Preparing for Emergencies (a Guide for Parents and Caregivers)

A fire, storm or other event can put your family in a tough spot. But with a little planning, you can make sure your family is safe. Here are some tips to help.

Basic supplies

First, have some basic supplies on hand. You want to be able to survive for three days with no outside help. So have enough water and non-perishable food for each person and pet in your family. Put together a basic first aid kit. And don't forget any prescriptions or medical supplies you'll need.

Check supplies regularly

You also need some blankets, flashlights and a radio. Get extra batteries. Check all of these supplies regularly. Change the food and water every six months so they don't spoil. And as your family's needs change, reevaluate your supplies.

Make a plan

Now, make a plan. If you have young kids, teach them their first and last names, their address and phone number. Make sure they know how to evacuate in case of fire. Show them the safest room to get to in case of a tornado.

Plan for separation

Plan for the possibility of getting separated, too. Pick a place outside of your neighborhood where you can all meet if you can't go home. And choose a person in another state to be a contact for your family.

Be sensitive

The thought of emergencies make some kids anxious. So talk to them. Be clear and honest, and listen to their concerns. And reassure them that you will take care of them. By planning for emergencies before they happen, everyone will know what to do to stay safe.