A wildfire is a terrifying and often traumatic event for anyone to go through, especially children. In addition to the threat of the fire, smoke inhalation, falling debris, and landslides pose serious health and safety risks. If you live in an area that’s prone to wildfires, it’s important to come up with a plan on how to keep your family protected. Here are some effective tips for keeping children safe in a wildfire.
Create a Disaster Plan
One of the most effective ways to keep your family safe in the case of a wildfire is to create a disaster plan. Having a disaster plan in place will help your family respond in the most advantageous way possible rather than frantically running around your house without a clue what to do.
In addition, a disaster plan can help minimize fear, anxiety, and overall helplessness which can be extremely traumatizing to young family members. When creating a disaster plan include details such as where your family will meet outside of the fire area in case you get separated, directions on multiple escape routes from your home, where y’all will stay in the case of a wildfire (such as with an out-of-area relative), and other pertinent information.
Gather Emergency Supplies
Another effective tip for keeping children safe in a wildfire is to gather emergency supplies. In the case of a wildfire, you don’t want to have to run around your home to find the supplies you need. In addition to wasting time, having to rush around can make your child even more anxious and frightened than they already are. As such, it’s best to place all the different items you’d need in a designated, easy-to-reach location. Examples of emergency supplies you should have ready include:
- Protective clothing (sturdy shoes, long pants, long-sleeve shirts, gloves, etc.)
- A first aid kit
- Non-perishable food
- Water bottles
- A flashlight
- Face masks or covering
- A credit card, cash, or traveler’s checks
- A battery-powered radio
Listen To News Updates
In the case of a wildfire, staying informed is vital to staying safe. As such, it’s important to listen to your local news station for updates regarding wildfire. In extreme types of wildfire situations, local officials may advise families to evacuate the area and provide information regarding the safest evacuation routes possible. If an evacuation is recommended, y’all will need to act fast to ensure the safety of your children.
As previously stated, evacuating the area may be the safest course of action in some wildfire scenarios. To ensure your family is ready to pick up and go on a moment’s notice, consider practicing an evacuation drill with your children. This will teach children how to respond properly rather than panicking or hiding. In the event of a real fire, such preparation will end up saving your family valuable time.