Home Living Extension Update from Megan Burda: Family Safety Plan

Extension Update from Megan Burda: Family Safety Plan

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Disaster happens. Unfortunately, it also often happens without much warning. Whether the disaster you face is fire, tornado, blizzard or flood, the best thing you can do is prepare the youth in your life with a family safety plan.

With so many possibilities, it can be difficult to know where to start. Citizen Safety, the 4-H project manual, has resources at your disposal. The manual has resources to prepare your youth to contact and communicate with various emergency dispatchers and personnel in stressful situations. Certain small details such as knowing one’s address and being able to clearly explain directions to it are often overlooked, but crucial for youth that may be home alone. This guide also creates a solid starting point for encouraging youth to initiate conversations about their own home safety plans with their parents or guardians.

First aid kits are another crucial item. Many homes and 4-H facilities are equipped with first aid kits, but they are not as helpful when they are not used appropriately. This is a great opportunity for a club project. Members of your club can assemble their own first aid kits for their homes using the Citizen Safety manual as a guide. First aid kits make a great county fair entry and are also eligible for state fair. You can take this experience a step further by engaging local paramedics, health departments or medical staff to teach first aid basics while also introducing their career paths.

Safety could also serve as a theme for your 4-H year as this broad topic provides opportunity to tackle a new section of it at each club meeting. One idea could include touring the local fire station while learning how to develop fire escape maps for the home and identifying a meeting place for displaced family members away from the home. Another idea could be participating in some severe weather science experiments while learning about locating tornado shelter areas in or around home. Completing a club community service project that aids in a disaster relief project would also fit nicely into the theme.

To find more resources for preparing your club or family for disaster, visit http://extension.unl.edu/disaster-recovery-resources/ or contact your local extension office to be connected to the statewide disaster education efforts.

Source: 4-H Spotlight Newsletter

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