Children can be especially sensitive to the emotional stress of an emergency. Parents can help prepare children by including them in the planning process and answering their questions about safety. Make sure your children take part in your preparation process and ensure that you have included supplies that make them feel comfortable and safe.
School or Day Care
- Know your child's school or day care emergency plan.
- Find out where children will be taken in the event of an evacuation during school hours.
- Keep your contact information up-to-date at your child's school.
- Pre-authorize a friend or relative to pick up your children in an emergency, and make sure the school knows who that designated person is.
- Put your child's emergency plan card on file at his or her school.
What to Teach Your Children
- Basic contact information.
- How to use a telephone and cell phone.
- How and when to call 9-1-1. Role-play 9-1-1 calls with them.
- What to do if a parent becomes ill and the child is alone.
- How to reach an "out-of-area" family contact.
- What natural gas smells like and what to do if the child smells it.
- Practice basic emergency response plans, like the family evacuation plan.
- Practice Stop, Drop, and Roll.
Additions to the Emergency Kit and Go Bag
- Toys, games and comfort items.
- Recent family photograph.
- Face Coverings
- Comfort foods and treats.
For Additional Information
- Get Ready! A disaster preparedness activity book
- FEMA for Kids - Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Family Communications Plan
- Family Communications Plan (English version) - Illinois Terrorism Task Force
- Family Communications Plan (Spanish version) - Illinois Terrorism Task Force