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Emergency Preparedness 2016

Dalton Daily CItizen, Dalton Magazine

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Be Prepared — Emergency Guide 8 Your children should be a part of your emergency planning. By help- ing them understand the dangers of storms and other crisis situations, you can further their knowledge of how to stay safe during them. But spitting out a few statistics and tips won't cut it for kids. Communicate with them on their level for optimum impact, maybe even integrating games or activities in their learning. Emergency preparedness is serious stuff, but is best delivered to children in an entertaining, interactive manner. Ease fears During and after disasters, children will usually look to adults for help. How they see you react can cause a chain reaction into their own actions, so it is important to stay calm and reassuring. When you're sure that danger has passed immediately after an emergency situation, concentrate on your child's emotional needs. Ask them what they may still be scared of or what you can do to help. Involve them in planning Ask your children to help when you pack or update your emergency kit. Doing so can help familiarize them with what is in your kit and how to use the items in emergency situations. You can make planning fun, too, by quizzing them on what to do in specific situations. This type of emergency preparedness can help ready your child for emergencies while you build in some bonding time, as well. Teach them critical phone numbers If for some reason, your child is separated from you or is away from home during an emergency situation, he or she needs to know important phone numbers. Here are a few that your child should either memorize or have on a sheet of paper when traveling. • 9-1-1: This one is obvious and can be crucial to receiving help in dangerous situations. • Home phone, parents' cell phones and parents' work phone numbers: It is vital that your child can easily reach you at all times. • Family Members: Two or three close relatives who may be able to reach you, as well. • 1-800-733-2767: This is the American Red Cross' Safe and Well phone number that lets family and friends know you are safe. Children can dial this number and report their location. They can also go online to www.safeandwell. communityos.org to do the same. Teach the children

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