Involve Your Children In Family Disaster Preparedness
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT DISASTERS BY INVOLVING THEM IN EMERGENCY PREPARATIONS. IT HELPS TO EASE THEIR FEARS.
With states experiencing flooding and tornadoes and our own city exposed to violent afternoon thunderstorms and threats from lightning-induced wildfires while under extreme drought conditions, now is a good time for you and your family to prepare for the next disaster, whatever that may be.
If you have children, include them in the planning process. Experience has shown that when children are involved in the planning process, it calms their fears. Making these plans ahead of time will ensure that everybody is ready when disaster strikes. These are stressful times, but preparedness can ease some of that stress.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's and the State of Florida have sections on their websites that are designed for children. Both have fun quizzes and games. At the same time, they help families prepare for a disaster. Go to www.ready.gov/kids or www.kidsgetaplan.com.
One of the most important first steps is to have children help stock an Emergency Supply Kit. They can help decide what should go in the kit and why, and help choose how it will be stored and where. The web sites explain the kit's contents and provides materials in a format kids will enjoy while they are learning.
Another important step is to make a Family Emergency Plan. A good plan would include a list of possible emergencies, evacuation routes, telephone numbers of friends, relatives and local emergency management offices. Such a plan should be designed to help the family be self-sustaining for at least three days.
Finally, families should be informed. Learn together about the types of emergencies that can happen in your area and how to respond to them can be.
And don't forget your pets! Prepare an animal emergency supply kit, develop a pet care buddy system in case you can't take care of your animals yourself, and if you must evacuate, take your pets with you if at all possible.
Creating a family preparedness plan involves a little time, but it can be a fun and easy family activity that can actually save lives.
More information on disaster planning can be found at www.ready.gov, and www.floridadisaster.org and your local emergency management offices for the City of Titusville and Brevard County Emergency Management.
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