Emergency Preparations for Your Family

Disasters strike quickly and without warning. Are you and your family prepared? Learn more about the different types of emergency situations and what steps you can take to prepare. Also, how do kids and adults react different to emergency situations? And what are some essential items to store in your family's emergency kit?

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Episode Transcript

Parent Savers
Emergency Preparations for Your Family

Please be advised, this transcription was performed by a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.


[Theme Music]

H.T. Linke : Disasters strike quickly and without warning. They're frightening for adults, they can be dramatic for children, especially if they don't know what to do. But there are steps you can take to make sure your family is prepared as possible for these situations. I'm H.T. Linke from the American Red Cross, and this is Parent Savers, episode 64.

[Theme Music/Intro]

Johner Riehl : Welcome back everybody to Parent Savers, broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. Parent Savers is your weekly online on the go support group for parents of newborns, infants and toddlers. I'm your host, Johner Riehl, and thanks again for all of our loyal listeners who joined the Parent Savers Club. Our members get all of our archived episodes, bonus content after each new show, where we do a special conversation with our expert, extending the show. And plus, we also have special giveaways and discounts that we offer to our members. You can subscribe to our monthly newsletter for free though, if you're not already a member, and you can get a chance to win a membership to our club each month. Another way for you to stay connected is by downloading our free Parent Savers app, available on the Android and iTunes market place, so you can listen to us on the phone or on the go, or you can just listen to us on our website on the computer, streaming directly from there. We're joined today in the studio by some parents as well as our expert, H.T. Linke. Let's go around and do some introductions so we know who we're talking to.

Scott Kilian : Hello, I'm Scott Kilian, I'm 36 years-old, I'm a certified financial planner, I have one boy, Alex, he is 3.

Matt Bowler : Hi, my name is Matt Bowler, I'm a journalist here in San Diego. I've got one boy and he's almost 2, it feels like he's 2 and a half.

Johner Riehl : And he's here in the studio as well.

Matt Bowler : Yes, he's here in the studio, so if you hear any screaming or crying...

Johner Riehl : You'll have to go run to your kid. And I'm your host Johner, I have three kids, 6, 4 and 2 years-old, just turned 2 years-old. Three boys, and we're also joined in the studio today by our producer, Erin Esteves. H.T., what about you?

H.T. Linke : I've been in the Red Cross about 14 years, I'm older than I'd like to be, I've got a couple of grown daughters, two no longer live at home and don't have any children yet, but I'm expecting to have some of that soon.

Johner Riehl : Nice, that's great. Welcome everyone!

[Theme Music] [Featured Segments: Ask the Experts]

Johner Riehl : Now we have a question from Robin. Robin writes, “We bought this beautiful crib for our first child, complete with a mobile that hangs over the crib. And now, with our second child, the mobile seems to be a bit of a problem. Our toddler likes to disassemble it and I'm worried that our 9 month-old baby may get hurt in the process, especially if it happens at night, since they sleep in the same room. Have there been any reports about mobiles being dangerous?”

Julie Vallese : Hi, this is Julie Vallese, child safety expert. Robert, I researched the consumer product safety database that provides information on a variety of products, and reports of injury. The database is a sample of cases and it's based on a reporting system through hospitals across the country. I have looked back approximately five years of entries regarding mobiles, maybe five or six years. The injuries include the mobile falling on an infant's head. Having said that, I think it's important to recognize that a mobile is made up of a number of different chords or strings, which could be easy for a toddler and an infant to get entangled in. While there are no cases that I can find that point to entanglement, or worse, if there's a chance that a mobile may become unattached and end up in the crib, it might be a good idea to remove it all together. I hope that's helpful.

[Theme Music]

Johner Riehl : Today's topic is emergency preparations for families, thanks so much to H.T. Linke from the American Red Cross for joining us in the studio, he's going to be telling us all about preparing for and handling emergencies. We also at the end of the show are going to have chance for you to win your very own emergency preparations kit from our friends at Safety First. So stick around until the end for information on how to be a part of that. H.T., welcome to the show, thanks so much for joining us!

