In Case of Emergency
Preparedness can reduce the fear surrounding the potential of an emergency. Many of us, particularly children, can develop unhealthy fears around the possibility of severe weather, house fires, and other emergencies that should be prepared for in advance. A conversation regarding what your family should do in the event of any of these situations helps your children feel more secure and less afraid. These conversations will also provide an opportunity for your family to actually become proactive and take steps that will result in a better outcome in case your family experiences an emergency situation in the future.
How can our family choose a safe place to take cover if severe weather threatens our neighborhood while we are home?
Use this question to begin a conversation about where to go in the event of a tornado or other severe weather. If your home is not safe to withstand torrential wind and rain, discuss how to quickly get to a safer location. Listen to your children’s ideas of what a safe place would be and encourage them that by discussing safe places, you are actually planning to be safe. When you know where to go beforehand, you are more likely to remain calm and carry out your plan when it is necessary.
What items would we need to have ready to take to our safe place?
Let your children consider what is important to them. Outside of the necessities of a flashlight, water bottles, and snacks, there may be some personal items they do not want to leave behind. You can even consider some of the things you would not take with you like the nine foot tall stuffed giraffe from their cousin to keep the conversation lighthearted but be sure to cover the essentials. For a complete list, you can download a free KnowWheretoGo! ™ safety tip guide at www.stormwarriors.tv
What other items would you like to take with you if there is ample time to escape in safety?
Many situations allow for time to gather items that are meaningful possessions. Whether you discuss evacuation scenarios due to wildfires, potential flooding, or the threat of a hurricane, allowing your children to talk about the things that are important to them will give you an opportunity to share your priorities as well. It will also help you teach your children that ‘stuff’ is never more important that people’s lives and safety.
Conversations about emergency situations may not be comfortable but you will help your children feel safe by including them in your plans to be prepared. Conclude your discussion by reminding them that preparing for situations in advance provides a way to get them to safety and increases your ability to help others.