Natural disasters are events that occur naturally around the world and can cause harm to individuals and whole communities. Some natural disasters include hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes and more. Recently, America has had a number of natural disasters including the Fairview and Mosquito Fires in California, Hurricane Ian in the Southeast US, and Winter Storm Elliot in the Midwestern US. As a parent, it is important to be prepared for natural disasters to ensure the safety of your children physically and mentally. In this article, we offer some tips to prepare for natural disasters as a parent.
Being Prepared as a Parent for Natural Disasters
One of the most important things for a parent is keeping their children safe. When it comes to natural disasters, there are a lot of uncertainties, but being prepared for them can help ease your mind. There are different ways you, as a parent, can stay prepared.
Have an Emergency Plan
Learn about the area you live in and understand what types of natural disasters could possibly affect you. With that knowledge, you may create an emergency plan for any situation you may end up in. In this plan, you should include where to go for every situation, whether it be under certain doors during an earthquake or an escape route during a fire.
Along with planning where to go within your home, plan where you would go during situations you need to evacuate your area. Keep all your important documents in an easy-to-access place so that you may quickly grab it and go. Plan ahead of time who your emergency contacts would be in case you need to evacuate to a different area.
Create an Emergency Kit
Having an emergency kit filled with useful items can go a long way in keeping your family safe. According to Red Cross, some important things to include are:
- Non-perishable Foods
- First-aid kit
- Extra cash
- Family emergency contact information
Along with having the basic emergency supplies, there are surprisingly useful items you should bring to keep your children calm and happy during an emergency. Some of these items include games, paper and pencils, and even a small toy or stuffed animal. Emergencies can be an extremely stressful time for children, so keeping their minds occupied with happier things can do well for their mental health.
Understand How You Affect Your Child’s Emotions
Understanding how your actions affect your child may help you take care of your child in a time of emergency. Regardless of your child’s age, any time of crisis can be extremely distressing. Some children may show it right away while others may show signs of it later on. During these times, children react based on the adults’ reactions. If you’re panicking, your children will panic as well. Likewise, if you set an example for your children and keep calm, you may influence them to stay calm. Furthermore, staying calm will allow you to provide clearer support for your children.
While natural disasters can surprise you at any time, planning ahead and understanding the things you can do before could help you out greatly in helping your child. Creating a plan and an emergency kit may help keep your child physically safe, but understanding how you affect your child in these times will help them emotionally and mentally.