Preparing Your Children for Emergency Situations
Preparing your kids with what to expect and how to plan for an emergency is essential to mitigate their fears as well as prevent confusion. When discussing the plan be sure to include what to do if they are at home as well as if they are away from home at school or at extracurricular activities. ??The first topic that should be covered with your children is communication. Just like with any other relationship—teacher and parent, student and teacher, boss and employee, spouses, friends communication is key! Be sure that they are comfortable sending text messages, that they know the emergency contact numbers and that they know how to use the emergency features on their cellular devices. Next be sure to make sure that the school records have the correct contact information for the people who you want to be their emergency contacts should they be unable to reach you. When you have your family meeting make sure that you discuss who is on the list with your children so that they know who they can expect to pick them up in an emergency situation.
The next topic that should be reviewed with your children should be the emergency items that need to be taken with them in the event of an emergency. Any medications, pertinent medical instructions, supplies or documents that they will need should they be displaced should be listed and an emergency kit should be put together.
Finally you should have a family meeting where you discuss the plan and role play different scenarios that could happen so that they can familiarize themselves with the situations. Emergency situations can be very stressful for children and the best way to prepare them is to walk them through all the possible scenarios and arm them with as much information as you can so that they feel informed.