• June 2008
  • Vol. 9, No. 5

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Helping Children Prepare for Disasters

Through the eyes of a child, natural disasters and other emergencies can be a frightening and confusing experience. Talking with children about disaster preparedness and involving them in the planning process can calm their fears and prepare them to deal with an emergency if one occurs. A number of organizations offer useful resources for children to learn about disasters and disaster preparedness:

Ready Kids
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
www.ready.gov/kids/
Features step-by-step instructions for children in Grades 4-5 on how families can prepare for an emergency and the role children can play in this effort. Children can learn how to create an emergency supply kit and family communication plan, understand different types of emergencies, and take a quiz to graduate from "Readiness U."

FEMA for Kids
Federal Emergency Management Agency
www.fema.gov/kids/
Presents information children may want to know about disasters, including creating a disaster supply kit and family plan, different types of disasters, protecting your home and pets, and common feelings experienced during a disaster. Children who pass a quiz can download a "Disaster Action Kid" certificate.

Playtime for Kids
National Weather Service
www.nws.noaa.gov/om/reachout/kidspage.shtml
Provides links to games and other activities for children to learn about natural disasters such as hurricanes, winter storms, tornadoes, thunderstorms and lightning, and floods. Downloadable activity books offer information on ways to prepare, safety tips, and a quiz for children to test their knowledge.

Masters of Disaster®
American Red Cross
www.redcross.org/disaster/masters/
Presents a curriculum for both educators and families that includes downloadable toolkits, coloring books, and activity sheets to teach children how to prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters and other emergencies. The goal is to create a culture of preparedness in the community, in school, and at home.

When Disaster Strikes . . . Be Smart, Be Prepared, Be Responsible!
California Governor's Office of Emergency Services
www.oes.ca.gov/Operational/OESHome.nsf/PDF/Be%20Smart%20Coloring%20Book/$file/ColorBk.pdf (4,050 - KB)
Helps children understand some of the basic things to do before, during, and after a disaster.

Get Ready With Tex, the Shelter-in-Place Turtle
Ready South Texas
www.readysouthtexas.gov/PDF/Ready%20STX%20Act%20Book.pdf (7,809- KB)
Teaches children how to prepare by assembling items for a shelter and creating a family communications plan.

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