Prepare Your Child for an Emergency
It can be difficult to prepare kids for disasters. Especially because they cannot fully understand the severity of disastrous situations. This is why youth preparedness is so important.
As week 3’s topic of National Preparedness Month, Ready.gov has some great tips for how to prepare your child for a disaster.
Preparing Your Child
One of the first ways that you can familiarize your children with emergency situations is to talk to them about the different kinds of disasters that can affect your area. It is important to keep open lines of communication about disaster situations like: active shooters, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires. It is also important to not over complicate these situations with children. Each parent knows their own child’s maturity level and what kind of information that they can handle. The goal of this open communication is to familiarize your children, not scare them.
A second way to prepare your child for an emergency situation is to make sure that they know how to get ahold of you. Ways to do this are to have them memorize important information like:
- Their address.
- Important phone numbers – parents, grandparents, family friends.
We live in an age of cell phones which means that contact information is not always memorized. Work with your children to memorize your family’s most important contact information in the event of cell phones not working or family members becoming separated.
Creating an emergency evacuation plan is a third way to prepare your children for a disaster. It is important that you both create an easy to follow evacuation plan and practice it regularly. There is no point in having a plan if no one knows how to execute it. For more information about how to create a plan check out this blog post – Emergency Evacuation Plan.
Preparing For Your Child
As a child’s parent/caregiver there are many things that you will have to prepare for them. One of these things are their emergency contact records with their school. Your child’s school should always have the most up-to-date information in order to get ahold of you as quickly as possible. These records should also include other vital information, like what medication they are on.
While preparing for your child you should also make sure that you have an emergency kit packed specifically for them. This kit should include the same emergency supplies that you have included in your kit, like:
- First Aid Kit
But, it should also include comfort items like stuffed animals and games. Not only do kids attention need to be held in these sometimes long boring evacuation situations, but these situations are also scary and kids need comforting familiar items to help them through this difficult time.
No one wants their child to have to experience an emergency situation. But, if a child has to experience it, is important that they feel as safe and secure as possible. Take this week to create your own youth preparedness plan for your family!
-The IFS Team