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Make Family Disaster Planning a Priority

By Dr. Katherine Urban, Pediatric Specialists

A disaster can happen at a moment’s notice, and it’s important that your family reacts quickly. Creating a family disaster plan will ensure that your child knows how to respond when faced with an emergency. Remember that you and your child may be in different places when a disaster strikes, for example at school and work. Discussing emergency plans with your child ahead of time will help him know what to do in various situations.

How to create a family disaster plan:

  • Talk with your child about the dangers of disasters that may occur in your area and how to prepare for each type.
  • Make sure your child knows where to go in your home to stay safe during an emergency.
  • Agree on a meeting place away from your home to go to if you are separated in an emergency.
  • Pick an out-of-state contact person who family members can “check-in” with if you are separated during an emergency.
  • Create a phone number and address list that includes the emergency meeting place, family members’ work and school, out-of-state family members and other local emergency contacts. Give each family member a copy of the emergency list to keep with them. Explain to your child how and when to call for help. Keep the list in an easily accessible place, like on the front of the refrigerator.
  • Make sure your child knows what smoke detectors, fire alarms and local community warning systems (horns, sirens) sound like and what to do when he hears them.
  • Put together a disaster supply kit for your family. This should include food, water and other items you might need in the event an emergency leaves you without electricity or clean water.
  • Practice your family disaster plan every six months so that your child will remember what to do in an emergency.

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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.