H.T. Linke : Thank you, good to be here! You know, at the American Red Cross we do a lot of thins, but disaster preparing and disaster response is really our number one line of business if you will. We think it's important for everybody, families with young children, families without children, anybody everywhere needs to know how to be prepared for disasters that might strike their area.

Johner Riehl : So from a family perspective, let's talk about some of the different disasters that maybe we had recently, generally speaking, and how they can really affect families.

H.T. Linke : Well, it depends on a large part where you live in the country, I know that this is a national form, but let's say you live in the South, maybe you're more concerned about hurricanes and tornadoes. If you live in the midwest, maybe it's tornadoes and floods. If you live in the West, it's probably wildfires and maybe earthquakes. And depending on where you are, depends on what the disaster can be. And they affect families in different ways; in some, you have no notice at all, a tornade, an earthquake; in some, you get some warning, a hurricane approaching the coast, a flood water is rising, so you know something is coming your way, it gives you a little more time to react. And that reaction time is what can often spell the difference between you being able to get out of your home quickly, with everything you need, or not.

Johner Riehl : And it's so interesting too that the regional differences. 'Cause I grew up in Saint Louis, and my wife grew up out here on the West coast. So we had to deal with things like tornadoes, tornadoes drills, and floods and sandbagging, and I know all about that. But those are things that she probably has no idea about, maybe with El Nino a few years ago, when people were sandbagging a lot in the coast. But then she has earthquake drills, and they have those in school and they were told something different. So the regional differences are huge.

Matt Bowler : It's so funny that you mention that, 'cause I was born in Minnesota, and we had a basement, and every one in a while we had to go into the basement. And now here, when we move out here, I don't see too many basements that we would have to go into.

Scott Kilian : Yeah, they don't exist.

H.T. Linke : And it's probably a good thing, because our number one disaster in Southern California is probably the earthquake, in addition to the wildfire. If you have basements and you have earthquakes, you end up with people in basements and then you got a real problem, so it's probably better that we don't have those basements here.

Johner Riehl : So as we talked about all these emergencies, I know that there's the way that we react personally, as adults and parents, but kids have a lot to take in and they're affected by these things too. What are ways that adults and kids react differently to emergencies?

H.T. Linke : Well, we'd like to think that adults are prepared, both mentally and physically, for an emergency, and they know what to do, and children don't. The best thing we can do is, as children get older, begin to talk to them about disasters and how to respond. It's everything from even the simplest thing, which would be a house fire, your house catches on fire, does everybody in the house know, in advance, how we're going to get out of this house and where we'll go when we get out? Every room in every house, including a bedroom, should have two ways out. One's a door, obviously, and ideally there is a window. If there isn't, then you really need to take special care with that particular person, make sure somebody is responsible for going to that room immediately and make sure that person gets out. And then, once you're outside, were do you reconnect? Is it the fire hydrant across the street, is it the elm tree on the corner, is it the cellar level down the block? There's got to be some place that everybody in that family, of any age that's old enough to do this on their own, knows to go so that we can make a quick nose count and make sure that everybody is out of the house.

Johner Riehl : I know my 6 year-old and my 4 year-old could handle, I think, some of that. The 4 year-old, it might scare him a little bit, but I would imagine that even as young as 3, they could follow some directions. What do you think, what do you guys think about young kids dealing with this?

Matt Bowler :Well, I remember – because I grew up in a family of journalists, and I'm a journalist, and we always run to the disaster – I remember that being kind of part of a family culture, in a way. And it was always made fun, is part of a sort of child play, “Oh, let's go get all the emergency stuff together”, it was part of the process. It wasn't just this big overwhelming scary story, it was like they buy one extra blanket or whatever that we had in the kit, so that I could play with it, and then we'd go pick them up together when I was old enough to do that, I remember doing that, specifically with my mother for earthquakes.

Johner Riehl : And so really whenever something would happen it was almost an adventure. You remember it being some kind of adventure?

Matt Bowler : Yeah, there were big issues because it was like, “Grandpa is over here, your dad is over here”, thing along those lines, 'cause I personally identified with it. But if think the bigger part was making it fun for us. We were part of that process, it wasn't just this, “Bad things happen! Be aware!” kind of thing, it was – we could have these adventures in our lives, and this is how you build a kit. I had to build the kit with them, that was part of the fun.

