How to Talk to Your Child When Preparing for an Emergency
Always include your children when talking about emergency plans for your house and family. It will help them know what to do, keep them safe and help manage anxiety and fear.
Here in the Philippines, we have to deal with a lot of natural calamities like typhoons and earthquakes; other emergencies may include fire, power outages, floods etc.
Here are some tips to help you prepare your children for emergencies:
· Explain what an emergency is in the simplest way possible and what the effects are, for example - loss of electricity, water, floods, etc. Discuss different scenarios with them and teach them to recognize warning signs for each.
· Explain that everyone is better able to take care of themselves in emergencies when they know what to do, and have practiced in advance. Ask them for their thoughts, answer their questions and give them constructive information about how to best respond to the situation.
· Create a household emergency plan, let them help you put together your emergency kit and show them where it is being kept.
· Teach your children how and when to call for help. Post emergency numbers by all telephones and explain when to call each number. Include work numbers and mobile phone numbers of household members. Even very young children can be taught how and when to call for emergency assistance.
· Help them memorize phone numbers. Quiz them every few months or when an emergency or alert has been declared in the news.
Always have open lines of communication with your children and remember that each child has a different capacity for understanding depending on their age or circumstance, so be patient.
It doesn’t always have to be a serious discussion. Think of creative ways to talk about emergencies. Create a game, or role-play. The more interactive it is, the better engaged your children will be and the more prepared they will become for any future emergency.