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Ready for Disaster: Talk It Through

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Tornado season is upon us in central Illinois. Now I'm not an "Armageddon Prepper" but I do believe in being prepared for trouble.

My second son has autism and will always live with or near us. He struggles with breaks in routine. For him, trouble is, well, trouble. The midst of a disaster is not the time you want to deal with emotional collapse. All through his life we have worked to prepare him to handle life's little (and sometimes big) surprises. We do this through social stories.

When we discuss disaster preparedness the social story is in the form of a MIT Meeting ("Make It Through"). We begin with something inspirational. Our meetings begin and end with a Bible verse and prayer. I print the verse out on a 3x5 card for each person, which they can then keep in their BoB.

The "business" of the meeting has 3 parts in various sequence.

1) We discuss a couple "questions of the day". These are questions like, "When you hear the tornado siren, what are 3 things to grab on your way to shelter?" "Where should our family rally in the event of a tornado, a house fire, an ice storm, etc.?"

2) The second component of our meeting I call "practice". This is an activity in which we practice using some of our emergency items: set up the propane stove, plan/cook a meal without electricity, demonstrate first aid, taste our emergency food, replace the batteries in a flashlight, use the crank weather radio, etc.

3) Finally, we go through our BoBs and discuss what might be missing, check expiration dates, etc.

Disaster can strike at anytime. Within reason, talking about them beforehand will help you to "make it through."

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Updated 04-22-2014 at 04:35 PM by Dundin

Various Thoughts , Family Matters


  1. sandy63's Avatar
    I love the way you are so prepared. Living in Missouri makes us all storm watchful. I love my storm shelter. the weather is bad today and I am hoping to not use shelter today, but so glad it is there to use.
  2. imjanis's Avatar
    I love the way you are teaching your family about being prepared. When you have family members with special needs going over the information and skills necessary many times helps make it a part of their life. It becomes easier for them to adapt to the unscheduled events of life. Do you have the meetings at the same times or do you vary the times your meetings? Some different times might help him learn and be able cope with the fickleness of Mother Nature. When the weatherman talks about the weather might be a good time for an impromptu discussion about what to do if that weather hits here in or near our neighborhood.