Learn How To
Don’t be reluctant to talk with your family about the possibility of a hurricane, fire, tornado, or flood. Thought and action before the disaster hits usually helps family members react wisely. Families that work together to prepare for the problem will cope better than those who do not take precautions. Consider how your children might react in a disaster, how you might react, and how the crisis could affect each person’s emotional and physical well-being. Plan in advance for how to deal with a crisis situation.
For the Entire Family
- Make a emergency plan for your family.
- Discuss and practice these plans with your family, Before a disaster strikes.
- Work together to help your children or other dependents understand the procedures. These steps will allow each family member to think through a potential crisis situation without the tension of a real emergency.
- Give children exact steps to follow. Talking, practicing, and actively preparing together will help children understand strange occurrences like a hurricane.
- Help children practice dialing the telephone operator, fire station, and ambulance (keep the phone on the hook).
- Read news stories of family or community problems and emergencies. Talk about how your family would handle the situation. This gives your children the time to think through and plan actions for real life crises.
- Play pretend with preschoolers. Discuss a situation that might arise in your area and then ask, “what would you do?”
- Provide basic supplies for a variety of possible situations. Stock a box with games, books, and hobby materials for waiting out emergencies. Make sure emergency supplies of food, diapers, and drinks are available.
- Involve children in preparing for and carrying out emergency plans. All children need and want to carry out important roles. This helps them feel a part of the family and prepares them to cope with later situations.
For Older Adults
- If you have older or disabled relatives living at home, review emergency procedures with them.
- If someone in your home is energy dependent, consider registering them for the Sumter County Special Needs Program. Find out where your local Special Needs shelter is by calling the Emergency Management department at 352-689-4400.
- If a relative lives in a nursing home, discuss evacuation procedures with the staff and make needed plans.