DADS 4 CHANGE

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Get Ready, Get Safe: Save the Children Urges Disaster Preparedness

save-the-children-logoTwo years ago today, Hurricane (“Superstorm”) Sandy made landfall near Brigantine, N.J.

Who can forget the images of the aftermath? The Atlantic City Boardwalk, shattered. Staten Island, ruined. New York, flooded and paralyzed.

The storm wreaked havoc in 24 states. It killed 162 people in the U.S. and caused nearly $70 billion in damage across seven countries.

It also revealed a painful truth: In many ways, our society is unprepared to deal properly with disastrous events of that magnitude. One of the most important lessons of Sandy was that no matter where we live, we need to be ready for natural and human-made disasters.

And as parents, we absolutely need to be mindful of how we will protect our children during emergencies.

Save the Children has launched an initiative called Get Ready. Get Safe. Its goal is to “help generate child-focused emergency plans, provide emergency training and ensure emergency resources are in place before crisis strikes.”

Because today is the anniversary of the U.S. landfall of Sandy, it is a perfect time to remind Dads 4 Change readers about what Save the Children is doing to help make sure that the next time disaster strikes, your community is ready and your children are safe.

Save the Children is urging parents and others take a pledge to protect children from disaster and encourage others to do the same. It also is encouraging everyone to create a disaster plan checklist and make sure that your kids’ schools and/or child-care centers keep their disaster plan updated and shared on a regular basis with parents and other at-home caretakers.

You can also see how your state is doing when it comes to disaster preparedness by checking out this interactive map based on Save the Children’s Disaster Report Card.

Perhaps most important, Save the Children is encouraging parents to develop a “reunification” plan with their children, working with the school and/or the child care center. The Save the Children video below reinforces the importance of that.

The video is a bit scary, but that’s sort of the point. When disaster strikes, fear will rule the day. The best way to confront that fear is to develop a plan now so you will be prepared when you need it.

For more information about the Get Ready, Get Safe initiative, visit SavetheChildren.org.

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