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There are times when your family is separated. No one knows when an emergency situation might arise, so you have to prepare for anything. A few easy steps can make all the difference. Be sure your children never leave home without emergency contact information. Be sure they know whom to call first if you’re unavailable. Identify “safe places” in your community where they should go if lost or separated.
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The number of children you have in your family might climb during a disaster. You might suddenly find yourself responsible for nephews, nieces or even grandchildren. Talk with your relatives and discuss their own emergency preparedness plans so you know the maximum number of children you need to prepare for.
Age is a very important factor to consider when making your emergency plans. Can they move around on their own? Are they able to communicate injuries or concerns? Are they old enough to drive? Will you need to pack additional diapers, food or baby care items?
Evacuating a disaster area or moving to a shelter with children presents its own set of challenges. You need to plan ahead to make an extended stay away from your home as comfortable as possible. You’ll want to bring along games, books, crafts or other materials to help keep them entertained.
If you have a child with special health care needs, fill out an Emergency Information Form (PDF) and give copies of it to all of your child’s caregivers (babysitters, school teachers, grandparents, and others). For more information on disaster planning for children with special health care needs.