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Kids And Emergency Preparedness

Author: ServiceMaster Restore

Storms, flooding, and other emergency situations are stressful and daunting. As parents, it's important to be properly prepared so we can ensure the safety of our family. Children should understand what to do when disaster strikes, too. That way, when the event actually occurs, they will stay calm, in control and even help others around them. Relieve your children's fears and ensure they know exactly what to do when an emergency arises with these helpful tips from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore®.

Teach Your Kids about Emergency Preparedness

Children are a vulnerable population during emergencies and disasters, and it is crucial to involve them in emergency preparedness efforts. By educating and involving kids in emergency preparedness, you can empower them to take an active role in their own safety and well-being. Here are some key considerations for kids and emergency preparedness:

The proper education about emergency preparedness can instill in your kids the importance of staying safe during a serious situation. Along with teaching your children how to prepare for an emergency or disaster, the following tips can also help them stay confident in the face of a storm:

  • Teach through Books: Purchase books that teach children about handling scary storms or emergencies. These books can provide valuable information and help alleviate their fears.

  • Regular Discussions: Have regular conversations with your children about the family's goals in dealing with emergencies. This includes discussing evacuation plans and preparing the home before a storm hits. Keeping open lines of communication helps them feel more confident and prepared.

  • Practice Runs: Conduct regular practice drills like home fire drills and mock storm evacuations. These drills familiarize children with emergency procedures and help them develop the necessary skills to handle such situations.

  • Collaborate with Schools and Community Leaders: Partner with your children's school and community leaders, such as local police and fire departments, to implement educational programs on emergency preparedness. These initiatives can provide additional resources and reinforce the importance of being prepared.

  • Addressing Emotional Needs: Emergencies can be stressful and frightening for children. Provide reassurance and support, and address their emotional needs during and after an emergency. Encourage open communication and be prepared to answer their questions.

  • Stay Informed: Teach children how to access and understand emergency alerts and warnings. Explain the importance of staying informed about potential hazards and the actions being taken to address them.

  • Community Involvement: Encourage children to get involved in community preparedness efforts. They can participate in local drills, volunteer in community emergency response teams, or engage in school-based emergency preparedness programs.

  • Special Considerations: Children with special needs or medical conditions may require additional planning and preparation. Ensure their specific needs are addressed in the emergency plan and that caregivers, teachers, and emergency responders are aware of these requirements.

  • Continual Education: Emergency preparedness is an ongoing process. Regularly revisit and reinforce emergency preparedness measures with children. As they grow older, involve them in more advanced preparedness activities and discussions.

  • Lead by Example: Set a positive example by practicing what you preach. Children are more likely to embrace emergency preparedness if they see their parents and caregivers taking it seriously and being proactive.

Build Emergency Kits Together

Having a well-stocked emergency kit is a great way to make sure you have everything you need ready to go when disaster strikes. To begin creating your own emergency preparedness kit, follow these simple tips:

  • Build Emergency Kits Together: Involve your children in building an emergency kit. They can suggest items to include, and you can explain the significance of each item during an emergency. Ensure the kit contains essential items like extra batteries, flashlights, non-perishable snacks, and toiletries.

  • Create a First Aid Kit: Prepare a first aid kit with your kids, including items such as bandages, antibacterial ointment, burn cream, and aspirin. Decide on a specific location, such as by the front door, where both the emergency kit and first aid kit will be easily accessible.

  • Play Interactive Games: Interactive games are an excellent way to educate children about important topics. Preparedness is no exception. Engage children in interactive games that teach the importance of preparedness. Games like "Disaster Master," "Build-a-Kit," and "Disaster Hero" can educate children on survival skills and preparedness in a fun and engaging way.

    • Take a look at some of these interactive games shared by Michigan State University Extension to help your kids learn the importance of preparedness:

      • Disaster Master focuses on natural disasters like hurricanes, tornados, wildfires and more. Each level tells a story and asks the user which action they should take to survive the disaster.

      • The Build-a-Kit game lets kids pick items from different rooms of the home to build a virtual emergency kit. At the end of the game, they can print a list of the items they've chosen to keep and use for their own kits.

      • Disaster Hero is a fun game with a gameshow-like format. Kids can play against a natural disaster like a hurricane or flood to test their knowledge of preparedness and survival skills.

Find all these games and other free disaster preparedness games online so your kids can get inspired and encouraged to be better prepared for anything that comes their way.

In the unfortunate event that a disaster does hit your home, know that we're here to help. Call the professionals at ServiceMaster Restore® to get your life back to normal as soon as possible. We're available 24/7/365 every day of the week to help restore your property after any type of natural disaster. Learn more about our residential restore services today or call us today at 1-800-RESPOND.

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