Three Tips to Help Families Prepare for the Worst

What makes your child feel safe? Maybe it’s cuddling with a blanket or a favorite stuffed animal, wearing superhero pajamas, or being held in your arms. Sometimes it’s a beloved pet – a best friend who will stick with him through thick and thin, and protect him from danger. That’s why Save the Children’s new Get Ready Get Safe ambassador is Lassie, the adorable American icon known for saving the day and helping her family thwart disaster! 

On September 18, Lassie stopped by Primrose School of Midtown at Colony Square to help children get pepped to prep with Save the Children’s new Prep Rally Program. The new emergency preparedness program teaches children safety basics through fun and engaging activities with the infamous, heroic pup, like story sharing and a disaster supplies relay! In addition to leading cheers and taking a preparedness pledge, the Primrose students gathered essential emergency go-kit supplies and read books about important safety topics. Each child also took home a Disaster Checklist to help prepare their families for emergencies.

Let’s be realistic. Talking about disasters with our children isn’t exactly fun. It’s scary, and it never seems like the right time. But thinking through and talking about worst-case scenarios can help prevent worst-case realities. Ultimately, children will feel safer in emergency situations if they know what to do and understand that adults are equipped to protect them.

Although Save the Children’s 2014 Disaster Report Card finds that 74 percent of parents are at least somewhat concerned that their child is at risk of disaster, more than half of them don’t feel prepared to protect their families. Here are some simple steps you can take to protect your family and community in an emergency situation:

How to Protect Your Family

  1. Make a plan: Include emergency contacts, evacuation routes, meet-up locations and safe rooms in a detailed and thoughtful plan. Talk about it with your kids and reference the Disaster Checklist to make sure you have thought through every scenario.
  2. Make a kit: In addition to basic survival items like water, canned food, radio and flashlights, be sure to include kid-friendly items such as games, activities and comfort items. This Disaster Supplies Checklist can help you get started.
  3. Stay Informed: Be aware of the risks in your community. Monitor weather, and be familiar with your community’s emergency alert systems.

How to Protect Your Community

Host a Prep Rally: Like the event at Primrose Midtown, you can host a Prep Rally in your town with this free, easy-to-use Prep Rally Kit. It contains games and activities designed for kids of varying ages and is flexible to fit the specific needs of your program – whether it’s camp, an afterschool program or a community festival. Register online for the chance to have Lassie visit your event!

With these tools and event, you can prepare your family and your community in the event of an emergency, while keeping it fun and age-appropriate for the little ones. As anyone who’s seen the TV show knows, Lassie was a hero because she always knew what course of action to take in any crisis situation, while her baffled owners and neighbors were at a loss as to what to do. Prepare yourself, your family and your community so that when disaster strikes, you know exactly what to do and can take action to keep your loved ones safe.