Is your child Prepared In Case Of Emergency (ICE)?
With hurricane season in full swing (Florence just caused catastrophic flooding here in the Carolinas), it is imperative that we equip our children with the information and supplies needed in case they are in school or daycare when a disaster hits. Children are the most vulnerable in emergency situations. That’s why Save the Children encourages everyone to act to better protect kids BEFORE disaster strikes. Do you have a plan in place?
Every day, 69 million U.S. children are separated from their families while they are at school or child care. Save The Children recommends you make free In Case of Emergency (ICE) Contact Cards for your children to prepare for an emergency that could happen while your child is not with you. It can be difficult to reach loved ones when disaster strikes. Power goes out, cell towers go down and stress levels go up.
After Hurricane Katrina there were more than 5,000 reports of missing children.
It took 7 months to reunite the last child with her family. Here is a video of one such family:
Help your child be prepared, just in case:
- At an early age make sure your children know you and your spouse or other guardian’s full name, and teach them your address and home and/or cell phone numbers. Get a play phone and have them dial your numbers over and over. My girls all knew my cell phone number by the time they were three. This came in very handy when my four year old sneaked out of the house and went to play at a NEW neighbor’s house down the street. I was feeding my infant and didn’t realize until 30 minutes later the four year old was missing from her bedroom. Just as I started to panic, my neighbor called me to say she was at their house.
- Teach your child when to call 911, and to respect and trust fire fighters and police officers. Speak with the first responders at a community event or call and arrange an appointment to visit the station so your child will feel safe and not afraid of fire fighters and police officers. Some towns have a community service officer that will come to your home and speak about safety, show your child a police car and give them some fun items, like a stuffed animal, coloring books and/or stickers about safety.
- Create an ICE card to be stored in your child’s backpack. It is simple and free. Your child’s ICE card should include 3 emergency contacts — including an out-of-town contact, because you never know what can happen during emergencies. You could lose your phone, be unconscious, or local communications might be down.
Create your In Case of Emergency (ICE) Contact Cards
- Click on the link above.
- Fill out one form for your whole family online (Save the Children will not store your child’s info anywhere).
- Print out the cards (you’ll get two copies for each child), cut and fold.
- Put one copy in a luggage tag to keep inside your child’s bag. Keep the other copy in your wallet.
Did you make a card? Let me know in the comments!
Save the Children also created a fun song and dance called “The Prep Step” to help kids learn the 3 important prep steps every family should take. Check it out!
Do the Prep Step! Make emergency prep fun for the whole family.
Prep Step #1 = Make ICE cards for kids.
Prep Step #2 = Make an emergency plan and practice as a family.
Prep Step #3 = Create a disaster supplies kit.
Disasters happen. It’s how we prepare for them that makes the difference. Because being prepared is the first line of defense in a disaster.