Source: Igor Yaruta/123RF
Are Your Children Ready for an Emergency?
Last week we covered how to look after our pets in Is Your Pet Ready for an Emergency?. This week, the next article in our Going Beyond – Preparing the Whole Family series hits close for many of us. It is scary to think that our loved ones may one day be faced with an emergency, especially when it comes to our young children. As much as we want to put that thought out of our mind, it is a realistic scenario to consider. Spending the time preparing our kids is an important part of a safety plan. We see what natural disasters can do to a family and a community and many people are not ready for what might come; those ‘just in case’ moments are what we need to be ready for.
In the event that a disaster should occur when your child is at school, a friend’s house, or home by themselves, it is a good idea for them to know what to do and how to react. Most schools in Canada are required to have parents make up emergency kits for their child should they need to stay at school until help arrives. Make sure your child knows how to reach you or that family friends are able to get in touch with you to let you know your child is safe. If your child is home alone, ensure they know where the emergency kit is, how to stay safe, and who to call if they feel scared or in danger.
The Children’s Comfort Emergency Kit includes enough supplies for a day and some extra things to pass the time. In addition to the usual emergency kit supplies it is also important to think of things that may be different for each child or family. Making your children feel comfortable during a period of uncertainty is crucial. Some additional items to think about adding to your kit may include:
- A list of contact numbers for your child
- Some cash should they need it
- A personal letter from parents letting them know things will be ok and they are loved
- Medications they take regularly (check expiration dates)
- Family pictures
- Toys or games appropriate for their age
- A stuffed animal or blanket
Sites like HealthyChildren.org have wonderful lists of simple steps to help you get started. Knowing our children are safe or that they have an idea of what to do if a disaster strikes, will give us some peace of mind. It is natural for panic to set in during emergencies, however if we have the supplies, and know our kids are safe, we are better able to function and everyone feels more secure.
Next week we will feature Preparedness for Seniors.