As you may know, September is National Preparedness Month. This is an ideal time to spread the word about disaster readiness and take steps to prepare yourself and your loved ones for all types of disasters. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to learn the building blocks of preparedness − be informed, make a plan, build a kit, and get involved.

When preparing for emergencies and disasters, it is especially important to consider the needs of at-risk populations such as children. Families with youngsters need to take extra steps to ensure their disaster plans address the unique needs of this population.

  • Ensure children are included in preparedness conversations.
  • Know the emergency plan for your child’s school and child care facility.
  • Practice evacuation plans and other emergency procedures with children on a regular basis.
  • Learn different ways to help children cope during and after an emergency.
  • Make sure children have emergency contacts memorized or written down in a secure place.
  • Teach kids when and how to call important phone numbers like 911.

One key component to personal and family preparedness is your emergency kit. When you are creating or updating your family’s kit consider the following steps for children.

  • Include your child’s medication or supplies.
  • Include your child’s favorite stuffed animals, board games, books or music in their emergency kit to comfort them in a disaster.
  • Get the kids involved in building their own emergency kit.
  • Kids bored? We can help. Check out the online Ready Kids Build A Kit game.

In addition to considerations for children, personal and family disaster plans should address the needs of pets. Remember to include your animal’s food, water, and any medications in your emergency kit. Click here for helpful tips on preparing your pets for emergencies and disasters.

Visit the ADHS Preparedness webpage for helpful links and more information on emergency and disaster preparedness in our state. Also, remember to bookmark the Arizona Emergency Information Network (AzEIN) webpage for emergency updates, additional preparedness advice, hazard information, and related resources.