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Children often are scared and frightened; parents may be distracted if they don’t know if their children are secure.

Essentially, kids need to know that they will be cared for in an emergency. Using age-appropriate information, help children understand what to do during an emergency by completing the steps below.

Before an emergency (children)

  • Learn how to identify hazards.
  • Practice your fire escape plan and evacuation plan with your parents so you know not to hide in these situations.
  • Learn how to reach an out-of-area contact during an emergency
  • Learn when to dial 9-1-1.

Before an emergency (adults)

  • Know the emergency policies at your children’s school, daycare, and activity groups. Know where these groups would take your child during an evacuation.
  • Make sure caregivers are trained in emergency procedures and know your family plan, out-of-town contacts, medical needs, and family evacuation meeting area.
  • Add any special items to your survival kit or food and water kit that your children will need (e.g., diapers, soother, formula, etc.)
  • Practice your fire escape plan and evacuation plan annually with your children.
  • Plan to keep your children with you in a crisis; discuss options with your employer.

During an emergency (children and adults)

  • Tell all family members what you know about the emergency and how the family will respond; be gentle but honest.
  • Give children specific and realistic responsibilities in an emergency; use their strengths.
  • Ensure children do not hide in favourite spots but remain with family members.
  • Reassure children who may be confused with changes in routine and surroundings.

After an emergency (children and adults)

  • If you can, help anyone who is injured.
  • Encourage all family members to talk about their feelings.
  • Take advantage of available counselling
  • Make sure all family members have a specific task to do. Do something that helps get back to normal.
  • Keep family together as much as possible; make rebuilding a group effort.