In a world full of unknowns it’s important to have an emergency plan in place, so your family knows exactly what to do in the case of an emergency. It’s also extremely important to make sure your children understand what an emergency is, and how they should react in the event of one. I’ve compiled a list of ideas and reminders that will help you create an emergency plan in your home.
1. Communicate I’m a firm believer that parent-child communication is essential for success in just about every circumstance, and communication is definitely key in establishing an emergency plan, too. Start by talking to your children to learn what they already know about dealing with emergencies, discuss different types of emergencies and ensure they understand exactly what constitutes an emergency. Make sure your discussion is age-appropriate; how you discuss the idea of an emergency will vary from toddlers to teenagers.
2. Write down numbers Have emergency numbers written down on or near the fridge. In our house, we have an emergency binder that has phone numbers for just about any occasion, including: our neighbors’ phone numbers, grandparents’ phone numbers and more. If your child is old enough to carry their own cellphone then make sure they have all of the important numbers programmed in their phones for emergency situations.
3. Proper alarms for early warnings Make sure you have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in place within your home, and test them every six months to ensure they’re working properly. These early warning devices could save your life. For information on where to purchase these devices, and how to properly install them in your home, visit firstalert.com or another credible source.
4. Practice drills As is the case with many things, practice makes perfect. If your family is faced with an emergency you’ll want to be prepared, and you’ll want your kids to know what to do. Have several practice drills within your own home to help determine a plan of action for an emergency situation. You may feel silly while practicing, but you’ll be grateful for those drills in the face of an actual emergency.
5. Look to the media There is so much information available to teach children about emergencies. I suggest looking to kid-friendly books, television shows, movies, etc., to help solidify the idea of an emergency, get advice from an additional source and help your child become more familiar with the whole concept.
No matter how you develop an emergency plan, the most important thing is that you’re prepared.