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Tips for Parents: Preparing for Emergencies | PDF

Español/Spanish: Consejos para padres - Preparándose en caso de emergencias

Over the last decade the United States has seen a number of large scale emergencies that have gotten government and civil organizations talking about “Emergency Preparedness.”  Experts recommend that families also prepare for emergencies. The following Tips for Parents will help you and your family be prepared for emergencies.

Talk Together

The first step families should take when preparing for emergencies is talking together.  Tell your children that emergencies can and do happen, and that you need to prepare just in case, but reassure them that the chances of something major happening to your family is relatively rare.

Develop a Plan

Work together to come up with a plan that works for your family and property.  Plan for a house fire, natural disasters, and disasters due to terrorism or economic or utility breakdowns by taking these steps:

  • Create a meeting plan.  Decide on a meeting place near your home, one in your community, and one out of state.  Write the phone numbers and addresses for these locations on a wallet-sized card and give a copy to each member of the family.

  • Choose emergency contacts—both nearby and out of state.  Include these on the meeting plan card.

  • Find out what natural disasters could occur in your area and learn how to prepare your home for each of them by contacting your local emergency management office, the local Red Cross.

  • Put together an emergency kit with a battery operated radio, first aid kit, and enough food, water, warm clothing, bedding, and comfort items to last every member of your family for at least 3 days. For more info on what to include, see FEMA’s  “Basic Disaster Supplies.”

  • Keep extra cash, copies of important documents (such as titles, insurance policies, and identification), and emergency contact information (including the phone numbers and addresses of work and school) handy in case you need to leave home fast.

  • Develop an escape route for the various possible emergencies that could occur near you.

Practice and Update

  • Practice your evacuation and contact plans on a regular basis

  • Update your plans and contact information when needed

  • Check your emergency kit every six months and replace batteries, water, and food before they expire.


For more information:

FEMA’s “Plan Ahead” website
The American Red Cross’s “Get Prepared”

¿Está listo? Una guía completa para la preparación ciudadana

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