Emergency Preparedness for Kids

When disaster strikes, knowing that everyone in your family is prepared can provide peace of mind. Use these tips to teach children how to react in a variety of emergencies, from escaping a house fire to getting lost in a crowd. Then, discuss the plan of action for each of these scenarios with your children.

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Does your child know what to do in an emergency? Use these tips to prepare for fires, natural disasters, and other possible emergencies:

Plan an Escape. Create a map of your home and all of the ways out of it. Make note of windows, doors, and possible obstacles (like heavy doors or large furniture pieces). Practice different scenarios with your family to make sure everyone has a few different ways to exit the home in case of an accident.

Buy Emergency Supplies. Purchasing fire extinguishers, flashlights, first aid kits, and even food storage can help your family during disasters. Keep your emergency supplies in a safe, easy-to-reach place so your children know where to find it. Practice using them, if you can, just in case your children need them when you’re not home.

Memorize Your Cell Phone and Home Address. Would your children know how to get ahold of you if an accident happened or they were lost? Teach each of your children your phone number and home address so they can find you in case of an emergency. If they have trouble memorizing it, try setting it to the tune of a nursery rhyme.

Make a Code Word for Safe Adults. If someone else is picking up your kids from school or otherwise approaches them, give them a code word like “Unicorn” or “Marshmallow” to say so your kids know that they’re safe. Tell your children not to talk or go with an adult unless they say the code word.

Teach Kids How to Use 911. Children might not know what to do in every emergency, but they can always call for help. Show your children how to dial 911 into their phone. Make sure they know that 911 is only for emergencies to prevent false alarms.

With a little guidance and a little practice, your children will be prepared for a variety of emergencies!

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