Dealing with disasters can be hard for kids, and it’s important for parents and educators to help them learn what to do during an emergency. September is Preparedness Month, and ReadyWisconsin encourages everyone to spend time this month teaching younger generations how to be prepared.
“Disasters can create scary situations, and many kids will not understand what they are supposed to do,” said Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator Greg Engle. “Preparedness Month is a perfect opportunity to teach them about the importance of having an emergency supply kit and a plan for what to do when a disaster strikes.”
Parents should talk to their children about what to do if there is an emergency at home, school, or daycare. Make sure they know who to contact and identify a safe meeting place by creating an emergency communications plan for your family. Plans should include important phone numbers and a backup point of contact. Put together an emergency supply kit with your kids and include them in the process of creating an emergency plan for your family.
Educators can also help prepare students by offering the Student Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP) program in their classrooms. Designed for fourth and fifth-grade students, this curriculum developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is made available by the state at no cost to educators. The program teaches important preparedness lessons to children and encourages them to take that information home.
“Over the last 12 years, the STEP program has helped teach nearly 100,000 children in Wisconsin the importance of being prepared for the unexpected,” Engle said. “We are proud to continue making this important resource available to educators and students across the state.”
Fourth and fifth-grade educators and school administrators interested in offering the STEP program in their schools during the spring of 2024 can find more information online at https://readywisconsin.wi.gov/step/. For more safety tips follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/readywisconsin), Twitter (www.twitter.com/readywisconsin) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/readywisconsin).