From our friends at Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters (CARD)
Children and Youth: Start ‘Em Young on the Road to Readiness!
Helping a child to feel confident, empowered and safe during emergencies is a great thing for any parent or caregiver to do. Beyond learning to avoid dangers, the habits you instill with your readiness activities can help them be
A.Make it POSITIVE! Instead of focusing on the tragedy of the wrecked car, focus on the first responders; how wonderful they were, how nice the tow truck driver was, how pretty the flashing lights were.
B.Protect children from overhearing grown-up conversations regarding the tragic event.
C.Practice drills with your children like Stop, Drop, and Roll. Make it fun by doing it with them. They will likely remember because of the bonding experience they had with you.
D.Use TV shows as conversation starters. What would you do if that happened to you? How do you think they should have responded? What could they have done differently? You’ll be amazed by what they reveal.
E.Pack a Go-Kit with your child. Make them feel a part of it, let them choose their own backpack and be a part of deciding what goes inside. They will be excited to carry it instead of focusing on why they need to carry it.
Enjoying the world from the perspective of a child is such a wonderful thing. Helping a child be prepared doesn’t have to be a scary. By approaching it in a fun, positive way, and including them whenever possible, you can make this an experience they will use one day to prepare their own children.