Johner Riehl : Well I know that we just drove through – up in the valley they had a fire – and we were up there and we were driving back, and the kids were affected by that, and mentioned to us, a couple of weeks afterwards, “Is there going to be a fire that comes through and comes to our house?” They see it, and I know that it would be great to add an element of fun and adventure, but you want to tell them that it's OK, we are not going to have fire in our house, but they're affected by it, because in their world view, that can happen.

Scott Kilian : Yeah, one of the things is, my boys, he is 3 years-old, and I know that he would not know what to do, or would be able to comprehend what needs to be done in a major emergency, I think he would be able to identify when there is an emergency, at this point. So that's kind of where he is.

Johner Riehl : He would freak out a little bit.

Matt Bowler : Yeah. There might even be an alarm, something's going on.

Scott Kilian : And I remember working the fires up here, remember when they burn all the way West of the 50, there was a big emergency shelter, we went out to cover the shelter over there and one of the big problems they had was that they had the women and small children separate, because you have to do that in these kind of big situations, and I think a lot of the kids didn't understand why some people were set off into certain areas, they couldn't comprehend the situation.

Johner Riehl : Talking about fire preparation, it struck me when you were talking, that our kids are up on the second storey, so they've got the door, and then we're on the second storey, and I'm not sure there's bushes below their window, either. So what would be there to do, are there ladders that we can prepare for that, what are some ideas for second storey window?

H.T. Linke : Well, a couple of things. One is, there are rope ladders, that's one thing that you can get and have in the home, you can put one on each room. In fact, earthquakes is another one where we have second storeys, bedrooms, people. During earthquakes very often the frames of the door shift, and I know a woman who is a celebrity and – if I gave you here name you would recognize her, but I won't – she told me that she's very conscious of earthquakes and she lives in an earthquake prone area, and one of the things she said was, “You know, in every bedroom of my house under each bed there's a crowbar”, and that's why. That door shifts and you got to get out, you use that crowbar to get out. Now if you're stuck on the second floor you still need to be able to get out, a rope ladder comes in handy. Even just a nodded rope, if you do it right, you could lower somebody down, you could lower the children down and then lower yourself down. The important point is thinking about this in advance. When the flames are climbing up the stairs, that's the wrong time to start thinking about how to get out this. Thinking about beforehand, having that fire drill, maybe not at 2 AM,

Johner Riehl : The kid's up anyhow!

H.T. Linke : It's true. But having that fire drill and having everybody know how to get out of the house and where to go, because that's another thing, very often, tragically, we have seen parents perish in fires because they went back in the house looking for a child that was already outside. They didn't have a place to meet so the parent didn't know that.

Johner Riehl : That's so sad.

H.T. Linke : It is.

Johner Riehl : On the plane, they tell you to take care of yourself first, get the oxygen mask on you.

Scott Kilian : Really, you're going to do your kid first, I mean that's just the truth of the matter, I don't think there's a mother out there that would put they're own oxygen mask on first. Even if they think they should do.

Johner Riehl : The thinking being that if you're gone, then who's going to take care of the kids?

Scott Kilian : I know. But you know what the immediate reaction is.

Johner Riehl : Are there things like that that the Red Cross recommends to folks, as far as what to do about going to get the kids? Take care of yourself, leave the house, have the meeting place? And make sure the kids know it, but if you get outside and your kids aren't there...

H.T. Linke : Well the idea of an evacuation plan, whether is for a home fire or whether you just have to evacuate the house for some other reason, is that everybody has a way to account for everybody. So if the children are old enough, and can get out on their own, they're instructions are to get out and go to that meeting place. If they are too young to get out on their own, then one of the parents or one of the other children has to take the responsibility for doing that. And there has to be a backup for that, if the 12 year-old is supposed to be going to get the 2 year-old, but he's on a sleepover, than somebody else has to take that responsibility. And it's important for you to know that, for them to know it, and more importantly, when you have other people in the home watching the children, do they know it? If you've got a caregiver, a babysitter, grandma and grandpa are there with the kids while you're away on a trip. They need to know what the evacuation plan is as well, and how to execute it and what's expected.

