As an adult, and as a parent you know that you feel more in control of the situation when you’re prepared no matter the circumstances. When an emergency happens and you meet the dilemma head-on with confidence your stress level, and those around you, are lessened.
It’s important, whether in a business or work location or at home with your family that you meet any emergency situation with a plan and action. Your family deserves a sense of calmness, confidence and control.
You can lessen your children’s fears about the unknown by having different yet simple emergency plans for different situations. If your children are old enough to read help them by creating a written down, easy to use plan of action. Smaller children can benefit from a poster or drawings of what to do.
What exactly do you teach your children about different kinds of emergencies?
One of the first things you should teach your children about safety in an emergency is calling for help. Your children should know where your emergency contact list is located and you should teach your children how to call 911 and what to say when they do.
Each child learns in a different manner. Some children learn by repeating verbally, some by just listening and practice sessions help integrate the necessary steps so that they don’t panic.
Share with your children different situations where it’s appropriate to call 911 and when the situation can be solved in a simpler manner such as calling a parent or going to a neighbor’s house. Roll playing can play an important way to get your children interested and to help them remember what to do if a situation arises.
Help Your Children Be Informed
Do your kids know where the first aid kit is stored in the house and in the car?
Do your kids know how to handle strangers? Have you talked about ‘code words’ and ‘safe places’ to go?
If you have a plan for fire have you practiced and know where to meet? A large tree somewhere away from the house perhaps? Have you talked about tornado and earthquake safety? Help your children by teaching them what to do in an emergency but do so in a serious yet teaching manner. Don’t intentionally scare your children.
Here’s a sample emergency list to help you help your kids prepare. Please feel free to modify it to suit your individual needs.
(You can download this document below)
Emergency Preparedness Kids Worksheet
Memorize home and parent phone numbers as well as emergency contact. Keep a printed copy of this list in each child’s backpack/wallet & emergency kit.
Mom (cell): ________________________ (work):_______________________
Dad (cell): ________________________ (work):_______________________
Older Sibling (cell): ________________________ (work):_______________________
Neighbor (home): ________________________ (cell):_______________________
Other Adult (home):________________________ (cell):_______________________
Out of state friend/family (home):________________________ (cell):_______________________
Emergency Contact (name) ____________________ (phone):____________________________
This is the primary person the entire family calls to check in to let them know they are ok and are headed for the designated meeting place.
Emergency Meeting Place:(Location to meet your family outside of the home)
Location in your neighborhood (neighbor’s house, bus stop):
Location outside your neighborhood (library, church, restaurant) – (name & address)
A small map of your general location, with major streets and identifying locations the children will recognize such as a favorite restaurant, the library, etc.