Prepare Your Children

Talk with your children about what to do if something happens.

By around age three, children can understand the basic concept of an emergency. Include them in family discussions and get them to participate in family preparations and drills as much as possible.

Other tips to prepare children and help keep them safe:

  • Teach children to Drop, Cover & Hold when the ground begins to shake.
  • Practice emergency fire drills, including how to exit their bedroom and use a fire ladder, if necessary.
  • Teach Stop, Drop & Roll and how to check to see if there’s fire behind a closed door.
  • Teach your children their basic personal information so they can identify themselves and get help if they become separated from a parent or guardian.
  • Prepare an emergency response card with information for each child, including his/her full name, address, phone number, parent’s work number and out of state contact.
  • Regularly update your child’s school with current emergency contact information and persons authorized to pick up your child from school.
  • Know the policies of the school or daycare center your children attend. Make plans to have someone pick them up if you are unable to get to them.
  • Make sure each child knows where else, besides your home, is a second meeting spot in case you get separated and cannot return to your home.
  • Make sure each child knows how to reach your family’s out-of-state contact person.
  • Teach children to dial their home telephone number and Emergency 9-1-1 and role play on what to say.
  • Teach children what gas smells like and advise them to tell an adult if they smell gas after an emergency.
  • Warn children never to touch wires on poles or lying on the ground.
  • Teach children what they should do if a parent is suddenly sick or injured.
  • Teach you children the importance of washing their hands and the proper procedures.

For infants:

  • Place cribs away from windows, blinds and other unsecured, heavy items.
  • Keep a go-bag for baby: a minimum 72-hour supply of formula, water, bottles, disposable diapers, wipes and clothing with your other go-bags. Also keep an extra supply of these items in a diaper bag in your car. Check regularly for freshness.