It is the goal and purpose of a parent to protect their close ones. This makes preparedness in emergency situations essential for families, especially since things are more challenging when you have to plan for your children’s needs as well. Here are 4 essential preparedness tips any family can follow to prepare for any situation.
Talk About It
Children are often scared by surprises and the unexpected. One way to prepare your children is to include them in your discussions about preparations. Explain what you’re going to do in a calm voice, and let the children see adults discussing options while understanding this is for the family’s sake. Take the time to answer their questions, whether you’re discussing what to do during a storm or evacuation.
Plan on more than one emergency meeting site for your family if there is an emergency and make certain your child knows where they are. For example, if you get out after a fire, where will you meet up? If that’s not safe, where is the second choice? Discuss your plans so that your children understand them as well.
Then practice evacuation routes with your family, whether it is exiting the home or leaving the neighborhood. Practice moving to the one safe room in the house if there is a tornado and discuss why you should be there versus somewhere else. You could also check online resources together as well and come up with solutions. The Mashoid website has a survival tips section with more things you should consider doing.
Prepare with Children in Mind
Make a get-out-of-dodge bag for your child. This wouldn’t just be clothes but toys, comfort items, and games. A few treats and distractions could keep a child calm during almost any disaster or evacuation. Pack plenty of personal hygiene items for children such as diapers and wipes in addition to toilet paper. When you are stocking up food for an emergency or emergency kit, have food that everyone can eat. For example, you may need to stock up on baby food and formula for a little one.
Make Sure They Know Who They Are
Regardless of your child’s age, make certain that they have memorized their full legal name, address, phone number and other identifying information. They need to memorize as much as possible. Children need to be able to state the legal names of their guardians. A child asking for “Mommy” won’t be reunited as quickly as one who says, “My mother’s name is X Y, and we live at 123 Main Street.” Put pictures of the family in your child’s get out of dodge bag to aid in identifying the family if separated.
Teach Them How to Recognize Danger
You’re not always going to be there to protect your child. Prepare your child by teaching them which dangers to avoid. Teach them what downed power lines look like and why they need to stay away from them. Teach them what leaking gas smells like and to ask an adult if they aren’t sure. Teach your children what to do in an earthquake so they know what to do when it happens. Your child should know how to stop, drop and roll if on fire.
Advance planning today will accomplish far more than keeping your family safe. Planning and preparation now will make it easier to literally weather any storm with your family and have a clear plan of action to manage catastrophes.