A Parent’s #1 Concern in a Disaster

Written by The Ready Store

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


  1. Teresa Dance wrote:

    There are many sources for sound information on these things without doing the most egregious thing possible in these days which is the exact reverse of being “ready” — looking to the government for your answers, advice, salvation. The money spent to put together and maintain this website (let alone the monstrous agency behind it) information for this part of the “.gov” confiscated, confiscates and will continue to confiscate more money than your company probably will net in this or several years.

    April 12th, 2010 at 7:46 am
  2. HolyKow wrote:


    Please ensure that you include some aluminum foil to make a hat to keep the government from reading your thoughts…

    Completely inappropriate place to spout your anti-government stance. More good info is better than less in these cases.

    You are pathetic.


    April 12th, 2010 at 11:09 am
  3. TerryBoo wrote:

    We recently completed two 72 hour kits – one for each car. Our kits also contain jumper cables, tow straps, fix-a-flat, etc. to help out with any car-related emergencies.

    My 12 year-old son was very interested in putting the kits together, and he is very excited to show them off to friends and family. He likes to brag that we can live out of our car comfortably for 3 whole days.

    As with all important things in life, teach your children what you are doing and WHY, and then allow them to help as much as they can.


    April 12th, 2010 at 11:36 am
  4. MJD Sr wrote:

    Regardless of politics I believe that DHS has some good advice. I, however use Federal government recommendations as an absolute rock bottom baseline. Frankly a 72 hour kit is inadequate @ best. My recommendation is explore different websites, books etc on surviving different disasters. As a firefighter for almost 25 yrs I know what kinds of resources are needed for different types of disasters. We can not rely on any government entity to save our a** . Every American and/or American family is responsible for their own safety under extraordinary situations. Not prepared? There’s NO excuse!

    April 12th, 2010 at 11:41 am
  5. hiker89 wrote:

    this IS the time to get ready for whatever is coming, my kids always help in planning and we have kits for each of us, this web site has helped a lot with that. Gov or not, in the moment and the moments following an earth quake or what have you, its YOU that will hear your kids cry and see their fear. Its up to you to be ready and let them know, that yes, somethings you cant control, but you can be ready if those things happen.

    April 12th, 2010 at 3:23 pm
  6. tmcamp626 wrote:

    I am working on getting prepared and have a very good start, but I know I am not close to being as ready as we need to be. My concern is the fact that I’m divorced, and my kids may not be with me…the prepared parent…when something happens. If the other would get prepared instead of thinking I’m a conspiracy theorist, I wouldn’t be so worried.

    Fortunately, he lives very close to me, so when the time comes, I’ll make sure I help the kids if they are with him at the time.

    I am, after reading this article, going to prepare some things for my vehicle, as well. It’s always a good idea to have a kit in your vehicle, disaster or not. At some point, you could be stranded. Good advice from the writer and others’ comments, I think! Thanks everyone!!

    April 25th, 2010 at 7:44 am

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