Disaster can strike without warning and the aftermath can be extremely damaging. Knowing what to do is your best protection and YOUR responsibility. Teaching your children a few basic things about disaster and response could mean the difference between life and death in a disaster situation. Do your kids know these 5 crucial things?
Top 5 things to teach children before a disaster:
1. Know what can happen – Your child should be familiar with the types of disasters that can occur in the region where you live, work and play. These events can vary from those affecting only you and your family, like a home fire or medical emergency, to those affecting your entire community, like a tornado or flood. Review the different possibilities with your child so they will be more prepared if disaster strikes.
2. Know what to do – make sure your child knows how to respond in the case of specific disasters. Practice these procedures with them. Simulate with your child the appropriate response in a medical emergency or natural disaster. Have them find two ways out of every room in your home and practice when and how to dial 911.
3. Know where to go – Set two designated places to meet your child should you become separated:
one outside of the home, in the case of a fire or in-home emergency and one outside of the neighborhood in the case of evacuation. Have your child direct you to these places, to ensure that they know the route on their own.
4. Know what to bring – have personalized go kits for each family member. These should include food, water, clothing, and any medications that your child might need. Make sure your child knows where his or her kit is located. Download a kit checklist.
5. Know who to call – Ask an out-of-state person to be your family contact. Make sure children are familiar with this person and comfortable calling them. Practice this call with your child. Download the Emergency Contact Card.