Preparing your family for emergencies
Emergencies can happen to anyone, at any time. Being prepared by involving the entire family, including your children, can help you respond quickly with the necessary information, skills and supplies. It can reduce the negative impact and even save lives.
Here are some things to keep in mind
– Prepare for emergencies such as fires, power outages or a pandemic. Also, know the types of emergencies and disasters that can happen in the area you live in, such as extreme temperatures, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes or landslides.
– Make sure that family members, including the children, know where to find the emergency contact list, emergency kit, exits, location of the fire extinguisher and how to turn off the gas/water. Keep up your home maintenance and ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage.
– Devise a communication plan to connect with each other in case family members are at different locations when an emergency happens. Arrange for an out-of-town emergency contact. Inquire about your child’s school’s preparedness plan and how to pick up your children in school in case of emergency.
– Prepare family emergency kits stocked with supplies that your family might need for at least 72 hours. These include a first aid kit, water, non-perishable food, flashlight, medications, important documents, cash, and more. Customize your kits depending on age of your children, medical conditions, dietary and family needs. Remember to prepare another kit for your family vehicle.
– Take emergency preparedness and first aid courses to better prepare you to deal with emergencies and to learn safety tips and lifesaving skills. There are a variety of online materials and courses offered in many languages and to different age groups.
– Educate children about possible scenarios and strategies to use before, during and after emergencies. Be prepared to address any concerns or questions your children might have, especially after major disasters. Regularly monitor and connect with your children and seek professional help if needed. See kidshelpphone.ca and crisistextline.ca for more resources that your children can access.
– Research your local municipality and find out its emergency contact numbers. Learn about your municipal, province and Canada’s emergency alerting system. See alertready.ca for more information.
Connect with your families and community to find ways to be prepared and support each other during emergencies. Be sure to regularly review, revise and practice emergency and communication plans.