In 2017, a home security robot was released that allows you to watch live footage of your house from your smartphone, control it and even get alerts in cases of emergency. When I first saw it I thought to myself, “Huh, maybe I should get that for my family.”
But then I started to think about it more, realizing my kids would just think the robot was a toy, not understanding its real purpose. This led me to another realization – I didn’t think my kids knew what to in the case of an emergency.
The Good Old Family Emergency Plan
I remember when I was a kid my family had a few precautions in place. In case of a fire, we would meet in the yard. After an earthquake, we would meet on the street, away from the house in case of falling debris. We knew my parents’ work number, my grandparents’ number and how to call 911. Also, if there was a stranger claiming they had been sent by our parents, they needed to have a special code word so we knew it was for real.
My kids never had any of that, partially because I didn’t feel any urgency. To be honest, our careers have given us the amazing gift of being able to spend a lot of time with our kids. There’s at least one of us is usually able to work from home for at least part of the week. The downside is they haven’t always had a chance to gain a stronger sense of independence. Get where I’m going with this?
Preparing Your Kids For The Worst Possible Scenario
With so much happening in the world, it is pretty critical that we rectify this situation. While giving them smartphones might seem like all the security they need – other than patrolling home robots – that just isn’t true. If your child is separated from their phone, do they know what to do?
None of this is to give you a sense of parental guilt. Our kids are growing up in a safer time in many ways, but less prepared for the worst than they were before. By teaching them to protect themselves and act in an emergency, we will be arming them with what they need and striking that balance. All it takes is a conversation and a plan.
Sit down with your children and talk openly about the potential risks out there. Some basics to cover:
- Different natural disasters
- Active shooters and terrorism
- Properly securing the house
- Who to contact if someone is hurt or there is an emergency
- Who to contact if parents are incapacitated
- How to contact 911
- Relevant phone numbers (memorized, not just saved)
- Their address and the address of a relative
- Introductions to the neighbors and a plan in case they have to go to them for help.
Once you have discussed these “eventualities” your family will be much safer and your kids can be more prepared in case of an emergency.