Living in the Philippines means being part of the welcoming committee for natural disasters, namely typhoons, volcanic eruptions, and heavy rains. It may seem easy for adults like you, dear parents, to prepare for these natural disasters, but these can be scary for young minds. It may seem tempting for them to panic during these disasters, for they are not used to these, but there is nothing to be afraid of. Here is a simple guide to prepare the kids for natural disasters.

Educate Them

Educate them on how volcanoes work

The first thing you need to do, dear parents, to prepare the kids for natural disasters is to educate them. This means that you need to show them how tropical storms are formed from low-pressure areas, how volcanoes erupt, and why monsoon rains are strong. By helping them gain an understanding of how natural disasters are truly natural, you will be able to help them prepare, since your children will be aware of the signs of these disasters. As a result, they will know what they need to prepare against.

Go Over Safety Tips

Always review safety tips

The next thing you should do to prepare your children is to go over safety tips, like turning off the gas in the event of an earthquake, or ash-fall protection. This is to ensure that when a disaster strikes they know what to do. Also, be sure that the kids know where the nearest evacuation center is, so in case you get separated due to the chaos of evacuation, you will know where to meet. Honestly, I do hope your kids will never need to apply these safety tips, but with the Philippines being a country prone to disasters, it never hurts to be prepared.

Get Them Involved With Preparing Their Own Emergency Kits

Help them prepare their emergency kits

One crucial task to complete when preparing for a disaster is to make sure your emergency kit is ready. This kit must contain extra clothes, first aid items like medicines, Betadine, and bandages, ready-to-eat food, water, super glue (in case of emergency wound closing), a battery-operated radio, and ID duplicates. However it would be helpful if the kids have a say on what goes in their kits, other than these items. So, get the kids involved in preparing their emergency survival kits, so, they can be involved in protecting themselves from disasters.

Tell Them Stories of Your Experiences

Share them stories of your disaster experiences, like Pinatubo or Ondoy

Another thing you can do to prepare the kids for disasters is to share your personal stories of how you went through natural disasters. For example, for older parents, you can share how you experienced the previous Taal eruption in 1977, the 1990 Baguio Earthquake, or 1991’s Pinatubo eruption. Younger parents, on the other hand, can share how they survived Ondoy in 2009, or Yolanda in 2013. Just make sure you tailor these stories to their age level, for you don’t want them panicking. Remember, your main purpose for sharing these stories is to show them how people were able to go beyond these disasters, and help them learn from the failures and successes of those who came before.

Natural Disasters are not Scary

Natural disasters are part of life, so they shouldn’t be scary

In the end, natural disasters, like the ongoing Taal eruption, may be disruptive to our lives, but they are nothing to be afraid of. Throughout our history, our nation has undergone natural disasters, and they will continue to strike the Philippines even when we are gone. However, what we can do is to save as many lives as we can, especially the young. So, prepare your children well for natural disasters, so they know what to do when the next one hits. After all, disaster preparation may not eliminate these, but it can save many lives.

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