Happiness, security, and bonding are what most parents want for their children. But empowering them with knowledge of emergency preparedness is also especially important. Parents talk and teach their children about so many things in life. Having a plan in place for an emergency is not only smart, but allows your children to build their self-esteem as they learn and are encouraged to follow through in a scary situation.
Make your Emergency Plan Memorable
Sit down and draw a floor plan of each floor of your house. Mark windows and doors, as well as the location of safety kits and exit routes.
Make an emergency preparedness game to ensure you children know the home. Place hiding spots, phones, and exits on a game board and make cards that ask a question about what to do in specific situations. Part of the game should incorporate what is an emergency or not an emergency.
Filling the safety or first aid kit is another creative way to get your kids involved. This will help you make sure everyone knows where it is, what is in it, and how to use it.
Make a list of safe places, people, addresses and phone numbers to keep in each person’s backpack, purse, phone, or other handy place.
Have a Family Meeting to Talk About Emergency Plans
It is not a time to frighten your children, but to empower them. Explain to children that there is less danger when they know how to do some simple things for emergency preparedness. Make sure they understand you are helping them to be safe.
Encourage communication between yourself and your children. Sometimes what is dangerous to children is something a parent may not have thought of, or a parent may help their children think outside the box in certain emergency situations. You and your children probably know of people that were in an emergency situation. Talk about it and see what they think and how they would prepare for the same situation.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The common situations to prepare your children for are fire, flood, tornado, or other weather related situations. Use an inactive phone to practice dialing 911, family members, or other emergency contacts.
Weather or Accident-Related Emergencies are the Most Common
Have a clear emergency preparedness plan, communication, and practice help you have a safe outcome in a weather or accidental emergency.
For tornado safety, make sure your children know which areas in the home are safe. This is usually an interior room or closet on the main floor, or a basement or storm shelter.
Flood and fire safety often go hand-in-hand. If water comes in contact with electrical wiring, it can cause a fire. Make sure your family knows when to look for higher ground during a flood and how to safely leave the home if a fire occurs.
Empowered Children are Safer Children.
Enabling children with emergency preparedness knowledge is key to their welfare and your peace of mind. There are many resources for parents to help in teaching children emergency safety. Take advantage of these tools! Safe children are happy children, and make happy parents.