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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

National Preparedness Month Week 3: Teach Your Youth to Prepare for Disasters Sept 15-21

9/16/2019 (Permalink)

Mother sitting at the dining table with her two young daughters reviewing emergency plan with them. It's important to teach kids about disasters preparedness. Make it fun, have them help put together an emergency kit. "Be Prepared Not Scared".

The phrase "The better you're prepared, the less you're scared" goes for kids as well as adults.

When talking to kids about disasters, it is important to teach them about disasters, without scaring them. It's a balancing act between the facts and potential impacts of a disaster and empowering them with actions they can take to be safe. Being open about what you are doing as a family to prepare before disasters happens is comforting. When possible, involve kids in activities like putting together the disaster supplies kit.

The best thing you can do for younger children is to create a safe environment around them. You can't really teach an infant or toddler about Drop Cover and Hold in an earthquake, but you can reduce the likelihood they will get hurt from falling book shelves, pictures and other furnishings around them. For more information on reducing earthquake hazards in your home visit our Prepare your Home page

As kids get older

For most kids, you can start introducing safety actions at about 4-years-old. Don't overwhelm them with too much information at once. Teach one safety action such as Drop, Cover and Hold, and follow up with actually doing it so they can demonstrate they understand. Practice with them until you are satisfied they know what to do. As kids get older, you can talk about how a disaster is something that could hurt people or cause damage. Explain that nature sometimes provides "too much of a good thing" -- fire, rain, and wind. Explain how important it is to make a Family Disaster Plan. Teach children:

  • How to call for help
  • When to call each emergency number
  • To call the family contact if separated
  • To keep personal identification information in their possession at all times
  • Let them help with testing smoke detectors or building the family kit.
  • You can get them their own backpack and have them assemble a kit for themselves.
  • When you involve your kids in getting your family ready, you are insuring they understand the family plan and are building life skills that will come in handy as they grow up!
  • Be Prepared, Build a Kit

    Being prepared for an emergency isn't just about staying safe during a disaster. It's about how to stay comfortable, clean, fed, and healthy afterwards – when a storm or disaster may have knocked out electricity.

    If you lost power, how would you eat? The refrigerator can’t keep foods cold. The microwave can’t warm things up. You might not get clean water out of your faucets. How would you find out whether it was safe to play outside? Not from the TV or computer!

    That’s why it’s important for families to work together to build an emergency kit before an emergency strikes. There should be enough food, water, clothing, and supplies to last for at least three days.

    Here are some items you and your family will need:

  • Non-perishable food (such as dried fruit or peanut butter)
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap
  • Paper plates, plastic cups and utensils, paper towels
  • Water – at least a gallon per person, per day
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Flashlights
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Can opener (manual)
  • Local maps
  • Pet supplies
  • Baby supplies (formula, diapers)
  • Additional Emergency Supplies

    Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:

  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Glasses and contact lense solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler's checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
  • Maintaining Your Kit

    After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers
  • Replace expired items as needed
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
  • Kit Storage Locations

    Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.

  • Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
  • Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
  • Vehicle: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.
  •  SERVPRO of West Riverside city is local and available 24/7, keep our information in your emergency contact list.  We are here to help!

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