Planning for an Emergency
Planning for an Emergency
None of us want to imagine the possibility of disaster, but thinking ahead can make a big difference when an emergency strikes. Make a plan, prepare an emergency kit, and talk to children about how to respond in a fire, earthquake, or other emergency event. Involving children in planning and discussing potential disaster scenarios can reduce their worries, and make it more likely that they’ll remember what to do. Additionally, thinking in advance about how we can respond to children as trusted adults can help us find the right words to comfort and reassure them in a difficult situation.
There are many resources available to help you prepare for an emergency. In San Mateo County, SMC Ready provides a centralized hub for emergency preparedness information. Here you can sign up for SMC ALERT, an alert notification system that can immediately contact you during urgent or emergency situations via email, mobile phone, or landline.
In addition, here are some state and national resources for kids, families, educators, and service providers.
- Sesame Street Let’s Get Ready (available in English and Spanish): http://www.sesamestreet.org/toolkits/ready
- Ready.gov Kids: https://www.ready.gov/kids
- FEMA, Disaster Preparedness Coloring book: https://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/color.pdf
- CDC Ready Wrigley: https://www.cdc.gov/phpr/readywrigley/
- National Fire Protection Association Kids: http://www.sparky.org/
For Parents and Families:
- Ready.gov, information in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Haitian-Creole, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Urdu, Vietnamese: https://www.ready.gov/languages
- CA Office of Emergency Services: http://www.caloes.ca.gov/ICESite/Pages/10-Ways-To-Be-Prepared.aspx
- American Red Cross (available in English and Spanish): http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/disaster-safety-for-children#Disaster-Safety
- American Academy of Pediatrics (available in English and Spanish, with text-to-speech capabilities in both languages): https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/Pages/Getting-Your-Family-Prepared-for-a-Disaster.aspx
- SAMHSA, Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: https://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA11-DISASTER/SMA11-DISASTER-09.pdf
For Providers and Educators:
- CA Office of Emergency Services– For educators, including daycare and pre-K: http://www.caloes.ca.gov/for-schools-educators
- CDC, Caring for Children in a Disaster– For teachers and childcare providers: https://www.cdc.gov/childrenindisasters/schools.html
- Sesame Street Care, Cope, Connect– For providers working with parents (booklets available in English, Spanish, Korean, and Arabic): https://sesamestreetincommunities.org/activities/parent-workshop-care-cope-connect/
- Child Care Aware, emergency preparedness webinars- For child care providers: http://usa.childcareaware.org/preparednesswebinars/
- FEMA, Earthquake Preparedness: What Every Childcare Provider Needs to Know: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1452-20490-2572/fema-240.pdf
- American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatric Preparedness Resource Kit– For pediatric health care providers and public health leaders: https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Children-and-Disasters/Pages/Pediatric-Preparedness-Resource-Kit.aspx