(StatePoint) More than half of US families have been affected by some type of disaster; however two out of five families don’t have an emergency plan, according to findings from the Save the Children’s 2014 Disaster Report Card.
Are you prepared for the worst? While there are some steps all individuals should take to prep for a disaster, young children have unique needs, and parents should bear these in mind when making their emergency plans. September, which is National Preparedness Month, is an excellent opportunity to address these considerations.
Teach Your Kids
Make sure your kids know basic information and how to identify themselves if they are separated from you. They should also know their home phone number and parents’ or caregivers’ mobile numbers, how to dial 911, the family’s meet-up locations and how to reach your family’s out of town contact.
Stock up at Home
You may already have basic survival items in your home that will be crucial in the event of emergency. These include bottled water, flashlights, canned food, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries. But don’t forget the kid-friendly supplies. Here is a handy checklist:
• Nursing supplies
• Pre-packaged baby food.
• Juice pouches
• Non-perishable pasteurized milk
• Fever reducer
• Rash ointment
Create a Go Kit
Unfortunately, you may not be able to wait out every emergency at home. Prepare a backpack or portable bag for each family member with essential hygiene items and contact information in case you need to leave home. Include the following:
• Each child’s contact and medical information.
• Recent photos of each child.
• Comfort food and treats.
• Activity items like books and games.
• Comfort items like a stuffed animal or blanket.
Emergencies don’t always strike when it’s convenient. Every work day, 69 million kids are in school or child care, separated from their families, according to census statistics. Since your children may be at a child care facility, with a babysitter or in school when disaster hits, make sure all caregivers have each child’s most recent contact information. Ask the facility about its emergency plans. If it doesn’t have a plan in place, you may want to ask for one to be created.
More disaster prep tips and resources for families can be found at www.savethechildren.org/GetReady.
Don’t wait to create a disaster plan. Doing so leaves children at risk. This National Preparedness Month, secure your family’s health and wellness by making a plan.