By Rebecca Marquis, Acting Dirctor, Ready Campaign
While you may think you have everything you need in the event of an emergency on hand and could wing it on the fly, you might not be as prepared as you think. You are your family's first responder, so you need to proactively prepare for emergencies . Local, state and national authorities are going to help, but they may not be able to get to you right away.
September is National Preparedness Month, which is a great time to get your family Ready. Preparedness goes beyond fire alarms, smoke detectors, dead-bolt locks and extra food in the pantry. The Ready Campaign has made it easy with four simple steps: get an Emergency Supply Kit; make a Family Emergency Plan; be informed about emergencies and their appropriate responses; and get involved in community efforts.
To help get your family starte, Ready Kids is a family-friendly tool to help parents and teachers educate children, ages 8 - 12 about emergencies and how they can help families better prepare. The Ready Kids Web site at http://www.ready.gov/ features fun activities such as a Scavenger Hunt, Pack It Up Matching game, crossword puzzles and coloring pages, as well as age-appropriate, step-by-step instructions on what families can do to better prepare for emergencies and the role kids can play in that effort.
The Ready Campaign consulted with a number of organizations experienced in education and children's health to develp Ready Kids, and their expertise helped present the emergency preparedness information included in the Ready Kids program in a way that is understandable and approprate for children.
It's important to address this topic and explain to your children that families can prepare for emergencies before they take place and that they can help, too. By doing so, you can alleviate anxiety if an emergency does occur and help to nurture a more prepared society for generations to come. Visit www.ready.gov/kids today and get Ready!