Johner Riehl : H.T., just in your experience, do you think that less families or more families has an evacuation plan?

H.T. Linke : I think we're finding more families, and part of it is because there are more and more resources available for families, particularly online. The National Red Cross website for example, RedCross.org, has all sorts of information on it. Recently we've begun putting apps for download available on our website, on the Google store and app store. And they are disaster specific, so there's one for earthquakes, there's one for first aid, there's one for hurricanes, there's one for wildfires. More and more people, I think we're up to 7 million downloads now of those on smartphones. So people are taking those, they're using those, and as they use that, they start to take advantage of the information, because a lot of those apps will tell you, “Here's how you make the plan”, “Here's how you can access information”. And the more that we can encourage families to do that, we find that they're doing it on their own. Does everybody have a plan? Almost certainly not. Would we like everybody to have a plan? Absolutely.

Johner Riehl : So as a fire – we talked about an evacuation plan, but as we talked about it in the beginning, different disasters, different emergency situations call for different steps. I always run through my head, being out here in California, an earthquake situation. If there is an earthquake that shakes the house, and stuff falling down, what order am I going to run to get the kids in? Am I going to go get the 2 years-old first? Am I going to be going to the older boy's room first? What are the steps, do you have any tips or thoughts on, first of all, what happens when the earthquake hits, and then, second of all, getting the kids?

H.T. Linke : Well right when earthquake hits, what we tell people is drop, cover, and hold on. If you can get below something that's sturdy, do that and just hang on. And don't move. One of the things that we've learned from earthquakes is that the more you move, the more likely you are to be injured. People who move more than five feet, tend to be safer than those who try move. If you're inside, stay inside, don't try to get outside. If you're outside, stay there. Get down, but stay there.

Johner Riehl : Don't move.

H.T. Linke : Don't move.

Johner Riehl : I think that I heard once that if you're in bed, roll out of it, because there's a pocket that's created between the bed and the wall.

Matt Bowler : “Triangle of life” is what I heard it refered to as. 'Cause the walls and stuff will fall on the bed, your dresser falls there...

H.T. Linke : Certainly if I'm in bed and I'm going to roll out I'm going to try to put the mattress over me, for protection. And there are lots of things like that, and a lot of those things you can find on our earthquake app, or online in various places. But it's important to know those things, again, to think it through in advance. It's a little harder to pass this on to your children, but you need to try to do that. And he made an excellent point that we don't want to scare the pants off of them, but on the other hand we do want them, once they're able to know enough, to realize, “OK, this is what's happening, this is what mom and dad told me to do, and this is what I should do”.

Matt Bowler : I got to say, I really like that earthquake app, because you can set it to regions, so maybe I live in San Diego, but my parents live in San Francisco, and it will notify you when there's an earthquake out there. So you don't have to even experience this thing, you get kind of a heads up on that. There's another one that you guys put out there, the shelters.

H.T. Linke : It's called the Shelter app as a matter of fact.

Matt Bowler : I really liked it too, because it will tell you were to go, plus it has an automatic email you can send to tell everyone you're OK, which I thought was really, really valuable. Because I think, a lot of times, when I've covered these shelters, there would be people there looking for their loved ones, but they were at another shelter.

H.T. Linke : Nobody really wants to have to go to a Red Cross shelter, it's not the most fun you're going to have. You know, one night you're sleeping in your home, and everything is fine, and then the next night you're in the Red Cross shelter, spending the night with 100 or 200 of your new best friends.

Matt Bowler : But in that point, I think, for young kids especially, if you don't let them see the fear, but instead are treating it like a fun adventure, or an interesting happening, it's tough to balance the “Wee, this is fun!” and have your kids be having fun while tragedy is striking around you.

Scott Kilian : That's a little different, but still...

Johner Riehl : But still, the kids are going to look to you at how you react and how you're treating that experience.

Matt Bowler : And I remember being at Qualcomm as well, that was big in the sense that nobody was trapped, but that stadium was full with people.

Scott Kilian : It was full, we had about 5,000 people.

