I was talking with a coworker about preparing for disasters—he told me about a cool game online that he tried with his kids. Here’s what he said about the game, which you can find on AAA’s website here.
Earlier this week, we spent some time at home going through this disaster prep website. We had fun with my 13-year-old going through it with two browsers – on one we tried to get the answers all right, on the other we tried to get them all wrong to see what would happen. We had a good time and had some interesting discussions.
I wouldn’t even have thought to try getting the answers right and wrong, but it sounded like a much more fun time than just going through the questions trying to get them right.
I grew up in the California Bay Area, which is susceptible to earthquakes, so we practiced earthquake drills at school. Each child also brought a 72-hour kit to be stored in his or her classroom during the first weeks at school. My mom would let me help pack the kit, so I learned to understand some of the needs that can arise during a disaster (like socks). If there wasn’t a need to use the kits, we received them back on the last day of school—meaning I got to eat a couple of packs of fruit snacks and canned mandarin oranges, making it the best day ever.
Then, at home, every few years we would practice what we’d do in case of a fire. We got to pop the screens off of our windows and jump out (it was the first floor).
In thinking about these three simple ways to teach children about disaster preparation, I realized that it can be fun. Sometimes doing something outside of the ordinary is fun for kids, even when it relates to a subject that initially seems adult, like preparing for disasters.
What do you do to help your families prepare for disasters?