Emergency Management recently participated in YFS Kids Fair, held annually in Rapid City. It’s a whole lot of fun for kids and families to play, learn a little and burn off some energy. For our office, it’s a great opportunity to connect with the community, meeting families and briefly talking about preparedness steps before an emergency.
As part of our booth we feature the Danger Rangers. These characters (Sully, Kitty, Burble, Burt, Gabriela, and Squeeky) are all about safety at home, at school, or anywhere. “Think safe, play safe, be safe!” The younger children enjoyed cutting out character masks of the Danger Rangers. For the older kids we put their brain to work with an interactive game about what they would put into an Emergency Kit. For many it was not difficult as they’ve heard it before. For others the idea was a new concept. As part of the game, the kids can choose from the 10 basic items recommended for an emergency kit, some additional helpful items, and a few more items to throw them off track. These were items they don’t really need, or that would take up a large amount of space in their emergency kit. Many had no idea if their parents had a kit at home. This conversation gave us an open door to explain the importance of a kit and steps they could take to get one started.
In another area we asked kids/families to tell us why their family needs an emergency kit. Here were some of the answers we received.
- “Every family needs one–safety equals peace of mind” Pamela
- “My family needs an emergency kit because we need to be prepared for an emergency.” McKenzie, age 12
- “We are just getting ready to move into a different house and have yet to get emergency prepared! We have 2 daughters to keep safe!” Teena
- “Kids always having accidents, cuts, burns, etc. I don’t have one at home.” Lisa
- “My family needs an emergency kit because if there is a bad storm we will be ready.” Cameron, age 13
- “You can never be too prepared! Safety!” Kris
- “You never know what will happen.” Sarah, age 6
- “I live in a mobile home and any evacuation that is needed will need to be quick.” Kerry
- “In case there is a bad storm we could use the kit to get us by.” Jazmyn, age 12
- “Large family, 6 children under the age of 18 and 2 adults. We would great benefit from a kit.” Kristine
Building a kit is something we know we should do, but for many of us, we haven’t done it. The question is “why”? What will motivate us to do so? Here’s a why, “Because it’s important and it could save your life someday.”
Think about the things you do each day to be safe, keep your family safe, how you prepare to start each day…being prepared is simple, just like the things you do each day. Start with items you already have in your home and put them into one place. Add additional items as time and money allow. The day before a disaster is like any other day, typically there is little to no warning. Will you be ready when that warning comes?