Like it or not, none of us can prevent emergency situations; the best we can do is to prepare for them. Somewhere, there’s a balance between being prepared and fretting about the many “what if” scenarios in life, and that line can be difficult to find. When we do face emergency situations — whether they come in the form of natural disasters, accidents, or medical emergencies — we’ll all be more likely to move past the initial tendency to panic if we have a plan in place.
Whether your family includes children or not, having an emergency plan in place is a good idea. But for families that include young children, discussing these kinds of things can be even more important. Often, children can misunderstand the seriousness of a situation or react impulsively in ways that are counterproductive when it comes to their own safety. Here are a few steps to take in preparing yourself and your family for potential emergencies that could occur.
Providing Disaster Education
As you see natural disasters covered in the news, you can discuss these things with your children. While Hurricane Katrina ravaged many homes and lives, if you’re not on the coast, hurricane safety probably won’t be as significant as tornadoes. If you live near a river, maybe flooding would be more of a significant threat.
By discussing the various forms of potential threats, you may at first heighten your children’s anxiety; however, by letting them know how rare certain disasters are and particularly which ones you won’t need to be concerned about in your area, hopefully your child’s fears will be assuaged.
Think of it as part of their education: Knowledge offers power, and your child will be less helpless in times of emergency when he or she has been prepared ahead of time. Familiarity with what various threats look like and what to do if they come up provides an important first step in helping protect your children from danger.
Creating a Disaster-Readiness Plan
From hurricane-specific preparations to more generalized ones, you can decide with your family details like these:
• Neighborhood meeting place
• Local Emergency Contact (& Back-up Contact)
• Out-of-Town Contact (& Back-up Contact)
• Evacuation Location
• Regional meeting place
Rehearsing Your Disaster Plan
Your family’s disaster planning doesn’t have to be painful! Make it a family fun event! You can prepare in a few different ways:
• Assemble materials for hands-on activities like a tornado in a jar
• Make fire fighter theme snacks
• Print and laminate Disaster Plan sheets (PDF) to display and cards to distribute to all family members.
• Make prizes like these DIY trophies
The awards can be given for feats such as the following:
• Being the fastest person to run through the escape route in case of fire
• Naming all agreed-upon emergency contacts and meeting places
• Offering the best ideas for how to respond in case of various types of emergencies
Make sure to discuss contingency plans in case, for instance, your child is at school or another location during an emergency situation.
The Nicholas Insurance Agency, led by Greg Nicholas, is a family owned business serving the York county, Pennsylvania region. In the insurance business since 1981, Greg Nicholas helps families, businesses and individuals understand the value of different insurance products and make wise decisions when selecting the best insurance products for their specific situations.
Offering exclusively Allstate insurance products, the Nicholas Agency provides auto, homeowners, rental and landlord insurance as well as life & disability, recreational vehicle, motorcycle and personal liability insurance.
For more information, visit our two York, PA locations at Westgate Plaza or York Marketplace or call us at (717) 764-2024.
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