Unthinkable emergencies can happen at any time to anybody. These can already be high-stress situations. However, if you have a family with small children, it can be even more stressful. There are, however, ways to prepare now to minimize the stress later. Here are a few ideas to help your family be better prepared for an emergency.
Create and practice specific plans–
Your family needs to have plans for every possible emergency. Recognize possible emergencies for your area and adjust accordingly.
- Fire evacuation- Have your kids help you create an evacuation plan complete with different routes and meeting places. If they help create it, they will be more likely to remember the plan.
- Earthquakes- Show your kids how to be safe in an earthquake. Teach them to get underneath a sturdy piece of furniture and make themselves into a small ball, protecting their necks with their hands.
- Tornadoes- Children need to know where the shelters are in school and at home so they know exactly where to go.
Each child should have an emergency pack next to his/her bed to grab and go. That pack does not need to be a heavy, complete pack. Have some food and water, a change of clothes, a flashlight, 2-way walkie/talkie radios, and small toys in that pack. Parents’ packs can be more inclusive.
Also, for emergencies while your child is at school, designate a pocket in your child’s backpack for emergency items. Insert a water pouch, a few granola bars, emergency blanket, and a picture of your family with a little note on the back.
Teach Through Recreation
Family camping trips are not only fun, but they can help teach your children important survival skills. Teach your children fire-starting techniques, how to build emergency shelters, which plants are edible, etc. These activities don’t need to be in the name of emergency preparedness. If you make them fun, your children will learn important skills without even knowing it.