Emergency preparedness isn’t easy with kids. Come to think of it, I’m not sure which parts of life get easier when you have kids.
If young children aren’t interested in a topic—like boring drills and emergency plans—they won’t pay attention. There are some emergency preparedness games and activity books geared toward kids, but there’s no cartoon or video game that can teach them your specific plans, so it’s up to you to make it interesting.
Use songs, rhymes, stories, and dramatic play to hold their attention and help them remember what to do in an emergency. Incorporating play is also a great way to talk about the dangers of disasters without scaring them. Ask yourself, “WWPPD?” (What would “Paw Patrol” do?)
It can also help to let your kids be a part of the planning process. Have them brainstorm what emergencies could happen during a disaster and how to overcome them. Add their ideas to your plan so they’ll feel more invested.
Disasters are scary for adults, so they’re definitely scary for children. Remember to ask your kids about their feelings. They might have concerns that you, as an adult, might not have thought of. You can help alleviate their fears by addressing them in your plans and drills. Just be sure to run those drills with your kids to let them practice and, hopefully, release some of those fears.