As a parent or caretaker, thinking about natural disasters or other emergency situations can be unsettling and difficult. Emergencies aren’t an easy topic to discuss with young children, so how can you make sure that your family is prepared without making your child feel afraid?
By prioritizing emergency preparedness, you will have peace of mind knowing your family will be calm and prepared if disaster strikes. Here are a few ways you can help ensure your family is ready in case of an emergency:
- Complete these “Prep Steps”: We teamed up with our national partner Save the Children to share three family-friendly Prep Steps that help families tackle emergency preparedness: 1) Know your emergency contacts; 2) Create a family emergency plan; and 3) Pack a disaster supply kit. You can even do this Prep Step Dance together as a family!
- Read together: Teach your child how to respond to and cope with emergency situations by reading books like “Clifford and the Big Storm” by Norman Bridwell and “Rhinos Who Rescue” by Julie Mammano.
- Practice safety skills in fun ways: Engage your little one in age-appropriate activities and lessons, such as using play phones to practice dialing 9-1-1; singing songs about firemen, police officers and nurses; and practicing how to stop, look and listen when outside near roads.
- Learn how to talk to your child about tragedy: When speaking to young children about emergencies, it’s important to be honest without oversharing details that create fear. Use age-appropriate, simple language to help your child feel safe and protected.
Encouraging your family members to learn about the importance of safety and being prepared for emergencies may very well save their lives if a situation occurs. For more information about how to protect children during disasters, visit www.savethechildren.org/GetReady.