Dealing with a fire evacuation is a frightening experience for the entire family, especially children. When you are caught off guard by an evacuation your life can turn upside down, causing chaos through out your family. Luckily, there are many tips you can use to cope with a fire evacuation and make the experience less stressful for you and your children.
Proper preparation will make a fire evacuation much easier. If you plan ahead for the fact it may someday occur, you won’t be caught off guard to such an extent. Discuss with your children what will happen if you should ever have to be evacuated. Collect important items as a family and store them in fire safe boxes. Have important belonging stored in an easily assessable place so they can be grabbed in a hurry if an evacuation should occur.
Know where you are going ahead of time if there is an evacuation. Find a friend or family member your family can stay with if you are ever evacuated. If this isn’t an option, find out where your local safe shelters are. Take your children to this place ahead of time so they are familiar with their surroundings incase an evacuation occurs.
If you live in areas that are susceptible to wildfires, it’s vital you have an insurance plan that covers fire. This insurance will not only ease your mind but your children’s minds as well. Your children will take comfort in the fact if something should happen to their home it can be rebuilt or a new home can be found. They won’t be left absolutely homeless, which is a huge cause of worry among young children.
During a fire evacuation, coping with the situation is much easier if you have a support system for your family. Stay in contact with people you and your children are close with. This can be family, friends, or even neighbors. If children are still able to remain in contact with those they care about, the situation will be made much less frightening with this support system.
Children thrive when they are products of a routine or schedule. Despite the fact your family has been evacuated, try to keep your children on as much of their usual routine as possible. This includes not missing school, keeping up extracurricular activities, and family meals. This well help children cope with a fire evacuation by allowing them to see just because they aren’t at home life will continue. It will make your children feel safe and have a sense of “normalcy” despite the situation.
“Coping Strategies for Evacuees” U.S. Department of State
“Evacuation Plans” FEMA