Health and safety are among your top priorities when it comes to your family. And if a disaster strikes, you want to make sure you and your children are  prepared with a plan at the ready.

September is FEMAs 10th annual National Preparedness Month, and Target is teaming up with Points of Light to promote events—think preparedness kit-building events, scavenger hunts, community fairs and youth programs—in 10 locations across the country.

Target is committed to working with communities to prepare for potential disasters and helping them recover quickly in the event something does happen.

To help your family prepare for possible disaster, we’ve put together the basics for a safety kit and spoke with Gwen Camp, FEMA’s Director of Individual and Community Preparedness, for tips on how to talk to your children about emergency situations.

Greatlite Mini 9 LED Glow in the Dark FlashlightMarket Pantry Soup; Jensen Crank RadioExtra Batteries; First Aid Kit; Apollo Tool KitArcher Farms Mixed Nuts; Baby Wipes for Personal HygieneRoom Essentials Blanket

What other key items should be in every emergency kit? In addition to the above, some key items that everyone should have in their emergency kit include:

  • Water (one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days)
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio
  • Manual can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with charger
  • Prescriptions, medications or baby formula

What plans do you suggest families have in place for emergencies? In my family, Friday night is pizza night. We’re all together, and it’s a great time to talk. So whatever that time is for your family, talk about making an emergency plan. Some helpful questions are:

  1. How will we get in touch with each other?
  2. Where will we meet?
  3. How will we remain in contact?
  4. What will we do if our child is at school?
  5. What will we do about our pets?

How do you recommend parents speak to their children regarding emergency situations? Emergencies can happen at any time, often unexpectedly. It’s important for parents to involve their children in the development of a family emergency plan. Emergencies can be traumatic for children—especially if they don’t know what to do. By telling a child why it’s important to prepare for an emergency and showing them ways they can increase their safety, parents can greatly reduce their child’s anxiety during an emergency situation.  

What are the best community resources for families who want to be prepared in the case of an emergency? There are many resources available to families. Families can contact their local emergency management agency to receive information on specific hazards to their area, local plans for shelter and evacuation and ways to get information before and during an emergency. Families can also contact their local fire department and ask for a tour and for information about emergency preparedness. Families can also get involved with their local charities, Citizens Corps Council, or train with a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). And, provides a multitude of resources year round.

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