Yes, Virginia, There are Earthquakes in New York City

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What to tell kids when an earthquake hits (which has happened in Brooklyn!!)

Some of you have felt the "earth move" but today it was based on the 5.8 earthquake that was centered in Virginia,-- more news to come I'm sure.

 

Just a heads up that some of your kids may be scared after the earthquake that many of us just felt. I got my kids into the hallway of our building and they immediately wanted to make sure that the cats were going to be okay. I spent some time explaining what happened and talking about what to do in the future. (Living in California without kids didn’t give me much to work with).

 

Here are some suggestions on what you might do to help if your kids are anxious about what happened.

 

Take time to create a calm environment for children (and parents) to go over what they heard and saw. Answering children's questions can be very helpful. Slow things down to the child's pace as rushing around "NY style" often exacerbates stress. If you freaked out a bit talk about how it's important that they listen if you call them.

 

Remind your child that you and s/he are fine. Call your spouse or other people who you might be worried about. Check out the rest of the house, reassuring them that even if things are knocked down that everyone is safe and sound.

 

Tell your kids that this doesn't happen very often and that while scary (don't negate their fear) it's unlikely to happen.

 

With earthquakes there is a possibility of aftershocks so come up with a plan of what you might do if another one hits. Do you all go to a certain room? (The one with the most support).

 

And not to be the gloom and doom person today, but there's a chance that Hurricane Irene might make it up here. Keep an eye on the weather and you might want to prepare your kids for the next naturally occurring situation.

 

Best,

Susan Fox