Discussing what to expect when an emergency occurs with your child beforehand can positively impact their ability to react appropriately during an event. Doing so supports their overall resilience, which can improve their ability to recover after a stressful situation.
This website has great resources for parents and kids. Make sure kids understand your family emergency and communication plan. Ensure they know what to do if they are away from home during a disaster.
Make a plan. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find. And, don’t forget to think about specific needs in your family. Your family’s needs change over time, so update your plan regularly. Who will we contact? Pick the same person for each family member to contact. Pick someone out of town—they may be easier to reach in a disaster. Text, don’t talk. In an emergency, phone lines may be tied up. It may be easier to text and this leaves phone lines open for emergency workers. Where will we meet? Decide on safe, familiar, accessible places where your family can go for protection or to reunite. If you have pets or service animals, think about animal-friendly locations. Consider places in your house, in your neighborhood, and outside of your city or town so you’re prepared for any situation.
You can download a Family Communications Plan here.