|Picture of Scrabble game tiles spelling "Ready"|
The objective of the final week of National Preparedness Month is to teach youth about preparedness. Every family member should be prepared for emergencies, no matter their age.
It is important for parents to reassure younger children by including them in family preparedness planning. Older children need to be prepared so they know what to do if you are separated before, during or after a disaster.
It is important for responsible adults to listen to children and youth, ask them about their feelings, and validate their concerns. Children want to feel safe and need some information to understand what is happening when their lives change. However, it is wise to limit their media exposure as news stories can be frightening. It also helps to keep as much of an ordinary daily routine as possible under the circumstances.
Here are some helpful resources:
- American Academy of Pediatrics “Children and Disasters”: https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Children-and-Disasters/Pages/default.aspx
- CDC/FEMA “Helping Children with Disabilities During an Emergency”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqw22ixcQRQ&feature=youtu.be
Short video with ASL signing and transcript.
- FEMA “Helping Children Cope After a Disaster”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di6j1XxKC8c&feature=youtu.be
Short video with ASL signing and closed captioning in multiple languages.
- Ready Kids at Ready dot gov: https://www.ready.gov/kids
This site has games and other materials for younger children, and information for teens about family and community preparedness. There are also materials for parents and for educators.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) “Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A Guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers”: https://store.samhsa.gov/product/tips-talking-helping-children-youth-cope-after-disaster-or-traumatic-event-guide-parents/sma12-4732
- Teen CERT: https://www.ready.gov/teen-cert
CERT is the Community Emergency Response Team, a group of volunteers specially trained in disaster preparedness and community emergency response. Interested teens can join CERT through a teen program.
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