Getting your kids to prep

6:13 PM

photo credit: gfred via photopin cc

This week our neighborhood had a visit from some friendly firemen.

One of our neighbors had a small fire (or burnt dinner) that led to our building evacuating. Note that this was in the middle of a snowstorm and at night. As I dressed the boys quickly in mittens, hats, and jackets, I realized that I haven't read many books or blogs that discuss evacuation safety with kids.

Part of prepping, at least for us, includes the possibility of a fire in our building.

Whether you live in a single family home, a condo, or an apartment, it's important to talk with your kids about the possibility of a fire. Let your kids know that if and when a fire occurs, it's important to quickly get dressed and leave the house. Don't waste time trying to gather toys or precious belongings. Just get out.

Despite the fact that we left our building within minutes of the alarms going off, I was shocked at just how much smoke filled the hallways of our building. We were all coughing by the time we got outside. Had we taken even longer to evacuate, we would have had a more difficult time dealing with the smoke.

When you have kids, you need to be willing to talk with them about fires.

You don't have to scare them, of course, but talk with your kids about what to do if you need to leave your home.

It's also a good idea, especially during the winter, to have things like hats, gloves, scarves, boots, and pants ready by the front door. This is going to save you time looking for shoes and the frustration of having to leave your home barefoot or in socks.

I also have a small makeup-sized bag with flash drives that include all of our important documents, pictures, and copies of our ID cards. When we had to leave, I was able to grab this one small bag and quickly get out of the house.

If you live in a single family home, make sure that your children know to leave the house before you call 9-1-1. It's important that your family get out alive before worrying about calling the fire department. You can also run fire drills with your family members to practice leaving your home during a fire, but keep in mind that many fires occur at night when your kids are going to be groggy, sleepy, and tired. Many times, it's going to be up to you to get them up and out of the house if something happens.

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  1. My boys are in Cub Scouts, and one of the Bear Requirements is to know how to leave the house in an emergency, and have a practice drill. We made it fun, but in the process they learned something.