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.