Emergency Planning for Children
Age is an important factor to consider when making your emergency plans:
- Is the child able to walk? Require a stroller? Or have other mobility concerns?
- Is the child able to communicate injuries or concerns?
- Is the child old enough to drive?
- Will you need to pack additional diapers, food, or baby care items?
- What about children with special health care needs?
- Does the child know his/her address and parents’ phone numbers?
- What are the emergency plans for the child’s school or daycare?
- What can the child understand regarding a disaster and potential loss?
Evacuating a disaster area or moving to a shelter with children presents its own set of challenges:
- Plan ahead to make an extended stay away from your home as comfortable as possible.
- You'll want to bring along games, books, crafts, or other materials to help keep children entertained.
- Plan for increased supervision of your child(ren) while staying in a public shelter.
There may be times when your family is separated. No one knows when an emergency situation might arise, so you have to prepare for anything:
- Be sure your children never leave home without emergency contact information.
- Be sure they know whom to call first if you are unavailable.
- Identify “safe places” in your community where they should go if lost or separated.
- Ensure they know their home address and parents’ phone numbers.
- Plan for a rendezvous location and a point of contact outside the immediate family.