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Include Your Children in the Disaster Preparedness Planning Process

One way to insure your children will be safe during a disaster is to include them in the creation of your preparedness plan. No matter what the age of the child, having a job for them to do in the process and one to do if you do need to put the plan into place is important. It’s a way of teaching your children the importance of planning, whether it’s for emergencies or any other type of situation. Giving them a task and insuring they do it is part of good parenting, which helps reinforce personal responsibility.

Including the children in the planning process also helps solidify the importance of the plan. You’ll be amazed at some of the questions they may have, even littler children. It can help identify their fears and bring relief, while also giving confidence of the steps to take. Fire drills with blocked off exits can be one way to help a child have confidence in an emergency. If you live in a second story home, teaching the child to use the metal chain ladder is just as important as having one for them to use.

Kids respond well when the terror of the unknown is removed. That’s what planning together for a disaster can do. They not only know all the right steps to take, but also have a good idea of what will happen next. That can relieve the stress for both adults and children. Having a plan to meet up at a specific location if the disaster occurs avoids the lost feeling and aimless wandering that can put a child in danger. Today, children are often given a code word to help protect them from strangers who say they’re picking them up for their parents. It’s important, but so is planning for a disaster. It also should be included in part of the process.

You will be amazed at how much your children are capable of doing. Giving them specific jobs in the planning process, such as rotating food out or insuring batteries work, adds self-esteem and a sense of purpose. When they’re part of the process, they understand how important each job is to their survival and tend to do it easier than if they were just assigned the task without any explanation. You may even find your kids volunteer to learn new skills, like gardening or first aid. While most parents underestimate their children’s abilities, smart planners test them by providing information and education to help them achieve the goals you set for them in the event of a disaster. They’ll know the right steps to take when disaster strikes.