In a disaster children, regardless of age, will be scared and confused due to the chaos occurring.
Disasters happen at any time and in any place and families are not always together; children may be at school, at daycare or at a sports game.
Has your family talked and planned about what to do if a disaster occurred and the family was not all together?
In a disaster you may not be able to phone; phone lines could be down or jammed with calls and your cell phone may not work. Power lines could be down, roads blocked due to fallen trees, flood, fire or other reasons. You may not be able to get to your kids or to know if they are safe. Take a moment to discuss, plan and prepare an emergency plan should a disaster occur when the family is not all together in one place. Consider the ages of your children, any special needs they may have and where they might be if a disaster should happen, in school, day care or sport event.
Learn what emergency plan and preparation the school or daycare have in place and how would the school or day care communicate with families during a disaster?
Would the school or day care be prepared to shelter your child if required, how prepared is the school or day care to handle your child with special needs? If an evacuation of the school or day care was required; do you know where the school or day care would plan to go? Does your child’s school or day care maintain an up to date contact list with information on you and on your delegate should you be unable to pick up your child?
Do your children know who to contact if you are unable to be contacted? What about after the disaster? How prepared are you and your children to cope after the disaster.
These are just a few of the questions and items to be asked and discussed with your children and with their school, day care or sports group when preparing your emergency plan to make sure your children know and understand what to do if a disaster happens.
Website http://www.pep.bc.ca/hazard_preparedness/AllHazards_WEB.pdf and other websites offer information on planning and preparing emergency kits with tips and lists on items to include in an emergency kit to help you to prepare your children.
Also check out the Sooke Fire Rescue Service and Sooke Emergency Program websites.
A disaster can happen at any time and in any place and will be frightening. By planning and preparing your children to understand and to know what may occur in a disaster and what they can do, will help you and your children to deal with a disaster and the disaster will hopefully be little less scary and confusing.
For up to date information on emergencies, road closures, etc. go to Twitter at: http://twitter.com/SookeCa
by Patricia Baye