Natural Catastrophe Social Stories

Clouds with falling snowflakes.

In Pennsylvania snow and ice storms are common and there are ways you can prepare for them.

Person spreading rock salt.

Before the storm, you can spread rock salt on your sidewalk and driveway. This will help melt snow or ice.

Winter hat, gloves, and snow shovel.

Have a shovel ready in case a lot of snow falls. If you need to shovel dress warmly and take breaks.

Towel in front of door.

Inside you can close doors to rooms you don’t use and put towels at the bottoms of doors that lead outside. This will help keep heat in one area.

Broken pipe with water dripping.

If the weather is so cold that a pipe cracks in your house, remember to turn off the water to prevent serious leaks.

Newscaster at a desk.

If you need to leave your house, you can watch trusted news to find out road conditions and any driving restrictions.

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Fire extinguisher and flames.

I can take steps to help keep myself safe from fires. I can have a fire extinguisher and move flammable items away from heaters.

Smoke detector on a ceiling.

I should also have a smoke alarm on every floor of my home.

Towel in front of a door.

If you leave your home, try to seal any barriers or cracks before you go.

Noise lines coming from a house with a person outside.

If I hear the smoke alarm, I need to go outside calmly and quickly and leave my things inside.

Smoke in a room with a person walking underneath.

When I leave I should stay under the smoke even if I have to crawl on the floor. I should also be careful because doors might be hot.

Checklist.

If my family has a safety plan, I should follow the steps in the plan.

Firetruck.

When firefighters get there, there will be loud sirens.

Axe and hose with dripping water.

The firefighters will use their tools and water to put out the fire.

Fireman in uniform.

The firefighters’ helmets might make their voices sound scary, but if they’re talking to me I should listen.

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Clouds, rain and water puddle.

During heavy rains, flooding can happen very fast. So it is important to be prepared.

House on flat ground with arrow pointing to house on a hill.

If flooding is expected and you live in a low area like canyon, try to go to high ground.

Towel in front of a door.

If you leave your home, try to seal any barriers or cracks before you go.

Car driving on road near a water stream.

If traveling, don’t cross streams or water on foot or in a car. If your car stops working, leave it and find a safe place to wait.

Night sky and flood waters.

Be extra careful at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

Computer screen with words floods watch versus warning.

It also helps to know common terms. “Flood watch” means flooding may occur and “flood warning” means there is actual flooding.

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Cloud with lightning.

If a thunderstorm is likely in your area you should not go outside.

Shed and a car.

If you don’t have time to get inside, look for shelter like a car or shed to stand in.

Person swimming, field and metal tools, all crossed out.

If you are outdoors, avoid anything tall that could get struck by lightning, open areas, anything metal or bodies of water.

Swing and tree limb. The words Remove outdoor objects that can fly away.

Remove things outside your home that could cause damage. These could be dead tree limbs or outdoor furniture that could fly away in the wind.

Person showering and power outlet, all crossed out.

If you are inside avoid taking a shower or bath and unplug electrical items to prevent power surges.

Weather person giving weather forecast.

To be safe it helps to know common terms. A “thunderstorm watch” means there might be a storm and a “warning” means there is one or one is coming.

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Ceiling fan blades spinning.

If you are expecting extreme heat in your area, check to see if your home’s fans or air conditioning are working.

Towel or blanket in front of door.

You can add towels around your doors and windows to keep the cool air inside.

Window with window curtains.

Cover windows that receive a lot of sun with drapes or shades to keep rooms from getting hot.

Glass of water and crossed out french fries.

Drink plenty of water and avoid salty foods.

Woman standing at the bottom of stairs.

Try to stay in air conditioning or on the lowest floor of a building.

Man with hat and sunglasses.

Wear loose, lightweight clothes and wear a hat that will protect your face from the sun.

Dog and child in a car with entire image crossed out.

Never leave children or pets alone in vehicles.

Man sweating with bottle of water.

If you start to feel body cramps or exhaustion, go to a cool area and drink water or a sports drink.

Man and woman standing under a tree.

If you have to work outside, try to have someone with you so you can help each other if needed.

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Clouds with lightning and a house.

If a strong weather storm comes through your area, you may lose electric power at home.

Paper and pencil.

If you think your power may go out, there are a few things you can do to prepare.

First aid kit, cell phone with charger and battery.

Charge your cell phone and make sure your emergency kit is fully stocked.

Glass of ice cubes with an arrow pointing to a refrigerator.

Add containers of ice to your fridge and freezer to help keep food cold.

Refrigerator.

If you lose power, limit opening your fridge and freezer doors to keep the cold air inside.

Power plug near a wall.

Unplug electric appliances in case of a power surge.

Glass of water, pants and a t-shirt.

If it’s hot and you can’t leave your home, drink lots of water and wear loose, light-colored clothes.

Jacket and a fireplace.

If it’s cold and you can’t leave your home, wear layers of warm clothes. Be very careful if you also use a fire or candle to stay warm.

Milk with lines indicating smell and medicine bottle and syringe.

When power comes back on, throw out food or medicine that spoiled. Food may be spoiled if it has an unusual smell, color or texture.

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Other downloads

Name Description Type File
Preparing for Winter Weather Social Story This social story explains how to prepare for a winter weather storm emergency and what to do if a storm comes to your area. pdf Download file: Preparing for Winter Weather Social Story
Being Prepared for a Fire Social Story This social story explains how to prepare for a fire emergency and what to do if you experience one. pdf Download file: Being Prepared for a Fire Social Story
Preparing for a Flood Social Story This social story explains how to prepare for a flooding emergency and what to do if there is flooding in your area. pdf Download file: Preparing for a Flood Social Story
Preparing for a Thunder and Lightning Social Story This social story explains how to prepare for a thunder and lightning storm and what to do if a storm comes to your area. pdf Download file: Preparing for a Thunder and Lightning Social Story
Preparing for Extreme Heat Social Story This social story explains how to prepare for extremely hot weather and how to best manage it when it happens. pdf Download file: Preparing for Extreme Heat Social Story
Being Prepared for a Power Outage Social Story This social story explains how to prepare for the power going out in your home or area, what to do when it goes out, and what to do when it comes back on. pdf Download file: Being Prepared for a Power Outage Social Story

This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.