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Back to school a good time to prepare for emergencies

shakeout portschool

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group is reminding parents that the start of the school year is a great time to talk to kids about being prepared at school and at home.
Group Controller Ian Macdonald says helping kids understand and plan for emergencies improves the preparedness of the whole community.
“We know that resilient communities start with resilient kids,” Ian Macdonald said.
“When our tamariki are involved in preparing for emergencies and learning about the hazards in our region, they encourage their whole whānau to be more prepared and play a more active role in responding to and recovering from emergencies.
“We’re encouraging parents to talk to your kids in an honest - but not scary - way about what might happen in an emergency and what you can do to keep safe.
“As a parent, talk to your children about how you would contact each other in an emergency, and the other possible people who could pick them up if you’re not able to reach them.
“Involving the kids in your household emergency plan, working out where you’ll meet up if you can’t get home, deciding who your emergency contacts will be and checking what supplies you will need makes them feel more prepared too.
“The more involved they are, the less scared they will be if an emergency does happen,” Ian Macdonald said.
Ian Macdonald said last week’s nationwide move to the Red “traffic light” setting provided a good opportunity to involve kids in planning for what to do if your household needs to isolate.
“Over the coming weeks, your household could have to isolate due to COVID-19 and you might need to learn or work from home. There’s a lot you can do as a family to get ready for this,” Ian Macdonald said.
Back to School Get Ready Tips

  • Talk to your children about the emergencies that could happen in your community and what to do to keep safe. This can help to reduce fear and anxiety and helps everyone know how to respond.
  • Contact your school or early childhood service and find out what their emergency plans are. Where will they go if they evacuate? 
  • Give your school or early childhood service a list of three nominated people who can pick the kids up in an emergency if you can’t get there.
  • Make a list of supplies you might need at home and in your car – have an emergency grab bag for everyone, with warm clothes, snack food, water, ID, radio, torch and batteries. Get the kids to help check the supplies regularly, e.g. check the torch and radio work.
  • Visit the HBCDEM website for information about the hazards that can affect you; how to make a household emergency plan and how to get COVID-ready.

18 February 2022

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