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“Mommy, can a tornado happen here?”

My daughter asks this question occasionally, but more so in the past days and weeks as twisters wreaked havoc on the southern states, destroying homes and lives that are going to take some time to return to normal.

The Middleport area of Schuylkill County was hit with a tornado back in 1996. Ten years later, several areas were affected by the Flood of 2006 at the end of June. The torrential downpours the area has received in the past weeks have produced quite a few puddles and water seeping in our basement, but that’s about it.

You don’t want your children to worry about the weather, and you know you’ll do all you can to protect them from the elements. You do the simple and practical things like carrying an umbrella or donning rain boots for rain, wearing boots, hats, gloves and coats when it snows and slathering on the sunscreen when the sun scorches on hot summer days. When it’s pouring outside or snow piles inches on the ground outside, you make sure your kids are inside and off the road (for snow) to keep them safe.

So if hurricane or tornado weather is on the horizon as a watch or warning, what do you do? You’ll do the same thing. Assure your children that if there is loss of property that it can be replaced, but that their lives can’t. No one likes to think about that possibility, but it can and does happen.

We all want to shield our children from the bad things that happen in this world, but inevitably they are going to see or experience it sometime in their lifetimes. We as parents, I think, should do the best that we can to explain things to our children in terms that they can understand and prepare them in the event something like a bad-weather catastrophe happens. Like everything else parenting, we do the best that we can, and hope for the best.