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Parents can help prepare children and reduce their emotional stress during an emergency by including them in the planning process and answering their questions about safety. Make sure your children take part in your preparation process and ensure that you have included supplies that make them feel comfortable and safe.
School or Day Care
- Know your child’s school or day care emergency plan.
- Find out how they will communicate to families during an emergency.
- Find out where children will be taken in the event of an evacuation during school hours.
- Keep your contact information up-to-date at your child’s school.
- Consider authorizing a friend or relative to pick up your children in an emergency and let the school know who that designated person is.
Teach your children...
- Their basic contact information.
- How to dial your home telephone number and important cell phone numbers.
- How and when to call 911. Role-play 911 calls with them.
- What to do if a parent becomes ill and the child is alone.
- How to reach an “out-of-area” family contact.
- Basic emergency response plans, such as your family evacuation plan and Stop, Drop, and Roll. Practice them together.
Additions to the Emergency Kit
- Toys and games
- A recent family photograph
- Comfort foods and treats
Helping Children Cope with Disaster
Children can be particularly vulnerable to the stressful effects of a disaster. Parents, teachers and caregivers need to be alert to signs.
FEMA Booklet on Helping Children Cope with Disaster