishment for real or imagined misdeeds. Explain that a tornado is a natural event.
Children will be less likely to experience prolonged fear or anxiety if they know what to expect after a tornado. Here are some suggestions:
Talk about your own experiences with severe storms, or read aloud a book about tornadoes.
Encourage your child to express feelings of fear. Listen carefully and show understanding.
Offer reassurance. Tell your child that the situation is not permanent, and provide physical reassurance through time spent together and displays of affection.
Include your child in clean-up activities. It is comforting to children to watch the household begin to return to normal and to have a job to do.
NOTE: Symptoms of anxiety may not appear for weeks or even months after a tornado; they can affect people of any age. If anxiety disrupts daily activities for any member of your family, seek professional assistance through a school counselor, community religious organization, your physician, or a licensed professional. Counselors are listed under Mental Health Services in the yellow pages of your telephone directory.