There are many precautions parents can take in emergency situations such as health, fire, severe storms, and other disasters that can make these situations easier for the entire family to handle.
For one, trips to the emergency room can be needed for injuries or illnesses that require immediate attention. Parents should keep near the primary phone in the house the number of the family pediatrician, the emergency police phone number and Poison Control. A file nearby that is easy to grab should contain the same information as well as descriptions of each child’s medications with dosages, chronic conditions, special medical needs, immunization records and any previous hospitalizations. Parents should also familiarize themselves with the directions to the nearest emergency room.
For severe weather conditions, parents should keep some essential supplies stocked in the house and they should be kept up-to-date. These supplies would include such items as high energy food that does not require cooking such as tuna, granola bars and dried fruit, water for at least three days, flashlights, waterproof matches, battery-powered radio, home fire extinguisher, cell phone, and cash. If the parents have an infant, then additional supplies are needed such as diapers and wipes, baby food and a formula bottle.
In case of a power outage, particularly in the winter, parents should keep the doors closed to any rooms not being used to conserve warmth. They should also use battery-operated flashlights as candles can be a fire hazard if they are left unattended. A portable generator can be used as long as it is left outside as it can produce fumes if left in the house or a garage.
Parents should keep their house equipped with smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers, escape ladders and flashlights in order to deal with fire emergencies. Parents should also have an escape plan for the house should an actual fire occur. This should include checking for doors and windows that are most accessible, making sure that none is blocked for easy access out and selecting a place outside to meet should the family be in separate parts of the house during the fire. This drill should be practiced twice a year so the family knows how to react appropriately under the circumstances.