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Knowing what to do in case of an emergency can mean the difference between life and death. About 1 of every 19 Americans suffers an accidental injury at home or in the community every year. Help reduce the risk for those you love by involving everyone in your home as much as you can in preparing for and preventing emergencies.

BE PREPARED FOR AN EMERGENCY:

  • Teach your child that emergencies do happen and that the best way to deal with them is to be calm, stay safe and listen to the directions of trusted grown-ups.
  • Make sure your child knows your home phone number and adress.
  • Post emergency numbers next to every phone in your home.
  • Assemble a family "file of life" with emergency family contacts in it and post it on your refrigerator. Teach your child to give this to first responders coming to your home to help. This file should include how to find someone to watch your child, how to get in touch with other family members and other information specific to your family's needs.
  • Create a family fire escape plan in case of a fire and practice it often with your whole family. The plan should have two exits from every room and a meeting place for all family members outside of your home.
  • Have smoke detectors on every floor of your home and near or inside bedrooms. Check batteries every month and replace them two times a year.
  • Teach your child to never hide from rescuers, such as Police Officers or Firefighters in their gear.
  • Instruct your child about the dangers of severe weather conditions and how important it is to seek shelter or to stay indoors in the event of these emergencies.

IN CASE OF NATURAL DISASTERS:

Assemble a disaster supply kit with food and water for at least three days, plus these items:

  • Flashlights
  • Battery operated radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Medications
  • Important documents

PREVENT EMERGENCIES AND INJURIES:

  • Check for and eliminate fire hazards, including frayed electrical cords, overloaded outlets and improperly stored flammables.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of the sight and reach of children.
  • Teach your child to say "NO" to any stranger who offers him or her something or tries to get your child to go for a ride. Also teach your child not to go with anyone who asks for help in looking for a location or finding a lost animal. Explain that adults should ask other adults, not children, for help.
Last updated: 3/23/2010 12:24:41 PM