It’s easy to joke about “the zombie apocalypse” but did you realize that, just last year alone, there were more than 85 national emergencies declared? These situations can range from wildfires to hurricanes, tornados to snow storms. As much as we hate to think about it, disaster can strike in any place, at any time and it comes in all too many forms.
We live in Michigan and two out of the last three winters have seen people trapped in their homes with no way out and no power for days. Just a few weeks ago our neighbors down the road in Toledo found themselves suddenly without access to clean water.
Children aren’t oblivious. They see smoke rising from the mountains or hear hail pounding against their windows and they know that Mother Nature is not always gentle. It can be really scary for them!
A huge part of keeping your family safe is being prepared ahead of time. Letting your children see that you have taken steps to ensure everyone’s safety will help them feel safer in these frightening situations. Even better, let them help you create an emergency kit.
Don’t let the idea of putting a kit together become overwhelming. It doesn’t need to take a lot of time or cost a lot of money. Keep in mind, an emergency kit doesn’t have to be a two year stockpile of food and medical equipment! Having enough food and water to take care of your family for a few days and a few flashlights (with good batteries!) can mean the difference between riding out a storm in relative safety or finding yourself in a life-threatening situation.
If you do want to make your kit a little more elaborate, other things to consider keeping may be a first aid kit, a crank or battery-powered radio, a whistle (to signal for help), a dust mask and plastic sheeting, wet wipes and trash bags, a few simple tools like a wrench, pliers, screwdrivers and duct tape. Consider what you might really NEED if you couldn’t get to the store. Diapers? Maxi pads? TP? Medications? Dog food?
A tip that my family learned the hard way during a nasty ice storm: Have a manual can opener on hand if your emergency food is stored in cans! Yes, you can get cans open without one, but using one is A LOT easier!
If your child struggles with anxiety about these situations, involving them in this process can be huge. Ask them what they would like to include. Would it make them feel better to have a certain toy or book tucked in the box with the food? It might not make sense to you but if it makes them feel better it’s totally worth the little bit of space.
Also, for your child’s safety, be sure that they know their full name and yours as well and also their home address. If you get separated and they are looking for “mommy and daddy” you’re going to be hard to find!
I am so excited to be exploring ways that LazyHippieMama.com and America’s Morning Headquarters on The Weather Channel can partner up to bring families helpful and important tips like these. This week, AMHQ’s host, Sam Champion, had a super cute interview with Elmo. They talked about all of this information and I’ve included the clip, below. Coming from an adorable fuzzy monster, emergency preparedness tips aren’t quite so intimidating. And, really, even for children, being able to keep calm and think clearly in tough situations is just as important as all these other things! I’d encourage you to watch the little video clip with your children and share it as well. This is such super-important information! Being ready for disaster before it strikes can truly mean the difference between life and death.
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
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