Disasters can strike quickly and without warning. They are frightening for adults, and can be traumatic for children, especially if they don't know what to do.
It is essential to ensure all family members know what to do during an emergency, including familiarity with the family emergency plan and contact information, posession of individual emergency kits, and knowledge how to get to a safe place, contact each other, and reunite in an emergency situation. Remember, disaster can strike while family members are separated.
Family Emergency Plan
Every family should make an emergency plan, which includes contact person(s) with whom to check in and learn family members' whereabouts and set a meet-up point. Use this Family Emergency Plan (FEP) from FEMA's ready.gov to create your own family plan.
School & Day Care Emergency Plans
Ask your families' schools and day cares about their emergency plans, including evacuation plans and early closings. Insure you integrate the emergency plans at places where family spends time, including work and school, sports events and religious institutions, with your family emergency plan.
Pregnancies and Emergencies
Pregnant women must take extra precautions during emergencies. View guidelines about how to prepare for emergencies while pregnant.
Children and Evacuations
During a disaster, you and your family may need to shelter-in-place for multiple days, and/or leave your home. Both of theses situations can make children anxious, confused, frightened, and, at times, bored.
Some emergencies will require sheltering-in-place, but this may mean being stuck at home without power or heating/cooling. Prepare accordingly by adding lightweight, non-electric-dependent books, toys or activities to emergency kits to help occupy children and distract and/or entertain them. Have a set of non-perishable snacks in case your family has to evacuate to a state or federal shelter.
Ensure all children have their own emergency kit, including infants. Have a week's supply of all prescription and over-the-counter medicines on hand, and include extra supplies for young children and infants, including formula, botles and/or powdered milk; diapers, diaper rash ointment, and antibacterial wipes/towelettes; baggies and extra trash bags for dirty diapers (remember, trash pickup may not run on schedule); any other daily supplies.
View a list of resources for families and parents planning for emergencies.
formula and bottles and/or powdered milk (plus extra water), diapers and diaper rash ointment, etc, antibacterial wipes and baggies, etc.Children and Their Response to Disaster