Outer Banks Mom: Prepping for a hurricane with kids

By on September 8, 2018

True to form, the National Hurricane Center starts naming storms and I start cleaning my house. So naturally when Hurricane Florence started looming I cleaned the toilets and scrubbed the showers. I went through the pantry and the coat closet. I’ve even put two large baskets aside for our local Hotline thrift store.

Considering I live most of my days in a house that is in complete disarray with messes made by the tiny gang of humans that I made myself, I don’t know what it is about a storm coming that makes me feel like I have to get the house completely in order. Quite honestly, I prepare for hurricanes the same way that I prepare to bring home a new baby!

After my random home projects are completed, I always make sure to double check my hurricane kit and make sure it’s in order. Of course, like most coastal households, we already have a kit that contains batteries, flashlights, lanterns, candles and a battery operated radio.

We also have our standard first aid kit with anti-bacterial ointments, general medications and bandages. Inside this kit I also keep a knife, a local and state map, cash and emergency telephone numbers.

Thankfully, we have never had to use this kit and we’ve endured a good amount of storms. Each year, we just check the expiration date of our supplies and put it back up on a shelf so that in the event of an emergency it is right where we expect it.

We also have a water- and fire-proof safe where we keep important documents, insurance information and photos of our home just in case we would need to make an insurance claim.

I will tell you that the best thing that I ever did was create a kid-friendly hurricane kit. The trick to this one is that the kids cannot know about it at all! My reason for that is two-fold. Number 1, if they don’t know about it then they can’t sneak into it on a regular rainy day. Number 2, they are completely surprised should you find yourself in a situation where you do not have electricity for an extended period of time!

Since hurricanes can be scary for kids, I think it’s important to have some things on hand that can distract them from the feelings of fear. While I’ve never had to use my other hurricane kits, I always use the one that I have for the kiddos when the power goes out.

Kid Friendly Hurricane Kit:

  • Clips: I cannot tell you how many hours we have logged as a family in a tent. Not a camping tent but a home-made tent that is strung about the living room using bed sheets. Buy some sturdy clips and round up some large flat sheets and you have hours of entertainment. Our oldest helps his tiny sisters make the most epic tents!
  • Board Games. Grab one new board game and keep it tucked away. My suggestion is to make it a good ol’ fashioned board game that doesn’t require batteries or a second mortgage on your house. Something simple but competitive that will keep everyones attention. We love Clue and Uno for some old classics! We play a lot of boardgames so having a new one is pretty exciting around here.
  • Imaginative Games: Put together some tickets for charades. Make sure you have a broom stick handy to break out the limbo. Teach the kids the electric slide. Keep a large cardboard box set aside to make into a pretend rowboat. Throw it back and make some memories.
  • Something Special: I always have a few little treats for my kiddos hiding in my hurricane kit. A new craft, book or some stickers so that they can get creative. My kids are both constantly drawing or creating, so this is usually a great time-filler for days that we are stuck inside, especially if we don’t have electricity. I grabbed some awesome sticker books for Penny’s surprise because I know that she loves them and they were less than $5 at TJMaxx last week.
  • Put aside some rocks and painting supplies to paint an OBX Rock to hide after the storm. These rocks are hand painted and hidden all over the Outer Banks as a simple way to spread joy all around the beach. When you find a rock, you can keep it or re-hide it somewhere new so that someone else can find it. You never know who might find it and who could use a little bit of sunshine after the storm.

Of course we all have our hurricane lists on how to prepare our homes and vehicles for the storm but how do you prepare your family and kids for a hurricane? Let’s share our favorite tips and tricks with each other! We can all use the comments space to share our favorite recipes to make when the power goes out or a special thing that we do to ease the fears of little ones.

We’re seeing the ocean currents get stronger here today, but this storm is still pretty far off the coast and we’re crossing our fingers that she takes a U-turn! Here’s hoping that Hurricane Florence doesn’t come our way! In the meantime, we’re enjoying sunshine and beach days and some really awesome events here this weekend.

You can follow along with our hurricane prep on Instagram, too. Check out our Instagram stories for real-time updates including the blanket tent that is in my living room right now!


  • Patricia Gale

    Awesome ideas.Thank you!

    Sunday, Sep 9 @ 10:45 pm
  • nigel

    If you have kids & a storm of this size is headed your way, leave!! No fun & boardgames here. SMH!

    Monday, Sep 10 @ 1:19 pm
  • Barbara

    Don’t be foolish and put emergency services personnel in danger. Get out now.

    Tuesday, Sep 11 @ 3:12 pm
  • jane

    If it should not turn are you planning on leaving and if not can I give you this grandmother’s advice…..please leave!!!

    Tuesday, Sep 11 @ 6:21 pm
  • Roseann

    You aren’t seriously thinking of keeping your children in the path of a Cat 4 Hurricane? There is absolutely no possibility that this storm will make a U turn. Please evacuate as soon as possible!

    Tuesday, Sep 11 @ 9:58 pm
  • Anonymous

    Such mean comments!

    Wednesday, Sep 12 @ 7:16 pm
  • Glow joe

    There are some mean people around here!

    Wednesday, Sep 12 @ 7:17 pm
  • Glow joe

    Dont listen to these mean comments! Do whats best for your kids.

    Wednesday, Sep 12 @ 7:20 pm