Through September and October, Primrose Schools® will be sharing information and resources from national partner Save the Children® and its Get Ready. Get Safe. initiative to help families get prepared for emergencies.This blog post marks the fourth post in the nine-week series.
In the frightening moments after an unforeseen crisis, too many families find themselves unsure of where to meet, where to go, or how to contact each other. Forty-two percent1 of parents don’t know where to meet up with their child if his or her school or child care center is evacuated. The good news is that with one conversation, you can change that.
This week, Primrose and Save the Children will help you move one step closer to getting your family prepared for an emergency by walking through how to develop a family communication plan and communications strategy.
Developing a Family Communication Plan
Making a family communication plan is one of the most important things you can do to guarantee that your family knows exactly how to reach each other and stay safe in an emergency. Start by getting your family together and determining the following:
- A local and regional meeting place;
- Facilities in your community that can serve as shelters in case of an emergency;
- An emergency contact outside of your area who will not be affected by a local disaster;
- Family, school and work information; and
- Medical and insurance information.
Use this worksheet provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to put your plan on paper.
Making a Communications Strategy
Next, come up with a communications strategy – simply stated, come up with ways that you will reach and talk to your children in the event of a crisis. Communication systems and electricity can be unreliable during emergencies, so it’s important to have a plan that includes multiple emergency contacts and multiple ways to reach each other:
- Create Emergency Contact Cards with in-town and out-of-town emergency contacts for your family if you did not already do so from Step 3.
- Remind your family that during an emergency text messages are often better than phone calls – they can get through even when phone calls can’t.
- Create an “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) contact list in all of the cell phones in your household that includes phone numbers of family members and out-of-area contacts. Keep the list printed out on your fridge or somewhere easily accessible for children, and make sure your children know where it is.
Getting your kids involved in emergency preparedness doesn’t need to be difficult or stressful – in fact, you can make it fun! Practice parts of your family plan and help your child understand different emergency situations by playing Save the Children’s Leader Says game.
Be sure to check out our next blog post to continue bringing your family closer to being disaster-ready!