Wherever you live, it's good to be prepared for an emergency. You've probably already experienced something like this — maybe the power went out for a long time or there was a big snowstorm.
Families can take simple steps like having a battery-powered radio, flashlights, bottled water, and extra food on hand.
Knowing your family has a plan can help you feel more safe and secure. Grownups are in charge of these plans, but you can ask your parents if they have a plan and an emergency kit.
Some preparations are the same for everyone (flashlights, etc.) but other plans will be different depending on which kind of problem might affect your area. For instance, if you live where there are tornadoes sometimes, the plan means knowing to listen to the radio for tornado warnings and to go to the safest part of the house until it passes.
If your family wants to know more about being prepared, organizations like the American Red Cross can help.
You might feel upset about a disaster even if you're not directly affected and there's little chance of it ever happening in your town. It's important to remember that lots of people are looking out for you. In a bad storm or other problem, that would include parents, police officers, firefighters, doctors, nurses, and other people who are trained to handle emergencies. When a disaster happens, you'll see these people on the news helping people.
Seeing these people being taken care of can make us feel a little better. But what else should you do if you're feeling worried, upset, or just curious?
Here are some suggestions:
Talk about your feelings.
It's good to be able to share what you're feeling with a parent or another trusted adult. It's OK to ask questions and wonder about why this happened. It's also OK to feel sad, even if you don't live in the affected area. Get a few extra hugs from your mom or dad, too.
It may sound funny, but drawing a picture or writing a poem can be helpful in sad times. Why? Because you get to express how you're feeling.
Limit Internet and TV.
It can be hard to avoid Internet and TV reports about what's happening. But too much of it isn't good for kids or grownups. Remind your mom and dad about this, too.
What can you do instead? Anything — go outside, read a book, make a craft.
You also might just count your blessings. That means taking a look around and noticing all the good stuff — sunshine, your family, your favorite song on the radio, your best friend, and your lovable pet.
It's a great idea to find a way to get involved. Not only will you help people who need food, clothes, and shelter, but you'll feel better because you're lending a hand.
You might raise money or gather supplies through your church, school, or by giving to a relief organization, such as:
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