Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Thar She Blows! Hurricane Season 2010

The arrival of Hurricanes Rita and Ike along the Texas Coast have proven beyond a doubt that our previously preferred ‘wait until mandatory evacuation is imminent’ hurricane preparedness plan that we have gone with in years past simply does not work for us. Having evacuated now a total of 3 times (for Rita, Gustav and Ike) in the past few years, I am a big believer in hurricane preparedness. Though I don’t really go to the extreme planning like some people do, we definitely need to be prepared to evacuate and have enough supplies on-hand in case we don’t. With Tropical Storm Bonnie in the Gulf, this brings to mind the tiny detail that we really are not prepared for a hurricane right now.

This week, getting ready is going to be a primary goal. Even though TSB isn’t looking in our direction, exactly, it’s close enough to light a fire under my butt. You’d think that with 2 full blown evacs under my belt, I’d be a pro at knowing what we need, but I’m not. I tend to be over-prepared, so this time I’m going to try to stick to the basics. We’re going to use Weather.com’s Family Preparedness Plan to make sure that we have everything we need just in case. I also found a Disaster Supply Kit and American Family Safety has a place where you can buy a kit or create your own kit to buy. I’ll cross-check them and make sure that we’re not missing anything. We have the cat now, too, so we’ll use the Pet Plan to make sure that we have everything we need to make sure that Cosmo Kitty is well taken care of.

One of the things we’re going to be doing this week in science is tracking Bonnie and learning about weather extremes, tropical storms and hurricanes in particular. We’ll also cover tornadoes since they’re frequent with hurricanes. They sound like a freight train when they’re overhead. It’s crazy loud and kinda scary. We stayed during Ike and left after the storm was through (bad idea!). There were lots of little tornadoes overhead when Ike passed over. That was scary and not an experience I care to repeat, especially with kids.

We have tracking maps – they’re everywhere here. You can find them in the newspaper, in the grocery store, at gas stations – anywhere. If you need one though, you can download one here. We’re using several websites for this lesson, including Hurricane Track, Web Weather for Kids and Weather Wiz Kids. Those last two are meant for kiddos and seem pretty informative with kid-friendly language. We’re starting to trade off reading when it’s something like that. Doing so helps the kids pay attention and gets some extra reading practice in. To help keep them on their toes, we don’t stop at regular reading points; we stop mid-sentence and choose someone to read next. The next reader is supposed to pick up with the next word. If they don’t then they get a silly task to do (like hop on one foot for 10 seconds)… they seem to enjoy it.

So here’s my PSA for the week. If you’re in a hurricane area, then please make sure that you’re ready. Gather a hurricane kit for your family and your pets and at least look at a map and get a plan in your head so that if evacuation becomes necessary, you have something to work with in mind. Stay safe!

Warmly,

~h

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