Involve The Whole Family In Emergency Plans
No place or area can be considered to be free from the potential of disasters or emergencies. Regardless of where you live, you and your family could be exposed
to dangerous conditions and circumstances, often over which you have no control. However, you will greatly increase your chances of coming through the situation
with little or no damage if you take some time to prepare yourself and your family before an emergency occurs. The first thing to do is to take stock of what
could conceivably happen where you are, and then make preparations accordingly.
Emergency supplies of water and food are the first things that should be addressed. No matter where you live, you will need these for basic survival. You
should reasonably collect enough of these to keep you and your family (don’t forget pets, either) hydrated and fed for at least one week. Bear in mind
that approximately one gallon of water for each person will be needed. Nonperishable food, either canned, dehydrated, or freeze dried should also be provided.
Make sure that everyone in the family, except those too small to walk on their own, knows where these supplies are kept. They should be stored somewhere cool, but
should be easily accessible.
First aid supplies are needed under ordinary circumstances, but will be more needed during an emergency when regular medical assistance may not be available right away.
These supplies should be kept in one place, in a box or backpack. Everyone in the family should understand how to use the supplies, and do not hesitate to
teach even toddlers how to apply bandages. Young children are eager to participate in family activities and are often much more clever and teachable than adults suppose.
One of the best ways to prepare for a disaster is to have practice drills before anything occurs. It is easy for people to panic when there is an emergency,
and this usually happens because the people involved simply do not know what to do or where to go. Having practice drills can help to minimize or eliminate the
possibility of panic and help keep everyone safer.
Everyone should know how to get out of the house quickly and where to meet once outside. Older children will be able to absorb this information fast, but
give younger ones several practice sessions to make sure they understand what to do. This will help to build the confidence of all concerned and make it
less likely that injuries will occur.
Giving each child some responsibility for emergency preparations can help them to contribute positively to the family’s survival. Older children, over age 10,
are both physically and mentally able to help with nearly every phase of emergency and disaster planning. Very young children can be given easier
assignments, such as being in charge of the wind up radio. Make sure that you do not give a 4 year old the responsibility of taking care of firearms, use common
sense when making assignments.
When working with children in disaster planning, keep the lessons positive. Do not get impatient with youngsters if they do not
grasp something as quickly as you might, be patient and praise them when everything goes smoothly.