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Make a Child-friendly Preparedness Backpack

Imagine the comfort of knowing you child is able to call 9-1-1, or has a pack of familiar items to bring to an evacuation shelter.

Teach the children in your life basic preparedness skills, and help them fill a backpack with some personalized disaster supplies. Imagine the comfort of knowing you child is able to call 9-1-1, or has a pack of familiar items to bring to an evacuation shelter.

Get the supplies you need now, and on the next snow day decorate the emergency items and fill the preparedness backpack.

Preparation

Read Talking to Children About Disasters to help your child learn how to prepare for, respond safely during and recover from a disaster.

Supplies

  • Backpack or bag
  • Flashlight and two sets of batteries
  • Sports whistle
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Two snacks (granola bar, trail mix, power bar, etc.)
  • Bar of soap and wash cloth
  • Bottle of water
  • Pocket first aid kit
  • Emergency contact card
  • Game/toy
  • Art supplies: beads, stickers, magic markers, glue, etc.
  • For additional ideas, read the American Red Cross Preparedness Fast Facts.
  • Filling the Pack

  • Lay out the backpack and the items that will go inside.
  • Let your child decorate items as he or she desires. As your child is decorating, here are some points to make:
  • There are extra batteries if you need them. Have your child practice taking batteries out of and putting batteries in the flashlight.
  • If you need to be found, blow your whistle. Rescuers hear a whistle better than they hear yelling.
  • On this emergency contact card are all the phone numbers you will need to find the rest of your family if we ever get separated in an emergency.
  • Take a look at what’s inside the first aid kit.
  • If you take your toy out of your pack to play with it, put another toy into your pack.
  • When all the glue and paint has dried, put the emergency supplies in the pack.
  • Incorporate the Pack into your Family Routine

  • Store the pack in an easily-accessible place so your child can grab it on a moment’s notice.
  • Make a note on your family calendar to change the batteries, snacks and water in about a year. At that time also review the contact information on the emergency contact card and if the game or toy your child is storing is still age-appropriate.