Infants, toddlers and children require special attention during and after a disaster—not just physically, but emotionally as well. Below are some basic emergency planning tips for families with children.
- Make sure your emergency supply kit includes enough baby formula, baby food, diapers, bottles, toys and games to keep your children safe and comfortable after a disaster.
- If children are at preschool, daycare or school, it is important that parents or guardians know the emergency procedures of the school. Review and update information on your child's emergency card as needed.
- Authorize a friend or relative that lives near you to pick up your children from school in case you are unable to travel to the school after a disaster.
- Inform neighbors when your children are home alone so neighbors could take care of them in the event of a major disaster.
AFTER AN EMERGENCY:
- Encourage children to talk about their fears. Let them ask questions and describe how they're feeling. Listen to what they say, as a family group when possible.
- Reassure them with love.
- Reassure them that they are safe and answer their questions honestly.
- Keep them informed, in simple language, about what is happening. Emphasize that they are not responsible for what happened. Limit TV time or exposure to extensive news reporting.
- Hold and hug them frequently.
- Encourage them to return to school and discuss problems with teachers and to resume playing games, riding bikes and all the other things they like to do.