Emergencies and Children
As challenging as it can be for adults to weather an emergency situation, it can be much more so for children. There are several things that you can do to ease a crisis, both in preparation and if you find yourself in an emergency.
- Read stories about people in challenging circumstances. Stories of pioneers or others who lived on the frontiers can help children to imagine life without modern conveniences and comforts. Discuss the ways they used to get things done and how they are different from what we do today. A power outage could end up being an exciting chance to try living like Laura Ingalls!
- Practice. Fire drills, practicing first aid skills and camping are great ways to prepare children (and ourselves!) for actual emergencies. We can learn to use equipment, commit essential plans and skills to memory and have a chance to talk through potential situations before we are faced with them.
- Pack comforting foods and items in 72-hour kits. This may require a little creativity, but packing a jar of peanut butter or tracking down a miniature version of a favorite stuffed animal might just make all the difference in the world.
- Pack good books. The Scriptures, and lighthearted and engaging stories can help calm, distract and entertain in a crisis.
- Stay calm and confident, even if you have to fake it. Our children will look to us in unfamiliar situations to know how to behave. Before we give in, we need to consider whether we want to deal with a child doing the same…or worse!
- Sing. The right music can soothe and calm, focus and unite energy and invite the Spirit. Take some time to learn a hymn or other good song as a family.
- Teach children to turn to the Lord in a crisis. Pray with them when they face smaller daily problems and let them see and know that you turn to the Lord when you face challenges. If you face a major emergency as a family, pray together as soon as the family is out of immediate danger. We need His help and our children need to know where to find guidance and strength.