The recent despicable act of crime at Virginia Tech has left us all benumbed and at loss of words. Much has been said and more will said around in the columns for months and years to come, but what I want to focus in this post today is what all working mothers should know (at the least) in a case of emergency. Disasters or emergencies, human caused or natural, if we know how to act and are prepared for the same, it might result in getting to know about our loved ones and also getting to them faster.
Important Phone Numbers
Always have on your cell phone your child’s school phone number or an emergency contact that they provide you. In most places the emergency contact number is 911, but check with your local authorities if it is different. Also have with you your child’s doctor’s phone number. And of course, those of your close neighbors and relatives in the area.
What your Child must know
- If of a preschool age or more, your child must know his/her full name, parents name and preferably the house address and phone number. Always instruct your child not to go with any stranger even if there is chaos around and stay put where they are. If they have a cell phone have the required necessary numbers stored beforehand. Teach your child to call 9-1-1 and what to say once the call is placed.
- Ask your child to participate and be attentive during the fire drills at schools. All drills must be taken seriously and not playfully.
- Show them how to find a safe place under the desk or on in a corner in case of an earthquake or similar disasters.
- Train them not to panic in a difficult situation and to think before they act.
Getting to your Child
Post disaster; if you head to get to your child, first hear the news on the radio / TV or the read for instructions online (if available) to know about the road conditions and the traffic congestions. Avoid those areas if possible and resist going on bridge even though there may be no present indication of damage. Don’t be an obstruction to emergency vehicles on the roads.
If the roads and conditions are bad, don’t panic, your child would be safer at school and you could be getting yourself in trouble if you head out and get stuck before somewhere in between before getting to your destination, either to the school or your house. Also, the school might instruct you whether you should come to pick up the child or not, it depends on their policies and procedures after a disaster, consult them before following your first instinct of driving to get there as fast as possible.
Talk with your spouse or family members on a plan of action in case of disasters and emergencies.
Disaster Supply Kit @ Home
Gather a supply kit with food and water rationing as well as medical kit at home in an accessible place. Keep a small kit in your car.
Important Emergency Websites
Read your country’s emergency preparedness websites for information and up-to-date directions for such cases. Some in US are:
Is there anything else you would like to contribute? Please comment.