After the GREAT B.C. SHAKEOUT on Oct. 19th, we practiced & refreshed what the steps to take on what to do during an earthquake which is terrific. However, in order to keep anxiety, panic and chaos low (which is super-likely to take place after such an unexpected and potentially scary event for anyone, especially children), we have to provide an ANTI-ANXIETY AFTERSHOCKS plan as well. This includes knowing what to EXPECT TO FEEL and knowing the ROLES of everyone involved (such as the child, yourself, the other adults around or the first responders). This can help to keep anxiety lowered and can have a great benefit in keeping things healthy, safe and in control during a likely disasterous and dangerous time.
Here is a list of 5 TIPS to consider when discussing emergency preparedness with your child:
1.) Talk about all the possible scenarios you might face from any possible minor to major events. Most kids like to know the entire scope as to what is going on or potentially happen.
2.) Ask them how 'they would feel' with these certain events. Offer any guidance as needed to expand their horizon.
3.) Assure them that any feeling they have is okay and to know HOW TO ACCEPT these feelings such as telling yourself that it's perfectly fine to have the feeling, to say kind things to yourself or give yourself a hug to feel better.
4.) Think of and discuss the possible actions that CAN DO when one of those feelings occur such as breathe, seek help from a grown up, count to 10 or hold someone's hand nearby.
5.) Let them also know what you CAN'T DO during these times such as being hurtful, harmful, destructive or unsafe.