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Kids Overcome Their Fears as They Help Prepare for a Disaster

Release date: 
July 16, 2008
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LINCOLN, Neb. -- When kids go through a storm or tornado or other kinds of disaster it can make them feel helpless, experts with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) say. Even if they do not experience it themselves, seeing or hearing about what may have happened to a friend or classmate may be unsettling. Helping plan for their own family in case of a disaster can help kids overcome their fears.

Get children involved in putting together a family disaster kit. Let them help you make a list of what you need to put in a kit in order to be prepared. Take children with you to shop for items you do not have in house.

Here are the basic emergency supplies for a family disaster kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and wash ups;
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food;
  • Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both;
  • Flashlight and extra batteries;
  • First Aid kit;
  • Whistle to signal for help;
  • Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant;
  • Moist towelettes;
  • Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation;
  • Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air;
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place;
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities;
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food).

If you live in a cold climate and have a power outage, your family will need to keep warm. Be sure to pack a sleeping bag or blanket for each person, long pants, a long sleeve shirt, sturdy shoes, a hat and gloves.

For more information and for activities for children in preparing and coping with a disaster go online at ?

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

Last Updated: 
July 8, 2017 - 11:19
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