Matt Bowler : It was incredibly full, the parking lot, the stadium. People were doing that with their kids, they were setting up little play areas. And I remember the Red Cross kind of made a point to make sure that the kids had a place to have fun, 'cause they're still going to want to have fun, while the parents were freaking out.

H.T. Linke : That's the other kind of evacuation that you have to worry about, we talked about fire and evacuating your home, but another one is disaster coming your way, or has come your way, and earthquake, a wildfire, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, now you're going to have to evacuate your home, and we tell everybody that you need to have a disasters supply kit. The other one is going to be trapped in your home for a while, but you have another one, or the same one with portions of it, if you have to evacuate.

Johner Riehl : Alright, let's take a quick break, right here, that's a good point, and we'll talk about that after the break, plus a tone of other stuff, we're going to easily fill the next segment as well, there's tones of stuff I want to talk to you, so we will be right back, thanks so much H.T.!

[Theme Music]

Johner Riehl : Welcome back everybody, today we're talking about emergency preparations for your family, with H.T. Linke, from the American Red Cross, we were just beginning to touch on emergency preparations kit, and then Matt brought his up as well, but let's talk a little about the different kinds of kits that families should prepare.

H.T. Linke : Well, I think the big problem, if you will, is what if you have to leave the home and go somewhere for a week or two, what are you going to need? And typically, we divide the contents of thee kit into four parts. We've got the food, water aspect, we've got the first aid and medication aspect, we've got the electronics aspect, and finally, the money part of it. And I can touch on each of those. The bottom line here is, think about, if I'm gone, if I have to evacuate the house, if we have to evacuate our house, and we're gone for a week or ten days, or more, what are the things that we're going to need? What are we going to need in terms of medication, for example? Are you on a prescription med? Or is one of your children on a prescription med? And do you have that? What about a radio? Flashlight? And those all important battery chargers, batteries and chargers that we need to make that work. What if there is a first aid situation? Are we prepared for that? And that's really more in the home but it's important to recognize that if there's a big disaster, if your child gets a broken arm right now, you're probably going to call 991 and there's a good chance that somebody will be there within five to ten minutes. If there's a big disaster, earthquake or you're threatened by wildfire or something like that, and one of your children breaks a limb, you can call 991 all you want but there's a good chance they're not going to get there that fast. And so you have to be able to deal with that. So that's sort of part of the in advance preparation.

Johner Riehl : In a way, what you have to realize is priority, there might be people that are hurt a lot more than just a broken arm, and as much as you need to take care of your kid and the broken arm, the professionals need to be elsewhere.

H.T. Linke : The time to learn first aid or CPR is not at that point, it's in advance, so that's one of the things that families can do in advance to be prepared for disaster. Take those CPR classes, take those first aid classes, download the first aid app, go through it, take the time to see what's in there. And that first aid app is actually very useful at any time in your home, if something happens, if there's an insect bite, or some sort of broken bone or anything else, all that information is there. Back to the evacuation, you're contemplating leaving your home a week, ten days, maybe longer, what are the things that you will need, the medications, what will you have to have? The things for the kids, what do you need for them to keep them entertained, is it games, is it toys, is it books? Their medications, but also their diet; I know on a previous show you had someone talking about nutrition for infants, so if your child is used to a certain diet, and you have to leave the home, you may go to a Red Cross shelter and we'll do everything we can to keep you safe and warm and feed you, but we might not have specifically what your child needs for the diet. So that's the thing that you need to think about, is it a special formula, is it some sort of special food that you need? Make sure you have that and all the medication for the child. Those are the kinds of things, and again, the time to think about that, you asked about how will the kids perceive what the parents are doing, if you've done your preparation in advance, if you've got your kit, if you've got your plan, if you're going about it in a methodical way, if it's a wildfire and you're about to evacuate, or you've been told to evacuate because of floods, if the children see you going through this methodically, and say, “OK, you get this bag, you get that bag, let's load them in the car”, maybe you've already got the car loaded and packed, they will stay a lot calmer and they'll be a lot more emotionally secure when that's going on.

Johner Riehl : That's true.

