Like adults, children may worry about certain emergency and disaster situations, and be really scared during and after a serious event. What can you do? A kid can do a lot! The following resources will help everyone prepare for the unexpected:
Kid’s View: What’s Emergency Management?
Emergency Management is simple: it’s knowing how to take care of yourself! Here are a few tips to get you started toward being a disaster-savvy kid:
- Know your contact information (but don't share this stuff with strangers). If you have a younger brother or sister, make sure they know how to spell their first and last name, and make sure you can all spell your parent's first and last names, too! Know your home address and memorize at least one parent's phone number. This last one can be tricky, especially since older kids might have their own cell phone. If you lose your cell phone or the battery runs out, you’ll need to know more than just the speed-dial number to get ahold of Mom and Dad!
- Have your own "Go Kit." Mom and dad should have a "Disaster Supply Kit" for the whole family, but you should have your own, just in case. Here are a few things you might want to put inside:
- Something to do. Seems simple, but once the frantic part is over, you might be stuck for a while someplace where there's nothing to do. Keep yourself busy by bringing something to do. Have an electronic game or toy? Bring it. Pack a book or two that you've always wanted to read. Bring a pad of paper and some colored pencils or crayons. Maybe a favorite toy or two.
- Extra batteries. Anything that uses batteries will eventually use them up. Make sure you don't run out of power.
- Favorite blanket, pillow or stuffed animal.
- Pictures of the family (including the pets!).
- Your favorite keepsakes. Just remember to keep it small…you might have to be carrying it around for a while.
- Talk to your Mom and Dad about emergencies. They probably have a family disaster plan, but if not…now is a good time to make one. Here are some things to talk about:
- What if there’s a fire inside the house? Do you have smoke detectors? Do you know what to do if they go off?
- Where do you meet once you escape? What if there’s a fire at your house when you’re not there? Where do you meet? Neighbor’s house? Corner of the street?
- Where do you meet if the neighborhood is evacuated? Where do you go? Do you wait at a friend’s house? Is there a family relative in town? Figure out a local place to meet with Mom and Dad.
- What happens if there’s an emergency at school? Do you know where the emergency exits are?
- What do you do in an emergency? Call 9-1-1! There are firefighters and police who are there to help you. If there’s a fire or somebody gets hurt, call 9-1-1 and tell the person what’s happening. It won’t be easy, but try to stay calm – they’ll only know what you can tell them. Remember, though, to make sure it’s a life-threatening emergency before you call.
Check out these other online resources:
(ask your Mom or Dad first)
Be a Hero disaster preparedness games
Watch Out…Storms Ahead weather activity book
National Weather Service Just for Kids website
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) coloring books and games