If you live by yourself, then getting your whole household on the same page is a simple task. However, if there are two or more of you, communication becomes an important factor in quality of life, and even safety, particularly if you have kids.
When you’re living in a group setting, it isn’t enough for just one person in the household to be prepared for emergencies. Even if it’s one person who has done the research and the planning—and we’ve stressed this before—it’s absolutely crucial that this person shares what they’ve learned.
This is even more important to remember if you have kids in your household. Here are a few handy tips to help your kids remember what they need to do in the case of an emergency!
- If your children are very young, you may need to run through your emergency plan more often, so that they remember what to do.
- Your children may also need more detailed instructions. For example instead of saying, “Our emergency meeting place is across the street.” You may want to include “Look both ways before crossing the street” to your explanation.
- You may also need to include explanations of what each item in their emergency kit is for, and how it’s used.
- It’s also important to let your children know—and show them physically—where the emergency supplies are kept. And on that note, it’s best if you keep the supplies within their reach!
Here are some other helpful tips:
- Remember to prepare your children for each kind of emergency that could happen in your region, including natural disasters, as well as house fires.
- If you haven’t already created your family emergency kit, get your children involved when you do. If you’ve already done it, you can still go through the kit item by item and talk about the importance of each one, and if relevant, how to use it. Depending on the age of your children, you may want to make this a semi-regular routine. You could even turn this into some kind of game, to make it fun!
- It’s also important to talk to your kids about emergencies that might happen while they’re at school or somewhere else where they spend a lot of their time.
- During an emergency, one of the best ways to help your children cope is to simply be there for them, and be willing to talk, if you can. It’s good to let them know that it’s ok to be afraid. Acknowledging your own feelings will also help them feel comforted, along with explaining the situation to them, to the best of your ability.
- During an emergency, it’s ideal to keep a routine if possible, such as regular family dinner time and regular bedtimes.
- After an emergency, you may want to consult a psychologist or social worker for help dealing with any forms of post traumatic stress that the event may have caused.
You might want to consider creating or purchasing a Children’s Comfort Emergency Kit, with extra items to help your children cope with the scariness of an emergency situation. Designed to help put young kids at ease during the first few hours of an emergency, these kits include a handful of activities to keep them occupied, instead of worried or frightened. Having his or her own kit may also help your child feel more in control during a time of chaos. You can also include important contact information in their kit, in case they get separated from you at any time.
Here is what you will find in one of these kits:
Food & Water
- 1 x Water Bottle
- 4 x 4.2 oz Water Pouches
- 4 x 400 Calorie Millennium Bars
- 1 x Children’s Poncho
- 1 x Reflective Blanket
- 1 x Flashlight with Batteries
- 1 x Signal Whistle
- 1 x 8 Hour Lightstick
- 1 x Band Aids (6 pack)
- 1 x Soap
- 1 x Washcloth
- 6 x Wetnaps
- 1 x Toothbrush
- 1 x Tissue (10 pack)
- 1 x Toothpaste
- 1 x Comb
- 1 x Shampoo
Children’s Activity Pack
- 2 x Activity Books
- 1 x Crayons (4 pack)
- 1 x Notepad
- 1 x Pencil
- 1 x Stuffed Bear
What’s more, you can add extra food and water to turn them into 72-hour emergency kits that are kid friendly! Of course, you can also personalize them with items that are specifically important to your children.
If you’re a parent, you may have already considered these points and ideas, and more. Please feel free to add your ideas in the comments below, or contact us with any questions.
Article contributed by Sophie Wooding – Avid gardener and cyclist in Victoria, BC and Content Writer for Frontier.io