Matt Bowler : Well I brought my kit to show off, that I actually made from two old ammo boxes that I got, and I like the ammo box. These are all military ammo boxes, I think these all held a bunch of 9mm rounds from what I remember. One thing that people always forget are glasses. Because especially during fires, I ended up with eye problems because the ash came in behind my glasses and I ended with ash in my eye. We have our own gloves here and in the gloves we stuck bags of batteries.

Johner Riehl : We are going to take some pictures of it and put on the site too so people can see.

Matt Bowler : And of course duct tape, because duct tape fixes everything, and then the one thing a lot of people I think forget 'cause the cell phone network goes down, and that happened during other wildfires, and you couldn't communicate with other people, if you're a cross place you need a little short wave radio that you can get now, they're like 20 dollars. But then you need batteries for them. And then I got the Red Cross emergency pack that we ordered and then probably the more important thing is the radio, it's a wind up and it also powers cell phones with a solar pannel, so you can stick in the sun and then power your cellphone, if the phone networks end up working.

H.T. Linke : And that happens a lot during tornadoes, and even wildfires, power is probably going to go out, so think about how to do things to the power out.

Johner Riehl : It's an interesting thing as you put it together , the kit. It's not necessarily that we're preparing for anarchy, it's different. Because even if you go to a shelter, or you're away from your family, these are things that you may need. There may not be other ways to charge your cellphone, there won't be places for you to listen to the radio, and so that kind of stuff, it's not that everyone is going to be running around trying to take everyone's stuff, but instead you're just ready.

H.T. Linke : Sometimes, the disaster strikes, the power is out, the water is out, electricity is out, the gas is out, and you're in your home. And one of the things we find after disaster – people are very reluctant to leave their home. And as soon as they can go back in, they'll go back in. They'll go back in if the power is off, if the gas is off, they just want to be in their home. And if they have prepared for it, then they've got the things that they need, they've got the food and water for example, and we tell people that water is essential, 1 gallon per person, per day. If you think you will have to do this for a week, you can do the math on that depending on the size of your family, and that's a lot of water, but that's water for drinking, cooking, cleaning.

Johner Riehl : How long is that water good for?

H.T. Linke : If you buy flat water it's good for three or six months, until it gets still. One of the things we tell people is, in your home disaster kit, where you have things that are perishable, like water or maybe some food stuff, that's a good chore for an older child. Once a month, go out, check the dates and rotate that stuff through. So if you're used to having flat water in your car, then the next time you need the flat water take it out of the emergency kit, but make sure you replace it with another one. It's good to rotate the stock. You mentioned glasses and that's important for everybody, a spare pair of glasses, 'cause you may run off and forget your glasses, even if it's your old pair, you need a spare pair, it's still better than nothing. But another good thing to make sure you have is you have prescriptions, a copy of the prescription, either paper copy or somewhere on your cellphone. Same with your eyeglasses, if you've got a prescription for that, because you may lose those things, you may break those things, if you've got the prescription with you, you can always go and get another if you've moved out of the disaster area. Again, you kind of have to think through, in advance, and take the time to do it. But what our research and what our experience shows is – it pays off. And it pays off in spades when the time comes.

Johner Riehl : I have a question, we are talking about emergency kits in terms of pure survival, is there any discussion about bringing emergency financial documents with you? Is that part of this process?

H.T. Linke : Absolutely, I think that is part of it. Particularly if you have documents like – so much is online in the cloud now, maybe it's not as important as it was, but if you're not involved in that, than yes, you need financial documents, insurance documents, bank statements and things like that. Just so you know how you can access it. And, if the power is out, you're not going to be able to run to that ATM that you use to run into to get your 20 dollar bill, so make sure you've got some cash, and make sure it's in smaller bills, five, tens and ones. Go onto a disaster with two 100 dollar bills in your wallet it's not going to do it for you.

Matt Bowler : Nobody can break a 20!

Johner Riehl : Yeah, you were talking about wants and needs versus things to grab if you're evacuating or leaving the house, but it was interesting, I think, that you said that you need to keep the kids entertained. Drawing a line between these needs and wants I think this financial information or maybe pictures, people always grab pictures when firefighters hear they try to grab pictures in disasters or hurricanes or tornadoes, family pictures. I now that we have a hard drive that I backup maybe once a month, and I know that if we were going to have to go, I could just grab that external hard drive.

