Get your Family Involved in Disaster Preparedness

By Carlo Morelli

Housefires, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, and the threat of terrorist attacks are all, unfortunately, common events. When disaster hits, will your family be able to deal with an emergency? Proactively preparing for possible disasters is one of the most important things you can do for the well-being of your family.

Most parents want to shelter their children from these fears by not talking about potential disasters for fear of upsetting their loved ones. This is a natural desire, but openly and calmly teaching your child about disaster preparation is the best approach in the long run, and can instill a sense of confidence and security in your child. Here are some ways to help your child learn to be prepared.

Find out your home and local area’s particular dangers: Is your area prone to certain natural disasters? Talk with your kids about what sort might strike in your area and explain them. Again, the aim is not to alarm or frighten your children. Calmly reassure them that they are safe, and that it’s important they learn what to do just in case.

Create a family emergency plan: After you have talked about the possible hazards in your home and area, draw up a detailed emergency plan. If an emergency occurs while your child is at school and you are at work, where will you meet? Agree on an emergency contact person, like a neighbor, nearby relative, or friend. Write down emergency contact information and have your children carry it with them at all times.

Put together an emergency kit with your child: The kit should include fresh water supplies, non-perishable food, batteries, flashlights, emergency contact information, and an emergency first-aid kit. Make a checklist of everything you should have in your kit and take your kids shopping for them to get them even more involved.

Select a place in your house where you can keep your emergency supplies. This should be a cool, dry location, out of the way, but within reach of your children.

Rehearse your family emergency plan: Even though putting a family emergency plan into place is important, without practice, children may forget what to do if disaster really does strike. Every six months or so, take a couple of hours to practice your family emergency plan. Using at least two agreed on evacuation routes, practice exiting the house. Stress the importance of getting out of the house quickly and safely.

Carlo Morelli writes for OnlineTips.Org, where you can read tips on home security alarm monitorsceramic tile floor and other home/garden topics.

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