Welcome to the May 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Emergency Preparedness
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their plans to keep their families safe. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
My daughter has just completed her first “year” of homeschooling, which seems like a silly thing to say considering that we’ve been teaching her at home her whole life. But, she completed all of her goals for first grade. One of our favorite units, which we broke into two parts, we called “Firefighter Training.” Sofi love, love, loves firefighters, and anything firefighter related. She tells everyone that she will be a firefighter when she grows up. So, when we needed to talk about safety related subjects – as required by law in our state, and just for common sense purposes – I tried to make it more fun and pertinent for her by calling it Firefighter Training!
Firefighters need to be able to cope with all types of situations. We have learned that pretty much all firefighters have to not only know how to fight fires, but also need to be trained as paramedics. Most of the time, when a 911 call comes in, the local fire department also responds. Often, at the scene, paramedics and police officers need the strength and specialized tools that a fire company carries – even if there is no threat of fire. So, it was important for my little firefighter to know how to cope with all manner of emergency situations – not just how to aim a hose at a fire.
For our unit, we covered the following topics:
I. List of emergencies to prepare for.
F. Winter Weather
G. Extreme Heat
H. Downed Power Lines
I. Wild Animals
J. Gun safety
K. Being lost
M. Sneaky People
II. Know how to identify warnings
A. weather sirens
B. Weather app
III. How to prepare for each emergency
1. Discuss Exit Strategy
2. Make a Map
3. Know meet up destination
1. Stay under sturdy cover
2. Stay away from windows
3. Stay away from tall objects
1. Take cover in a low lying area
2. Protect head, neck and back
1. Drop to hands and knees and crawl to shelter
2. Shelter under sturdy tables during quake
1. Do not play alone near lakes, ponds, rivers or streams
2. Do not play in water drainage ditches
3. Do not go into water that you cannot see through
4. Do not go into water that has debris floating in it.
F. Winter Weather
1. Wear warm clothing
a. Long underwear
b. Long sleeved shirt/sweater
c. Warm socks
d. Snow boots
e. Warm coat
f. Gloves or mittens
g. Warm hat
2. Stay dry
3. Avoid frostbite
a. Keep skin covered
b. Keep extremities warm
4. If outside, be careful walking on surfaces that could be slippery
c. Parking lots
e. Frozen waterways
5. Keep an Emergency Car Kit
b. Wiper Fluid
c. Cat litter
j. Jumper cables
l. First aid kit
6. Build 72 Hour Kits
7. Discuss Emergency Plans
G. Extreme Heat
1. Stay out of direct sun
a. stay in shade if outside
b. use water to cool down
ii. swimming pool
iii. wading pool
c. park car in shade
2. Use air conditioning or fans inside
3. Use windows or air conditioning in car
a. do not leave children or pets in parked cars
b. do not play in cars
c. cover car seats
d. metal on cars may burn
H. Downed Power Lines
I. Wild Animals
J. Gun Safety
K. Being lost
1. Bumps and bruises
4. Broken bones
M. Sneaky People (Name borrowed from http://www.hobomama.com, material borrowed from http://www.safelyeverafter.com)
Some of these topics were pretty cut and dry. Downed power line? Stay away from it, make sure the toddler and the dog are in the house, tell a grown up. Some of them were a bit scarier. If you are ever in a public place and someone starts shooting a gun, you run and hide – and it is ok to go without Mommy and Daddy, just HIDE. The overlying theme – “and then come tell an adult.”
The segment that was the most fun, was making our 72-hour “Emergency Kits.” We worked together to make lists of what types of things we would need for an emergency. My kids are young – 4 and 6, so I didn’t want this to put scary ideas in their heads, like terrorist attacks, or bombings, or what have you. So, we focused on more natural disaster type things that would necessitate similar precautions. We talked about what we would need if there were a blizzard that knocked our power out for a few days. How would we stay warm? How would we cook? What kinds of foods could we easily prepare and eat with minimal water or energy consumption (that would still work for everyone’s allergies and keep us all safe)? What if there were a big flood and we had to evacuate? What would we need to take with us? Where would we go? Who would be our contact person so that if Daddy were at work an hour away and we all had to evacuate immediately without having time for Daddy to come home first?
