Disaster Preparedness and your children

Disaster preparedness is not necessarily a hot topic at the family dinner table, but it can be a great time to introduce it. Whether your child is an adolescent, teenager or young adult, there are simple steps you can teach them. Having these discussions ahead of time can reduce fear or anxiety. I highly recommend getting your children involved in preparedness activities. 
Here are a few tips:
1. Talk to your children about the types of disasters that may happen and how they can respond. Earthquakes for example. You can teach them to Drop, cover and hold on under a sturdy piece of furniture in the event of a quake.
2. Involve your children in building of their own disaster kit. Remember, children grow. So that extra pair of shoes or clothing will need to be updated. For a complete list of what to put in your kit, visit our home page on this site. 
3. Teach your little ones how to call 911 and how to give their name and address.
4. Post emergency contact numbers on the refrigerator.
5. Identify escape routes in each room of your home and practice with your kids in the event of a home fire. This can be a fun activity that can increase their sense of safety and situational awareness. 
6. Pick a location outside of your home where you would meet if you had to be separated and are unable to reach other. Choose landmark places such as a park or a library. 
7. Identify a close friend that they can contact if you are not together and make sure they know their phone number.
8. Sign up for local emergency alerts. If your kids are in college, make sure they are informed in the event of a disaster. Don’t forget to sign yourself up as well.
9. Educate yourself on disaster plans at your children’s school.
10. Teach your kids how to use a fire extinguisher. 
While we hope that we never have to put these plans in place, these lessons can save their lives. 
Stay safe everyone!