A Parent’s #1 Concern in a Disaster
So a major earthquake has just occurred or a tornado just blew through your town (or living room). As a parent what’s your biggest concern?
As a parent myself I can tell you honestly that my biggest concern in a disaster is not actually for my own well-being. I have six major concerns and they come in the form of a new baby up to a pre-teen.
I recognize that as a parent of six young kids that it’s my responsibility to insure their safety and well-being. For parents it’s important to realize that a disaster can cause extreme fear and panic and traumatize your children. Including your children in your emergency prep plans can literally make all the difference.
Getting an emergency kit is just the beginning. Just as important to physical preparation is the need to get your children mentally and emotionally prepared. The first step to accomplishing this is to include them in your emergency plan. The more prepared they are personally the easier it’ll be for them to handle the real thing. FEMA has an incredible resource for getting kids ready for an emergency. In fact, they’ve devoted a section of their site for helping children get ready. It’s interactive, including different activities that help children take a hands approach to helping the family get ready. Their 4 step children’s section includes:
Step 1: Creating a Kit
Step 2: Making a Plan
Step 3: Knowing the Facts
Step 4: Graduating from Readiness U
You can check it out here:http://www.ready.gov/kids
I personally followed there advice and recently updated my 72 hour kits. I checked the dates on my food and water and made sure that I had sufficient supplies for everyone. I didn’t do this alone though; I turned it into a family activity. As I pulled each item out of the bag I was able to talk to my kids about what the different items were and the types of emergency situations that might require the use of the different items.
They were all excited about the six 7-in-1 Survival Whistles with an LED Light (one for each of them); an extremely inexpensive item that among other things gives each one of my kids a flashlight and a whistle. The hardest part was getting them to put everything back into the backpacks when we were done.
While a major disaster may not be a particularly fun experience, getting you and your children ready can be. Get started by checking out a pre-made 72 Hour Kits!
Updated April 1, 2010