Kids + Preparedness
As National Hurricane Preparedness Month continues, this week we’re focusing on preparing kids and teens for disaster situations.
Throughout September, we are sharing information about the importance of individual and household preparedness. Not only is this true for adults, but also for the youth in your household and community.
When young people are involved in the preparedness process, it helps to ensure that they feel safe, secure, and comfortable when a disaster strikes. These discussions don’t need to be complicated. First, establish a set time for open, honest dialogue with children and teens to discuss preparedness. Then, talk to them about the different kinds of hazards that could impact your community. Help them understand how the act of preparing beforehand will help keep you and your family safe. Let them ask questions, and do your best to answer them honestly and simply. Finally, as you respond, try to frame your answers in language they will understand, depending on their current stage of development.
Each person in your household should have a role in preparedness. Younger children can collect pre-identified items to go in your household emergency kit. Older children can help do research on potential hazards, or type up your written plan. Teenagers age 14 and up can work with your local emergency response agency to establish a Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in your community.
Once the kids and teens in your household are involved in your preparedness, encourage them to talk to their friends, classmates, faith leaders, and teachers about their preparedness. Create a strategy for children to share their knowledge and participate in preparedness activities with their peers. This can help normalize the preparedness process in your community.
Don’t wait—Start preparing today! To find more information on how to get children involved in the preparedness process, including interactive games, activities, and videos made especially for children and teens, visit www.ready.gov/kids
For up to date, reliable forecasts, visit the National Hurricane Center website. In the Virgin Islands, specific alerts, watches, and warnings can be found on VITEMA’s website, or sign up for AlertVI.