Do Your Children Know What to Do in an Emergency?

Do your kids know what to do in a school emergency? Save the Children provides tips to help in times of trouble through the “Prep Rally” initiative, so that if there’s a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or some other threat your kids have a plan.

The Doctors are joined by Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer for Pfizer and a member of the Save the Children board of trustees. They are also joined by Sarah, a member of the “Get Ready Get Safe” team.

Why Is Preparedness Training So Important for Kids?

Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall says when disaster strikes, children are among the most vulnerable. Families can get separated and children can be displaced for long periods of time with limited communication. But children can also play an important powerful role in emergency preparedness.

Save the Children works around the world to protect children before, during, and after emergencies. In the United States alone, Save the Children has served more than one million children affected by emergencies since Hurricane Katrina struck over a decade ago. In Sarah's experience, the best way to keep children safe is to prepare before  a disaster strikes.

To prepare kids for all types of emergencies, Save the Children uses games, activities, and dances. Save the Children created the "Prep Rally" program to help children engage in preparedness in a fun and positive way – and to help them remember what to do in an emergency!

“Prep Rally” is about getting kids up and moving to really learn emergency basic concepts and skills. The "prep steps" teach children to learn emergency contacts, make a family emergency plan, pack a disaster "Go Kit," and try and stay calm in an emergency.

What Do Parents Need to Know about Emergency Contacts or “ICE”?

ICE or “in case of emergency” contacts are important to have in place when a disaster strikes. Children and their caretakers should know who to contact in case of an emergency or disaster. Parents need to think about expanding the list of people they trust in case a disaster strikes. Also, where you keep these contacts is really important. If your child has a cell phone, put the contacts in their address book - but also make a hard copy because cell phone service can be disrupted, phones can be lost, and your child may not be able to get to the phone.

What Should a Family Plan Include?

Parents should tell kids both what they should and should not  do in an emergency. The family plan should also include a meeting place if you’re not together when disaster strikes.

What Should Parents Include in a "Go Kit"?

Parents should include essentials for hygiene, first aid kit basics, flashlights, and some things for comfort – crayons, books, teddy bears, etc.

What is the Parent's Role in an Emergency?

Parents really have to think about how to be prepared for this. For example, be prepared for the kinds of natural disasters that happen in your region, know the plan that the school has in place should a disaster strike, and know how you would locate your children in case the school or daycare center has to be evacuated. Most importantly, figure out these details before disaster strikes.

Make sure to talk to your children about emergencies and address any concerns they may have. Children should know that caring and trained people are available at school to help them. They should also know there's a plan to keep them safe. 

For more information, visit www.savethechildren.org/getready and www.gethealthystayhealthy.com.


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