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Disaster Preparedness for Children

by Nikki Willhite

Children are particularly vulnerable when it comes to experiencing turmoil in their lives. We need to do everything we can to ensure their safety and comfort.

When my husband was doing earthquake homeowner claims, he saw children and families who were afraid to go back into their homes. Most slept in their backyards, either in a tent or wrapped in blankets on the grass.

If you are prepared for emergency situations, your calm will transfer to your children. If you are worried, confused and distraught, that will also be picked up by your children. That is another reason why it is so important to be prepared and know what you will do should something happen.

Children are comforted by items from home. If you have to leave the house, be sure and take a few dolls, teddy bears, toys and games with you.

Young children and older people are more susceptible to germs. Be sure and have an adequate supply of bacterial soaps to remove germs from your hands. Also bring any needed medications.

As with all people who are upset, keep your children calm. Let them know in a general way what has happened, what your family will be doing, and what is expected of them. If there are future potential dangers, make them aware of them.

Keep an emergency supply of diapers for children newly potty trained. They may temporarily need to revert to their diapers.

Do not let them leave your home without wearing good shoes. Your child's bug out bag should have all the things they need for 72 hours, including food, clothing, and medications.

In order to stay healthy, you must keep your inner core warm. It is a good idea to always carry warm clothing in your car. You can pick up inexpensive winter clothing for bug out bagsat thrift stores.

A safe room in your home will protect your family from many pollutants in the air. Choose one room that you can seal off with duct tape and blankets.

If children know in advance that your family is prepared to face emergency situations, they will remain calmer. They will be more prepared to face unexpected and unpleasant situations.

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