What Would You Do if an Emergency or Disaster Hit Your Family? 
Emergencies and disasters don't follow a plan, but you can. Preparing for the unexpected can start with something as simple as a conversation over dinner. Get input from everyone involved and work together to create a prepare-respond-recover plan that fits the needs of your family .

Here are five tips to help you get started.
Take Five_1
Set up a warning and communication plan.
Download and register to receive severe weather and emergency alerts from city/county emergency services (see this example for Code Red from Ward County) , the national weather service or local radio/TV stations.  Install smoke detectors and maintain with fresh batteries. Compile a list of phone numbers for emergency responders and family members. 

Take Five_2
Prepare to provide aid before help arrives. Assemble a first aid kit and keep it in a place that is easily accessible by adults. Install fire extinguishers at key points in your home. Take a CPR/first aid training course. Get to know your neighbors and talk about what help you or they might need in the event of an emergency.

Take Five_3
Gather needed supplies.  Assemble an emergency supply kit for your home and survival kits for your cars. Include things like a flashlight and extra  batteries, a battery-powered or hand crank radio, first aid supplies, water, non-perishable food, blankets and sanitation items like toilet paper and diapers. View this list of suggested supplies  for a basic emergency kit. 
Take Five_4
Communicate and practice your plan. Discuss "what if" plans with people in your household and designate an evacuation meeting spot outside your home
. Strive to make drills a learning time, not a scary experience. C hildren will be better prepared to cope with the stress of an actual emergency if they've practiced these procedures ahead of time.   
Take Five_5
Not all emergencies happen at home.  Talk with your child care provider, school and employers about their emergency/disaster plans. How will they communicate with you? What are their evacuation plans? Do they have a space to shelter-in-place? What should you do and where should you go if an emergency happens at child care, school or work?
Q.  I know our family needs an emergency plan,  but what can we do to make it easier and less scary for our children ?
A. Get your children involved in the planning by going on a family shopping trip to purchase supplies for your emergency and first aid kits. Have children assist you in checking smoke detectors and making sure flashlights are working. Cuddle up for story time in your shelter-in-place area during a non-emergency time so they become familiar with the space. Introduce children to fire fighters, police officers and other emergency responders when they have exhibits set up at fairs or community events. Role play and practice "what if" drills in a calm, non-threatening way so children know what to expect in the event of a real emergency. 

Do you have a question or a topic you'd like us to explore? Contact Parent Services at or call 800-997-8515

Emergency and Disaster Resources
for North Dakota Child Care Providers
Child Care Aware has  resources and a basic handbook to help child care programs prepare, respond and recover from emergencies and disasters that are most likely to occur in North Dakota.

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