What if you and your family are not together when an emergency or a disaster strikes?
Much of children’s time is spent at school, at a friends, or at other activities away from the home. Most adults spend the majority of the day away from the family and the home. Families are often separated when disaster or emergency hits.
We need a plan. How will we contact one another? Where will we meet? How will we get back together? Who do we call? Each member of the family needs to know how to handle different situations.
This may sound silly, but, I remember watching ‘The Land Before Time.’ It always devastated me how poor Cera was separated from her parents. She was lost and alone and didn’t know what to do. When we watched that movie, my mommy would say ‘what do we do if we ever get separated?’ and we would discuss different situations, like being ‘lost’ at Wal-Mart. My mom did a great job at making sure we knew from a young age what to do in all sorts of emergency situations.
- Talking about emergencies can be stressful and scary. Start small & keep it age appropriate.
- Small children can learn their parents names and phone numbers.
- Children should know how & when to call 911, and their home address.
- Children need to know who ‘trusted’ adults and neighbors are.
- If you are separated in an emergency, Where should the child go? Where will you meet?
- Talk to your children about strangers and intruders.
- Create a 72 Hour Kit for your child.
- Discuss how to handle Bug Bites, sprains, cuts, and minor emergencies
- Children can keep a small emergency kit in their back pack at school with basics like a flash light, contact information, water, a blanket , ect
- Discuss major emergencies: flood, tornado, earthquake, ect
- Discuss and prearranged a care-provider for your child incase you are not available
- Inquire about your daycare or schools emergency plans.
Family Emergency Plan:
- Who are your out-of-town contacts? Many times in an emergency, it is easier to make a long distance call than a local. This out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate between family members
- Learn to use text messaging. Many times text messaging services work in areas where phone signal may be too weak to make a call.
- List emergency contact as ‘ICE’ (In Case of Emergency), many times emergency personnel will look for your ICE as a contact if you are in an emergency.
- Understand the emergency alert services for your area. Does your area have a tornado siren? Are emergencies broadcasted by local TV stations or local radio? Does you community have an automated telephone system to alert of emergencies? Is there an alert service for your area you can subscribe to?
- Keep important documents and information in a safe place where you may access them in the event of an emergency.
- Create Wallet Cards with emergency information for family members
- Use the Ready.gov family plan creator to easily create a plan for your family
- Inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
- Talk to family and neighbors about how you can work together in the event of an emergency
- Know what to do if you are in an emergency in a moving vehicle or in a high-rise building
- Become as informed on emergency and safety information as possible
- know CPR
- Know how to handle minor emergencies, such as sprains, burns, cuts, ect
- Know how to handle broken bones, severe injury, snake bites, allergic reactions, ect
- Have a 72 Hour kit ready for family members
- Have a 72 hour kit in your vehicle and office
- Have an Evacuation Plan
- Be informed
- BE PREPARED
In an emergency situation, knowledge is power. We must be prepared. We must have a plan of action.