As parents, we often take on most of the emergency preparedness tasks ourselves.
But I think it is equally important to teach our children emergency preparedness skills as well.
How do we make emergency preparedness fun for kids? How do we get them excited about participating?
I have come up with some ideas on this subject. I have teenagers, but I think most of these tricks will work on kids of all ages.
8 Ways to Get Your Children Excited About Emergency Preparedness
1. Practice with Drills
Kids attend drills all the time at school: fire drills, tornado drills, lockdown drills, etc. Why shouldn’t we do them at home as well?
You can make a game out of it by timing them to see how long it takes them to exit the house and get to their designated meeting location.
Practicing with drills helps kids become more comfortable with emergency procedures so that they might be more calm during an actual emergency.
2. Teach them outdoor survival skills
My boys do this with their boy scout troop, but parents can teach this information as well.
You can have a campout in your backyard or go on a family campout in the wilderness.
Skills such as gathering wood, building a fire, cooking on a fire, setting up a tent, basic first aid, etc are important for kids to know in emergency situations. It’s fun too!
3. Add fun things to 72 hour kits
72 hour kits (bug out bags) are bags you put together with enough food, water, clothing and supplies to survive for 3 days.
But besides these essentials, it would be fun for kids to add a few extras in their bag as well.
Some ideas would be: games, cards, word puzzles, candy or a small toy.
To find out more about 72 hour kits, you can read this post —> How to Make 72 Hour Kits to Get Your Family Prepared for Emergencies.
4. Make a game
Kids love to play games, so why don’t we use games to get them excited about emergency preparedness?
I love this post by Mom with A Prep —> 10 Pretend Games to Develop Preparedness Skills In Kids.
My favorite from that list is the We’re Going On A RoadTrip Game. What a great idea!
5. Review skills when something happens
Anytime something big happens (locally or in the news) that involves an emergency situation, use that as a teaching moment to discuss it with your kids.
This could be any kind of natural disaster, terrorist attack, school shooting or other emergency. Even the power going out can be a good time to teach your kids what they should do.
Kids will remember these things and hopefully recall what you told them if they are in an actual emergency.
6. Let them help you get prepared
Kids love to help, so let them help you get prepared.
Let them help pick out or stack food for food storage. Let them fill up bottles or gallon jug of water for water storage. They can help you put together 72 hour kits or power outage kits.
The more involved they are, the more excited they will be (especially young kids). That also gives them a sense of pride that they can help the family in an emergency.
7. Do weather experiments at home
Kids love science, so why not show them the science behind storms and natural disasters.
Inspiration Laboratories has some great resources on their site —> Weather related science projects.
8. Use entertainment involving disasters
Children love to watch movies and read books about natural disasters.
Some of our favorite weather movies are:
Twister, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, Dante’s Peak, and San Andreas.
For younger kids:
Frozen, Ice Age, and Eight Below
While watching these movies, we should discuss with our kids what we would do if those situations happened at our house.
We don’t do this to scare them, but to educate them and get them thinking of what they should do in different situations.
Emergency preparedness can be a scary thing for kids, but it doesn’t have to be.
By doing these things, we can open up a conversation with our kids about emergencies and what we should do if we have one at our house.
So try to involve your kids in your emergency preparedness efforts. I hope you will reap great blessings knowing that your kids are more prepared for whatever comes their way.
What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, please share. Thanks!