Whats the easiest way to get your children involved in Emergency Preparedness? Arts & Crafts time as a family!
By Russ Nelson
Keeping your children alert and aware of the different hazards in the home can start with the simplistic task of identifying where they should go if the environment becomes unsafe. Determining the primary location everyone will meet, such as a specific neighbours home or location in your driveway or yard, is the first step towards family unit resiliency during an emergency. Discussing different ways of evacuating the home can be followed up with walk-through / talk-through activities where the kids get to try out activities such as opening fire escape screen and windows with your controlled supervision. Confidence in a low stress learning environment has the ability to lead to higher confidence performing self-rescue tasks during extreme stress. This isn’t just a one time event either. Practicing different scenarios of evacuation can take place during various times of the year, weather conditions & time of day/night. Once your children have confidence with the primary strategy, try to make a more robust plan by identifying alternative scenarios where the primary muster point is inaccessible or inappropriate. This could mean that while everyone plans on meeting at a specific neighbours home, a backup emergency scenario could call for a time when that neighbour is not home to help.
After you have discussed the family emergency evacuation plan, its time to let the kids break out the glitter and markers! Building a map of the home, and then allowing the kids to draw out muster points, fire extinguisher locations or the family spare set of keys / phone locations in the home can help to cement a physical layout of the home in their mind. This muscle memory will help trigger appropriate actions during a home emergency.
Together as a family, you can ensure the framework for future emergency preparedness activities are strong. We will be speaking about how to build upon this in future family preparedness blog posts.
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