From a press release from the Georgia Emergency Management Administration:
The possibility of a tornado, house fire or disaster endangering loved ones is a scary thought for anyone. As frightening as these types of emergencies can be for adults, they are even more traumatic for children – which is why it’s important to prepare them for various emergency situations.
To encourage children and their families to get ready for the unexpected, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Georgia campaign has unveiled a new toolkit packed with kid-friendly preparedness resources. Now available on the Ready Georgia website, the downloadable information is available for use in school classrooms, at home, or by any organization or agency that works with elementary school-aged children.
Ready Georgia tested out the lesson plans in classrooms at a select group of schools statewide, including Eastvalley Elementary School in East Cobb. Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with teachers praising the content and the ability to easily implement it into the curriculum.
“Every Georgian, including children, should know how to prepare for emergencies and how to respond if the unexpected happens,” said Charley English, director of GEMA/Homeland Security. “We hope we do not have to deal with the effects of an emergency or large scale disaster anytime soon. However, it’s important to equip Georgia students with the proper tools to prepare in case of such an event. By learning how to be ready, children can be confident about safety and help their families be their own first responders.”
Designed to complement the third, fourth and fifth-grade health and/or science curriculum, the free toolkit includes materials ranging from lesson plans teachers can use to educate students about possible disasters to a recommended reading list and kid-friendly emergency preparedness videos. Teachers, for example, could link meteorology, earth science and heat energy lessons to discussions about severe weather, earthquakes and house fires. The information is flexible so the hands-on activities can be used in a variety of settings and without specific time constraints.
To help gauge interest in the toolkit materials, Ready Georgia recently tested out the lesson plans in classrooms at several elementary schools statewide. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with teachers praising the content and the ability to easily implement it into the curriculum.
According to a recent GEMA survey, only 40 percent of parents statewide are familiar with the protective actions their children’s school may take during an emergency. The new toolkit provides information aimed at motivating parents to learn more about preparedness steps, as well as the importance of emergency supply checklists for the home, family communication plan worksheets and tips for talking to children about disasters.
“Emergency preparedness is incredibly important to the safety and well-being of Georgia children,” said English. “In fact, the lessons you share with them today may save their lives. By showing them how to prepare, plan and stay informed, you are teaching them to respond calmly and confidently in the face of a variety of threatening situations.”