Get Ready tips for kids: How you can stay safe in an emergency

Think about all the things you get ready for. You get ready for school by doing your homework. You get ready for a soccer game by going to practice. You get ready for the weekend by making plans with friends. And you get ready for a trip to grandma’s house by packing extra clothes and your toothbrush.

You’re pretty good at getting ready. So, why not get ready for an emergency too? Getting ready for emergency before it happens is really important.


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Make a kit!

Let’s start with something fun: Making an emergency supply kit!

An emergency supply kit is good to have for all kinds of emergencies. To start, sit down with your family and talk about the things you will need if an emergency happens. For example, a strong storm can make the lights go out, so get a flashlight for your supply kit. A first aid kit is a good idea too, in case you accidentally cut or scrape yourself in the dark.

Here are some other items to fill your emergency supply kit with:

• A radio that works with batteries: Having a radio is really important in an emergency. You can use the radio to get the latest news about an emergency, like whether it’s safe to go outside. Making sure the radio can run on batteries is important too. Remember, an emergency can cause your home to lose electricity.

• Food and water: In some emergencies, it may not be safe to drink the water from the faucets in your home. If you lose electricity, it might not be safe to eat the food in your fridge either. Make sure your family’s supply kit has a supply of bottled water. Also, make sure you have enough food to last for three days. Your emergency food should be food that doesn’t spoil outside of the fridge, such as canned veggies and crackers. Don’t forget extra pet food too!

• Extra clothes and blankets: Sometimes in an emergency, you and your family may have to stay in one room to stay safe. If this happens, you’ll want clean clothes and extra blankets to stay warm.

• Extra batteries: Without electricity, batteries can be your best friend!

• A can opener: You’ll need something to open your emergency canned food supplies. Make sure you can use the can opener without electricity.

• Hand sanitizer: Hand-washing is one of the best ways to kill germs and stay healthy. This can be even more important if an emergency happens. When there is no water available, hand sanitizer is a good second choice.

Once you’ve put together an emergency supply kit, don’t forget to check it to make sure the food is still good. Here’s a good tip: Every time you set your clock back an hour or forward an hour for daylight saving time, replace any emergency food supplies that have expired.

Make a family emergency plan!

Sometimes in an emergency, your family may not be in the same place. For example, your mom or dad may be at work. Ask your parents who you should call if an emergency happens and you can’t reach them. This person is called an emergency contact. Make sure you learn the full name and phone number for your emergency contact.

It can be hard to remember so many names and phone numbers. Write down the phone numbers for your family members and your emergency contact, and keep it in a safe place, such as your backpack or wallet.

What if an emergency happens while you’re not at school or at home? To get ready for this, talk to your family about choosing an emergency meeting place that’s easy for you to find. With your parents, practice getting to your emergency meeting place from places where you spend a lot of time.

Just like the emergency drills you practice at school, it’s important to practice emergency drills at home too.

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