A typical hurricane preparedness kit should include essentials such as batteries, water, knowing your evacuation zone and how to equip hurricane shutters. However, one oversight people might not acknowledge is whether your child is mentally prepared to handle a hurricane.
WINK News sat down with Fernanda Ferrell-Zabala, co-author of the children’s book “Rosie and the Hurricane”. The children’s book is indented to be an easy-to-understand story about hurricane preparedness and the many emotions associated with dealing with a hurricane.
“I have a niece and a nephew, who I was talking to quite a bit during the hurricane trying to entertain them a little bit because they were bored. Then it hit me! They had a lot of feelings about the situation. They were scared. They were bored and they were annoyed,” Ferrell-Zabala said.
Fernanda grew up around hurricane preparedness. Her family started Advanced Hurricane Technology. It wasn’t until that conversation with her niece and nephew where Ferrell-Zabala realized kids need a different kind of preparation.
Following the devastation of Hurricane Ian, Ferrell-Zabala sponsored an ice cream truck to visit a local food pantry and provided free ice cream to the families in need.
“We believe that the number one need for kids is joy,” Ferrell-Zabala said. “So, during the aftermath, we sponsored an ice cream truck to go to a food pantry to make sure that it provided free ice cream to all the families and the kids loved it.”
Alongside her sister-in-law and another co-author, Ferrell-Zabala felt the need to write the book to help all children deal with the complexities of hurricanes. The team found an illustrator, who’s dog Napolean is featured in the book.
The eponymous Rosie was inspired by Ferrell-Zabala’s youngest daughter Olivia Rose.
“The Lee County school system has not only approved this book for all of their students from kindergarten through second grade, but they have also added it as part it’s curriculum,” Ferrell-Zabala said.
Ferrell-Zabala is currently raising money with the goal of donating the books to the Lee County School District. If you’d like to help, you can donate here through her website.