How to Prepare Your Children for Emergencies

How to Prepare Your Children for Emergencies


Emergencies can be particularly frightening for children, but involving them in disaster preparedness can help reduce their anxiety and ensure they know what to do when disaster strikes. Here’s how to prepare your children for emergencies effectively.

Why Preparing Your Children is Essential

Children can be especially vulnerable during emergencies, and their natural reaction might be fear and confusion. By educating and involving them in your disaster preparedness plans, you can help them feel more confident and less anxious. Knowing what to do can make a significant difference in their safety and well-being during a crisis.

How to Prepare Your Children for Emergencies

  1. Educate Them About Risks

    • Explain the different types of emergencies that could happen, such as fires, earthquakes, floods, and storms.
    • Use age-appropriate language and resources to ensure they understand what each type of emergency means.
  2. Involve Them in Planning

    • Let your children participate in creating the family disaster plan.
    • Assign them specific tasks, such as packing their own emergency kits or helping to test smoke detectors.
  3. Practice Drills Together

    • Conduct regular family drills for different types of emergencies.
    • Make it a learning experience and reassure them throughout the process.
    • Practice evacuating the house and going to your designated meeting places.
  4. Teach Them Emergency Contacts

    • Ensure your children know important phone numbers, including your out-of-state emergency contact.
    • Teach them how to use the phone to call for help and what information they need to provide.
  5. Create a Kid-Friendly Emergency Kit

    • Include items that can comfort and entertain them, such as favorite toys, books, or games.
    • Make sure they have essentials like snacks, water, and any necessary medications.

Kid-Friendly Emergency Plan Template

To help you get started, we’ve created a Kid-Friendly Emergency Plan template that you can use to involve your children in the planning process. This template includes sections for emergency contacts, meeting places, important information, steps to take during an emergency, and a kid-friendly emergency kit checklist.

Download Kid-Friendly Emergency Plan Template

Additional Tips

  • Stay Calm and Reassuring: Children will look to you for cues on how to react. Staying calm and providing reassurance can help them feel safe.
  • Use Stories and Games: Turn preparedness activities into stories or games to make learning about emergencies fun and engaging.
  • Regularly Review the Plan: Go over your emergency plan regularly with your children to keep the information fresh in their minds.
  • Encourage Questions: Allow your children to ask questions and express their concerns. Answer their questions honestly and provide them with comforting information.


Preparing your children for emergencies is a vital part of your family’s disaster preparedness plan. By involving them in the planning process and educating them about what to do, you can help ensure their safety and reduce their anxiety during an emergency. Start today by downloading our Kid-Friendly Emergency Plan template and involving your children in your family’s preparedness efforts.

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