Experts warn 1 in 4 families are not prepared for a natural disa - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Experts warn 1 in 4 families are not prepared for a natural disaster

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Super storm Sandy slammed homes along the shoreline. (WFSB file photo) Super storm Sandy slammed homes along the shoreline. (WFSB file photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Storm season is here and we've already seen some strong, booming thunderstorms rip through Connecticut.

Experts said odds are that most families are not prepared for a natural disaster.

They said only one in four families in the U.S. have a sufficient emergency plan in place. With 69 million children separated from their parents when parents go off work each day, they said things can go wrong very quickly.

“Where are those [emergency] phone numbers?” said Dr. Len Friedland, a pediatrician. “Are they in a backpack? What if the phone isn't working? Do they know what the numbers are? Can they reach people outside of the area, maybe a grandparent or an aunt or uncle who live somewhere else in case the phone lines are down in their community?”

It was only two and a half years ago that super storm Sandy flooded the Connecticut shoreline. It shattered ocean-side homes into matchsticks.

In the event of a storm like Sandy, Friedland said being ready may save the lives of family members. A plan means more than just a box full of canned goods and flashlights in the basement.

“It's actually going to go much beyond just having a kit ready,” Friedland said. “It's all the other things happening [like] thinking about emotional wellbeing, physical wellbeing, making sure that families know how to be reunited and then understanding what's available in your community.”

Experts also said to make sure children know as much as possible about the disaster plan. Since they thrive on routine, experts recommend having something from the daily routine ready for them if an emergency happens.

“So the books that the children like to read, or maybe a stuffed animal that a child likes or maybe there's music that the older children want,” Friedland suggested. “Those sets of routines will really help children get back on the road to recovery.”

For more information and tools families can use to help prepare, go to savethechildren.org/getreadygetsafe.

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