Preparing kids for an emergency can be a difficult task. To help, I’ve listed my best tips and tricks to help get you through this process.
To start, you should keep in mind that when you are preparing kids for an emergency situation, try to keep it as simple as possible. If your kiddo starts to get scared, reassure them by telling them about your fears as well. This helps kids identify with you. It also shows them that we all have fears, but the most important thing we do with that feeling is to use it to be prepared for the unexpected.
Preparing Kids for an Emergency Tips
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Let Your Kids Pack their Own Emergency Kit
Unlike your household emergency kit, this kit should include activities and comfort items for kids. Consider letting your kids pack some of these items to help them chase the fear of an emergency away.
- Travel Games: Kids need to keep busy, even when there is an emergency. Travel games pack up easily and don’t take up a lot of room.
- Color Wonder Kit: This set of coloring paper and pens comes with enough supplies to keep several kids busy.
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste: Because you never get a break from brushing your teeth, even during an emergency.
- Children’s Books: Get an extra copy of your kid’s favorite books to pack along in their emergency kit. The Huge Bag of Worries is a great story to add to the bag.
- Glow Sticks: Kids will jump at any opportunity to use glow sticks. They also can provide some comfort during a scary time.
- Flashlight: This set of flashlight for kids have an extra colored light around the rim that create a lantern.
- Deck of Cards: Another keep busy item that is the perfect size for an emergency kit.
- Individually Boxed Cereal: Throwing in a favorite snack, like these small cereal boxes, can be a huge convenience.
- Pillow Pets: These adorable pets, that also become pillows, bring great comfort to kids. Packing one of these in their emergency kit, or any other stuffed animal, can bring them reassurance.
Give Kids a Job
Preparing for an emergency situation takes a lot of work. Recruit the help of your kids by giving them a job. Depending on their age, you can put them in charge of gathering supplies, organizing supplies, creating a checklist for necessary supplies, or calculating the amount of food and water needed for a number of family members that are in the household.
Giving kids a job puts them in charge, which gives them a sense of responsibility. This, in turn, creates courage and knowledge about the unknown which helps decrease their anxiety surrounding emergency situations.
By giving kids the tools they need to process emergency situations, we are hopeful that they will be better prepared to handle the unexpected. The goal is to avoid scaring them and instead, educate them.
The Buddy Rule
Assign buddies to each of your kids. Tell them it is their job to take care of each other. If you don’t have enough siblings to pair with each other, grab their favorite stuffed animal and use them as a buddy instead.
Look for the Helpers
Mr. Rogers once said, that during an emergency situation, the one thing we should look for are the helpers. This is great advice for kids because it helps them identify police officers, firemen, and your everyday heroes.
Talking and preparing kids for an emergency is important to keep fears at bay. It helps calm nerves, and it also gives kids the direction they need to stay focused on other things rather than the uncertainty that surrounds them.
How do you prepare kids for an emergency? Please share your tips and tricks with us in the comments.