Children experience psychological trauma similar to adults during a disaster but may not have the capability to cope with their emotions. Yet if they know what to do during a disaster and have practiced their family disaster plan, they will be better prepared. Parents have a large role in keeping children calm and ready. Some important steps parents can take to prepare their children for disasters include:
- Developing and practicing a family emergency plan Children1.jpg
- Familiarizing yourself with their school emergency plan
- Teach your children how to recognize danger signals
- Explain how and when to call 911
- Help children to memorize important information like full names, phone numbers, and street addresses.
- Include comforting items in your emergency supply kit: Blankets, toys, stuffed animals, and favorite foods.
Fun video on Kids Preparedness (click on picture)
Kids Disaster Workbook (click on picture)
Preplanning is also important when you have an infant in the family; it would be crucial that your disaster supply kit contain the following:
- Powdered milk
- Moist towelettes
- Diaper rash ointment
Building your family emergency kit can be a long process, so try to have fun with it. It’s also a great way to involve your children and make it educational. It could start with a family meeting over pizza and evolve into a trip to the store to seek out essential emergency supplies.
For more information on preparing children for disaster, visit http://www.ready.gov/kids.