When you start organizing a 3-day emergency kit for your children, get them involved in the process. Explain what you’re doing, and give them the opportunity to make their own choices. For example, allow them to choose an appropriately sized backpack and the extra change of clothes that will go in there. Let them pick out a book to carry.
Their involvement in the process will give them a sense of empowerment and responsibility over their own emergency kit. And, they’ll be better prepared to handle these items if the time ever comes to use them.
Consider the following items for your children:
- Extra diapers or pull-ups, and wipes
- Teething medication and fever reducer
- Extra formula and bottles
- A small card with family names and contact numbers in the event your child is separated from you (a family photo can also help with identification)
- An energy bar or granola bar
- One juice box or pouch
- Colorful Band-Aids
- One comfort item (like a backup blankie or stuffed animal)
- A coloring book and crayons
- A child-sized flashlight or headlamp
It’s also important to talk to your kids about evacuation plans, and what they should do if they were separated from the rest of the family
- As a family, decide where you’ll meet within the neighborhood – and outside it – if your home is unsafe. How will you all get there if you’re separated and a car isn’t available?
- Make sure you know the evacuation plans and emergency contact information for your child’s school and any after-school activity they’re involved in.
- Make sure you know several alternate routes to the school in the event that major highways or other roads are closed.
- Decide how your family will get in touch during a disaster.
- Remember, cell service may be unavailable.
- Consider using social media, or pick a family member outside your area to be a “contact person” for everyone else.
- Make sure your children know what first responders look like. Children, especially small children, can be frightened of fire fighters, police officers, or health-care workers in hazmat suits.
- Teach your children how each of these responders can help in an emergency. It might also help to visit a fire or police station on open-house days so they feel more confident talking to the men and women who can help them in an emergency.