Preparedness for Children
Disasters often strike quickly and without warning. They are frightening for adults, and can be very scary for children. Your family may have to leave home and change your daily routine. Be prepared to give your children guidance that will help reduce their fears.
Make a plan for children
- Include them in the planning process.
- Make sure they know who to call in case of an emergency. It might be easier to reach someone who is out of town.
- Encourage them to text. It may be easier to send a text and they won’t tie up phone lines for emergency workers.
- Create a fire escape plan that has two ways out of every room and practice it with them twice a year.
- Choose a family meeting spot to go to in case you get separated.
- Ensure they have all family contact info and meeting spot location in their backpack, wallet, or taped inside a school notebook. If they have a cell phone, make sure all numbers are programmed in.
Build a kit for children:
- Comfort items: stuffed animal, a doll, a pacifier, or a blanket
- Personal hygiene: baby wipes, diapers, nursing pads
- Children’s activities: books, puzzles, and games
- Infant nutrition: nursing supplies, formula, pre-packaged baby food
- Medical needs: infant/child fever reducer, rash ointment
After an event:
- Limit TV time: intense media coverage
- Listen to their needs concerning the situation
- Provide a sense of comfort and security
- Monitor for changes in behavior such as sleeping and eating
- Re-establish routines as soon as possible
- Allow your children volunteer opportunities to help others
Fun, interactive resources are available to help children and teenagers become part of your family’s emergency planning and preparedness process:
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers family-oriented, preparedness-themed activities such as word searches, go-bag games and emergency-kit scavenger hunts.
More information can be found at: www.ready.gov/kids