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A natural disaster can happen anywhere at any time. That’s a big part of why I always keep Duracell batteries on hand. When I moved to Sunbury, North Carolina I didn’t do my research. Little did I know this town was a tornado magnet.

Are You prepared for a natural disaster?

I’ve been here for 4 months and have already received 4 tornado warning texts. Not watches – warnings. I can’t tell you how many thunderstorms there have been since I’ve been here, but my electricity has gone out 6 times in 4 months! It didn’t take me long to realize I needed to be prepared for anything.

That’s when I started putting together a kids Natural Disaster Prep Kit

We all pretty much know the basics that should go in a natural disaster prep kit – water, first aid kit, medications, candles etc… When you have kids it takes a lot more than the basics to keep them calm. Making sure the kids are entertained is a great way to ease the anxiety that comes with a natural disaster. That’s why I have updated our natural disaster prep kit to include some extra items. The addition of these extras helps keep the kids calm during  a natural disaster.

natural disaster prep kit

Our current natural disaster prep kit has all the basics as well as the following items:

  • Travel sized games and cards
  • Lots of Duracell batteries
  • Non-perishable snacks
  • Activity books
  • Crayons, markers and blank paper
  • Flameless candles as well as regular candles
  • Battery operated keychain fans (especially for hot summer months)

My recent experiences with different types of natural disaster has taught me a few things I’d like to share them with you.

5 Tips to Keep Kids Calm During a Natural Disaster

When you have younger children, avoiding telling ghost stories may be a no brainer. When the lights go out kids tend to get uneasy or even scared. A power outage is not the best time to tell stories of La Llorona. 

Instead try telling jokes or funny stories from their childhood.

I may love thunderstorms now, but as a child they terrified me. My wela helped keep me occupied by counting the time between lightning strikes and thunderclaps. Divide the seconds by 5 to determine how many miles you are from the lightning.

I still do this today, and it’s a great way to get a little extra education time in with the kids!

Even as adults a natural disaster can rattle us. It is important to remain calm yourself, especially around the kids. Let them see you being strong and brave and they will follow suit. Making sure you have some type of light source can help both adults and children remain calm. Flameless options take away a lot of risk, so stock up on batteries! Duracell batteries

If  you feel yourself becoming unnerved excuse yourself to another room and take deep breaths.

Let them in on what’s going on. Whether it’s listening to the radio for updates or watching outside for signs of change, keeping kids in the loop can help keep them calm.There’s something about not knowing what’s going on that can intensify anxiety.

If there are high winds, it would be advisable to not allow kids near the windows.

It probably goes without saying, but keeping kids entertained is a great way to keep them calm. Distracting them from the bad weather (or other natural disaster) can be done in a number of ways.

Having a variety of activities in your Natural Disaster Prep Kit is vital.

Keep Kids Entertained During a Natural Disaster

Kids Entertained During a Natural Disaster

Age appropriate travel sized games are great for keeping kids entertained! The beauty of these is they can go with you if you need to evacuate without taking up precious space. Walmart always has a great selection of games to choose from. Having a variety will make sure boredom doesn’t set in too soon.

Hide and Seek never gets old! It’s even more fun in the dark and can help distract from the chaos that comes from natural disasters. Equip everyone with a flashlight and be sure to set boundaries. *Depending on what’s going on outside some rooms may be off limits.

Another fun game that can be played in the dark is Marco Polo. This would need to be played in an open space to prevent injuries.

Having a selection of art supplies (coloring books, blank paper, crayons, markers etc…) can really help ease the tension. Giving children (and adults!) a creative outlet will not only keep them occupied but allow them to express how they are currently feeling as well.

When the lights go out try building an indoor campfire. It’s so simple and can completely change the mood during a natural disaster. Here’s how we do it:

How to Build an Indoor Campfire

You’ll Need:

  • battery powered keychain fan
  • empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls
  • 3 flameless tealight candles
  • red, orange and yellow tissue paper
  • glue sticks


DIY CampfireAssemble the empty rolls on the floor like logs. Feel free to decorate them with the kids! Cut 2-3 holes in the tops of the empty tubes.
Cut the tissue paper into strips, alternating colors. Glue the tissue paper to the logs. 
Place the flameless candle in the center of the logs, so the candles can poke through.
Depending on the type of fan, either turn the switch to on or tape the button down to keep it spinning. Place flat between the logs (blades up) to create a flickering flame look.

What do you do to keep kids entertained during bad weather?

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