Emergency Preparedness: 5 Things to Teach Your Kids When Disaster Strikes

As a parent, you probably want to protect your children from disasters; however, the unexpected can occur, and you may find that your kids need to react properly in the event of an emergency one day. Teaching them some simple skills can lead to greater outcomes for your entire family.


Make a Plan

The thought of having to tell your kids what they should do in the event of a fire is likely jarring, especially if you’re envisioning them having to escape from their rooms alone. However, it is far better to teach them what to do than to have them confused and uncertain in an emergency. Drawing out a map, for example, of how to escape the house and putting a copy in each child’s room can help.


Teach Them to Call 911

A situation could arise where you are incapacitated and unable to call 911 yourself. Kids Health suggests some strategies, such as role playing, for teaching them how to do so. You should teach your children the appropriate types of scenarios in which to call 911 and about how serious a prank call is. Also, you should make sure they can relay basic information, such as their addresses, phone numbers and your name.


Bug Out BagDesignate an Area for Supplies

According to Rescue AED LLC, even though all different types of emergencies and disasters could arise, you should keep all of the supplies in one place. Designating one area in your home will make it easier for kids to locate the supplies. Make sure that they are able to reach it but that little ones or pets cannot access items that are toxic or choking hazards.


Practice Calming Techniques

You probably know that even as a adult, you can become panicked and fearful in the event of a disaster. Although entirely reducing these feelings is likely impossible, you don’t want your kids to become so nervous that they become a danger to themselves. Encouraging them to remain calm in day-to-day situations that evoke stress can help them to prepare for more serious experiences.


Emergency Numbers

In most scenarios, the first call that you’ll want your kids to make is to 911, and you want to teach them that they should listen to the person on the other end of the line. However, you may also need them to call other numbers, so make sure they know where to locate this list of numbers. It’s tempting to store all number on your cell phone, but that doesn’t necessarily help in the event of a disaster.


A disaster or emergency is generally frightening for everyone involved, yet you don’t want your kids to panic. Talking to them now about what to do, even if doing so is uncomfortable, can make a tremendous difference later.



About the Author:

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Twitter: @LizzieWeakley Facebook: facebook.com/lizzie.weakley

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