Did you know that it took nearly 7 months for the last child displaced from Hurricane Katrina to be reunited with her parents? There were 5,000 missing children reports filled following Katrina. These are just a few of the staggering statistics shared by Save the Children to help raise awareness about the Get Ready. Get Safe. campaign. Have you ever considered what your child would do if a disaster hit where you live? Do they know how to contact other relatives? Would they be able to tell emergency personnel where they live and tell them your name? Save the Children wants to help you and your child be prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Once, when Gabe was a little more than two, he caught me in the bathroom and snuck out the front door. The ten seconds between when I realized what he had done, and when I found him seemed like an eternity. It’s unthinkable to imagine being separated from Gabe; he’s just five years old, and only knows basic contact information. It’s too easy to assume that someone could just pick up a cell phone to call someone, but that might not be the case in the event of a disaster. You can teach them basic contact information and rehearse it countless times, but if they were scared or hurt, would they be able to give emergency personnel the information they need to locate family or friends?
Save the Children has created this checklist to help your family be prepared in the event of a disaster.
Save the Children also created this video below to help you understand why disaster preparedness is important.
A good way to start your disaster preparedness plan is to fill out this emergency contact card created by Save the Children (it would be good if you could laminate it, too), and place it in your child’s backpack, bag, lunchbox, or wallet. It should include your contact information and an out of town contact in case local communications are down. This emergency contact card could help expedite the reunion between you and your child.
Hopefully this post has inspired you to do more; do you want to help other families in your community be prepared in case of a disaster? You could help organize or host a disaster preparedness Prep Rally. If you follow the link Save the Children has information to help you get started.
It can be uncomfortable and even painful to think about a disaster, but preparedness is essential. Save the Children has a website dedicated to resources to help prepare you and your family in the event of a disaster.
Are you and your children prepared?