Is your family ready for emergencies? Talking to your children about potential emergency situations and what to do in the event of an incident is important. After all, the more prepared you are the better the chance of a positive outcome. Here are a few great tips on how to prepare your kids for an emergency situation.
#1: Talk with Your Kids About Emergencies
The first step in making sure children are prepared for an emergency is to talk about various scenarios that could occur. Communication is key when it comes to emergency situations and if your kids know what to expect during a particular crisis, they can act accordingly.
Talk about what it means for the house to be on fire or to be under a tornado warning. Be clear about what these things entail and how as a family you need to be prepared for them to happen.
It is also important to stress that not everything is an emergency. Clarify that first responders are there to help in serious incidents—not times when we are feeling inconvenienced or upset without there being an immediate danger.
#2: Have Plans in Place for Specific Emergencies
You’ll also want to have plans in place for specific emergencies. If possible, walk your kids through each step and even show them how you want them to act in a particular situation. Most children are very bright and can often memorize these steps with just a moderate amount of practice.
Examples of common scenarios to plan out and role play with your kids include:
- What to do if your house is on fire;
- How to address if there is a loved one who is unconscious or seriously injured;
- The importance of preparing for storm warnings and how to safely protect yourself in the event of adverse weather conditions;
- What to do if there’s a danger in the home when they are home alone, such as a burglar or other situation.
Of course, these are just various ideas on how to prepare your children for specific events. You can always review your family’s particular needs and choose scenarios that work accordingly. The real key here is to give them a set of instructions to act out so that if the actual danger occurs they know what to do.
#3: Don’t Let Your Own Anxiety Stress Them Out
Another tip is to not let your own anxiety over the potential of a situation stress them out. While many parents want to express the importance of being prepared for an emergency, you don’t want to add angst to your child’s emotions by being overly stern about the matter. Be sure to express that these are just scenarios that could happen and that you need to be prepared, but that doing so isn’t necessarily going to make the house burn down or there be a large storm that causes major damage.
#4: Teach Them How to Call 9-1-1
Finally, you should teach your children how to call emergency responders during an emergency. Young children can try out the process on a toy phone for extra practice, while older kids and teens should be aware of how to call from a cell phone or landline. And don’t forget to stress that the number really is 9-1-1.
If your children are young or have conditions or challenges that make clear communication difficult, it is also an excellent idea to add your information to the Smart911 system. This program allows you to attach certain data points to your particular phone number including home location, gate codes, names of family members, types of pets, and much more. It is designed to allow first responders as much detailed data as possible if the caller is unable to speak or forgets to offer up significant details.
Preparing your child for any situation that happens is important. These great tips are designed to help you calm their fears and ensure everyone is ready if an emergency ever occurs.