It was really wonderful how many of these questions my kids were able to answer on their own. They are really very aware of what goes on around them, and how things work. They were even able to help me make a menu for a 72 hour kit that would meet everyone’s nutritional and allergen needs. Then we had the fun of collecting the items we would need to make our 72 hour kits, and everyone got to pick out a new backpack to store his or her things in. All of the backpacks are stored together in a little used closet, along with a bin of food and bottled water. We also compiled lists of emergency needs for the car and the van and assembled them.
This was such a fun unit for us to do, with a lot of hands on time! We covered the wintery subjects in the fall and the summery subjects in the spring when it warmed up. Then we talk about them and reinforce them often. My little firefighter found that she was able to cope with a lot of scary topics, with a minimum of tears, and learn what she needed to know to keep herself safe!
Visit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon May 14 with all the carnival links.)
- Be Prepared for Emergencies — Becky at Crafty Garden Mama is reviewing Angela England’s new ebook, The Untrained Housewife’s Guide to Getting Prepared. See what measures she is learning to adopt in her family.
- Prepare to Expect a Safe and Beautiful Natural Birth — What do you need to have prepared so that you can have a nice and relaxing birth at home? Lisa at The Squishable Baby shares her list in a guest post at Natural Parents Network.
- Fire Boxes for Emergency Preparedness — Jana of Jananas tells why she bought a fire box to store important documents and what is stored in the box.
- Firefighter Training Homeschool Curriculum — Kellie at Our Mindful Life helped her homeschooled kids prepare for emergencies through a Firefighter Training unit.
- 3 Secrets to a Royal Emergency — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep tells the secret to living like kings during a storm-induced power outage.
- Is Your Family Prepared for an Emergency? — Chrystal at Happy Mothering shares an overview of what her family has done to become more prepared for emergencies.
- What to Do in an Earthquake — Julia at A Little Bit of All of It gives instructions for staying safe in the event of an earthquake as well as tips for teaching your children to keep safe and where to find information online after an earthquake.
- Spring Cleaning & Preparing, Part 2 — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger organizes and replenishes her emergency supply every spring and is learning to add to the food stockpile by preserving year-round.
- 15 Must-Haves For The Natural Minded Family When Disaster or Emergency Strikes — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she prepares for disaster or an emergency as a natural minded mama. Learn what 15 natural items you should consider having on hand!
- Emergency Preparedness: Cosleeping, Cheezits, Chocolate — Kristine at All the Things in the World was happy to have cosleeping in her emergency tool kit during Hurricane Sandy.
- Being Prepared For Personal Disasters — Luschka at Diary of a First Child draws on her own recent experiences and considers five things every parent should have in place to ease the burden when sudden disaster strikes.
- The Natural Emergency Kit That I Always Carry in My Diaper Bag — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares the four green and natural items in her emergency kit that she can’t do without when she’s out and about with her little ones.
- Prepared… or not? — Is it dangerous to not prepare? Jorje of Momma Jorje shares whether her family prepares…or not.
- Pack a car safety kit: 25 must-have items for emergencies — Whether you’re out for a leisurely drive or fleeing a disaster, Lauren at Hobo Mama offers tips on stocking your car with emergency supplies that will tide you over if you’re stranded.
- Teaching My Children About Tornados — Destany at They Are All of Me writes about preparing her children for tornado season.
- Preparing our children for emergencies — Preparing for emergencies means preparing your children, and Robbie at Going Green Mama shares ways on how to empower kids when it comes to emergencies.
- Emergency Preparedness in Sub-Saharan Africa — After living in Sub-Saharan Africa for 7 years, emergency preparedness is not just a concept any more to Laura from Authentic Parenting.
- Five Ideas to Keep Babies and Toddlers Safe from Choking — Do you have a baby or toddler who likes to put everything (and I mean *everything*) in her mouth? Dionna at Code Name: Mama does, and today she’s sharing a story and some tips on how to keep your little ones safe from choking.