Emergency preparedness is not just for professionals. In fact, we encourage everyone to take part in planning for emergencies.

If you have children or you are a child care provider, just ask yourself “In the event of an emergency, does my child know what to do?” Emergencies can have a wide range of types, from car accidents and intruders, to home fires and tornados. In almost every instance, emergencies can be presented with little to no warning. That being said, it is CRITICAL that a plan already be in place and every child (and caregiver) knows exactly what to do.

Alarmingly, only 28 percent of families with children under the age of 12 have conducted a home fire drill, according to the 2011 Liberty Mutual Insurance Fire Safety Study.  The study also found that more than a third of parents (38 percent) have never created or discussed a fire escape plan with their family.

Step 1 – Plan

Having a plan makes sure that everyone knows exactly what to do when the time comes. We recommend having a plan in place for the most common types of disasters in our area.

Have your child (or yourself) draw a map of the house showing all the windows and doors. It’s a good idea to place smoke detectors on the map as well. Now find two ways out of every room. Plan on how to escape and where to meet once outside.

Click here to download a printable escape plan!

Step 2 – Prepare

Preparing ensures you and your family have everything you need for a disaster. It is recommended to have at least 3 days of food and water. Preparing also involves making sure all exits in your home are accessible and no hazards are present. Sit down with your child and make a Family Communication Plan so they know who to contact if something happens to you or a loved one.

Click here to download a communication plan.

Step 3 – Practice

Many studies show that teaching or talking alone, don’t always deliver the same information as it would if there was a ‘hands-on’ approach. This is why is it is important to practice your plans. Not only will with help the child visualise the task at hand, this helps the adults ensure the child knows HOW to respond, where to go, how to get there. A small change in your plans after a drill or exercise , can result in a huge improvement in performance.

Other educational resources:

FEMA has an amazing collection of games, print outs and other activities for kids of all ages! Make sure you check out the STEP program as well.
A website made by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) targeted for children. Kids can access this fun and interactive website where they can watch videos, play games, draw and many other activities that teach about fire safety.
If your a parent, educator or parent, this is a great resource from NFPA to teach children of all ages about fire safety and fire science. It has lesson plans, games, activities, worksheets, videos and so much more!
The Red Cross has many resources to help youth and their grown-ups be better prepared at home. They offer a Red Cross Youth club, online hazard practice activities, mobile apps, first-aid training and several other programs.
When a disaster strikes or a crisis breaks out, your first thoughts are often of family – especially your little ones. That’s why Save the Children launched Get Ready. Get Safe. This pioneering program helps U.S. families and communities prepare to protect and care for the most vulnerable among us in times of crisis – our children.
A public health emergency—such as a natural disaster, disease outbreak, or terrorist attack—can happen anywhere and at any time. Because children are more vulnerable than adults during disasters, CDC’s Children’s Preparedness Unit and its partners work to protect children before and during an emergency.

Our hand outs:

These items are distributed by RCEMA during educational opportunities.

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