With school starting back up, it is important to make sure that your children know what to do in case the unexpected happens. While no one likes to think about those situations, being prepared for emergencies is the best method to deal with them. Preparing your child can help whether they are with you or elsewhere in an emergency.
A parents’ number one concern is to make sure that their child is safe. Thanks to reminders like National Preparedness Month in September and readiness programs, there are resources that are at your disposal to help your child learn how to react in the case of an emergency.
Here are some ideas to help teach your kids preparedness from a young age:
- Build a kid kit: in case you’re not home and something happens, it can be helpful to have an emergency kit ready that your child can easily access and is familiar with. Including items such as water, a flashlight, a favorite stuffed toy, a list of emergency numbers, etc., can make all the difference for your child when the time comes.
- Practice different scenarios: when you are driving in the car or even sitting at home, verbally running through possible scenarios of emergencies is a good way to practice with your child and help them figure out what to do. Even try running a fire drill at home so your kids know of multiple safe ways in and out of your home.
- Place a call list in their backpack: it is quite a lot to ask your child to memorize every number they should call in case of an emergency. Typing or writing out an emergency contact list to use in case of emergency is an easy option. This can also help your child’s teachers in case they need to get a hold of someone when you are not available.
- Understanding when to use 9-1-1: make sure your child knows the difference between situations that require them dialing 9-1-1. Also, practice how to recognize first responders such as police officers, firefighters and more with them so they know who will be there to help in an emergency (in addition to you).
These tips are a few of many that can help jumpstart your family’s preparedness efforts. It doesn’t have to be a scary experience for them or for you. Practicing disaster scenarios can almost play out like a game, but the important lesson is that when the unexpected does happen, the proper reactions are ready. For more tips and resources, look into the local preparedness program, ReadyOC.
Thinking about these types of situations can be scary and stressful, but you will definitely thank yourself later for making sure that your child knows what to do in the case of an emergency. There is no way to tell when a disaster could happen but it is always best to be prepared.
ReadyOC is a public service campaign funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) aimed at educating and empowering Orange County residents, businesses and the community to better prepare for any kind of natural, health or man-made threat. Through www.ReadyOC.org, the goal is to get local residents and businesses better prepared for a variety of emergency situations that could impact the county, and also to offer opportunities for concerned citizens to get involved with area readiness efforts. Working together, everyone can make a difference in creating awareness, motivating preparedness and encouraging involvement.