Scott Kilian : I do the same thing, except that mine is in the safety deposit box at the bank.

Matt Bowler : I'm all about the cloud, just put it in the cloud, and then I can get it anywhere as long as I can get online, but then again, you won't be able to get online.

Scott Kilian : Eventually you will.

Johner Riehl : So as we kind of wrap this up, as we've definitely filled up the time and more, I want to talk a little more about a disaster that maybe doesn't directly affect your family, but it's affecting the community. And there's a big urge, especially as we seen in the recent disasters, we've seen this great quote from Roderick Rogers going around a lot about, look at the helpers, and you talked about it with your family too, Matt. There's people that go to the disaster, that want to help out. But there may be some well meaning families that want to help, don't know how to help, or might actually show up and help and then showing up at an overburden shelter already isn't a help, so what are some tips for families who maybe do want to help, have young kids, some ways that they can either help remotely or some practical tips on how they can help if there is a disaster.

H.T. Linke : With the Red Cross, we're a volunteer led organization, and we use volunteers in all of our operations. 95% with what we do we do with volunteers, clearly we're in the business of encouraging people to volunteer. We'd like them to get affiliated with a local chapter and do that beforehand, and volunteer, in fact, next week we will release something called the volunteer app, which is a way for people to download the app to begin with, learn how they can volunteer with their local chapter, and get the kind of basic training that they need to be a useful and productive volunteer. Now, when the disaster happens, if you're not affected, you're absolutely right Johner, people who come to the disaster, they want to help, they're well meaning people, and we hate to have to turn them away, sometimes we do, because we're just overwhelmed with it, and it that case maybe the best thing to do is just to go and think about and send your best wishes out to people who are affected, you can usually make financial donations through the Red Cross or a mother agency to help the people in that area. One of the things we started to do recently is we are engaged a lot more in the world of social media than we had been, it's where information is, some of our chapters and certainly our national headquarters are beginning to build a core of people to help us with that, and that is something that can be done remotely. There's probably some tasks at chapters that you can do and bring your children within. When we open shelters, we often have a child care center, or a child area in that center, where children can go. So there's a lot of opportunities for people to do things, but the best bet is to contact your local chapter, find out what you can do in advance, get affiliated with them, with or without your small children, when it comes up, download the volunteer app and learn how to use that and how we can use volunteers.

Johner Riehl : That's great. We're out of time for today's show, but I think we've packed a lot of stuff into our Parent Savers emergency kit. We're actually going to try to pack a little bit more content with our bonus question for our Parent Savers Club members. After the show, H.T. is going to tell us a little bit more about some of the one minute drills on the Red Cross website, some cool things to check out, so we will wrap up the show right after this.

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[Featured Segments: From our Listeners]

Johner Riehl : Now we have a listener phone call from Carey, she tells us that she just joined the Parent Savers Club, “I have to say, my favorite part is the extra bonus content after each new show. I usually listen to the app, but I'm wondering if there is a way to listen online as well”.

Sunny Gault : Hi everyone, I'm Sunny, one of the producers on Parent Savers, and I love to answer your question, Carey. Firs of all, thank you for joining our club, and yes, as far as the extra bonus content, all you have to do is head on over to ParentSavers.com, go over to the member section, click on the login area, enter the same information that you enter on your app in order to login, and you'll be able to access the bonus content from there as well. Nice if you're at work or something like that and you kind of want to listen when you're right in front of a computer. So Carey, thank you so much for your question.

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Johner Riehl : That wraps up our show on emergency preparation kits for your family and making emergency preparations, however, if you'd like to win an emergency preparation kit from our friends at Safety First, you can go to the episode page on the website, for information on that, to enter, and we'll be tweeting about that on our Facebook page, you'll have information as well, so thanks so much again for H.T. from the Red Cross for joining us, definitely check out our sister shows from New Mommy Media, next week we're going to be talking about how to face a serious diagnosis with your family, so if you get diabetes, cancer, asthma, if a kid gets diagnosed with that, how to face it. So a serious topic that families are faced with, it should be a very interesting show. This is Parent Savers, empowering new parents, thanks so much again for joining us.


This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.


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