Children can help prepare for disasters

Richard Bogren, White, Rebecca E.  |  7/19/2011 7:13:21 PM

News Release Distributed 07/19/11

The onset of hurricane season is an important time for families to get ready for disasters, and parents can enlist their children to help get ready by assembling a family disaster preparedness kit, says LSU AgCenter child and family development specialist Becky White.

“People – including children – cope best with disaster when they work together to prepare for emergencies and disasters,” White says. “All family members should know what to do in the event of a hurricane or other emergency.”

The American Red Cross suggests every family develop a disaster supply kit that should have enough supplies for three days and include a family disaster plan and emergency contacts list.

“Parents should talk to their children about the importance of being prepared for a disaster like a hurricane and discuss what their family would do,” White says.

She suggests parents and children work together to assemble a family disaster supply kit that should contain the following:

– Family disaster plan.

– Family emergency contacts list.

– Maps.

– A three-day supply of nonperishable foods.

– A three-day supply of water, including 1 gallon per person per day for drinking, washing and preparing food.

– First aid supplies, including bandages, antibiotics, first aid manual, thermometer, pain relievers and prescription medication.

– Simple tools and supplies, such as a radio, flashlights, can opener, utility knife, batteries and scissors.

– General supplies to stay comfortable, safe and entertained, such as games, books, children’s favorite toys, paper, pencils, blankets, hygiene supplies, matches, toilet paper, garbage bags and disinfectant.

– Pet supplies if needed.

“Developing and having a family disaster supply kit ready in the event of a disaster is a proactive way to teach your children about family safety and may give your child some sense of comfort and control,” White says.

Rick Bogren

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