By Joseph Parish
If you experienced an emergency of any sort from a fire to an earthquake would your family survive? Would each member of your family know and choose the appropriate course of action in order to save their lives? Do all family members know what your emergency action plan is and how to implement it? What if family’s members become separated do they know what to do? Do they know where to once again meet up and join forces?
These are extremely important concepts that each family must consider when planning any kind of emergency actions. This can be a very delicate and scary situation for adults so you can imagine how children must be feeling about it. I feel that it is vital that each parent set up an emergency plan and then sit down with the children and discus the plan and its implementation. By talking to your children about the plan you can get their feedback on it and adjust the necessary plans or clarify them according to what the feedback is from the children. It is important that you not make the mistake of thinking of your children as merely dependents of yours but rather as active keys towards the family’s ultimate survival during times of crisis.
Talk it over with them and this way they will fully know what is expected from them in an emergency as well as what they are doing. You want them to be as prepared as possible to ensure their safety. Above all a child who understands what they must do will remain calm and make intelligent decisions based upon specific facts.
Here are several key items that you may wish to discus with them. There are certainly many more however these few should get you thinking in terms of safety and emergency survival.
Sit down and identify several different ways that a family member can escape from any room in your home. In my case we have high windows which will necessitate the child climbing up several feet before they can get to the windows. As such appropriate plans must be made. Escape ladders are of course necessary in this situation and we are on a single floor. In the event that you have several floors then the ladders would certainly be a necessity.
After the escape plans have been created make sure that the family takes several times each year and actually does the escape routine. Practice makes perfect. Don’t leave anything to chance.
It goes without saying that one must locate a safe meeting location away from the home where each family member can meet upon escaping the immediate danger. Don’t make it too far from the home and of course do not locate it too close to the home either.
There are certain precautions that children should be taught concerning escaping your home during a fire. In many cases these are taught in the public school system but never the less you should ensure that each child understand what the precaution is and why. Teach them that if they have a smoke filled room they should crawl o safety. Make sure they check a door for heat build up before opening it and above all you must stress that once they are out of the house they must remain out – never return to the home.
Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish