October – Emergency Preparedness




About 30 tots came to learn about earthquake safety and assemble emergency preparedness kits for elderly neighbors, themselves, and their parents’ place of work.

We learned how to start Family Safety Traditions this Great California Shakeout!




1. Who doesn’t love presents? Get your tots to look forward to earthquake preparedness by letting them keep items from last year’s personal emergency kit, and filling it with new items for next year. Here’s how:



In addition to your family kit, every family member should have their OWN personal kit. Fill it with items specific to each person

*Clothes for 3 days (buy 1 size up so they won’t get too tight and will fit them next year when you swap out)
*Shoes (also 1-2 sizes up)
*Light (flashlight, glow stick, or both! Bonus, use them for trick or treating next year, since the Great Shakeout is in mid-Oct.)
*Water (include a sippy if they need one to drink)
*Favorite snacks (the family kit has food, but do you think you’re picky toddler will want to eat it? Pack some things they will eat)
*Activities (coloring, puzzles, stickers, play doh, and other things from your favorite section of Target!)
*Comfort item (If your kiddo NEEDS a certain snuggle buddy to sleep…better buy an extra and keep it here!)
*Hygiene (wipes, toothpaste and toothbrush, and maybe some more wipes)
*First aid (at least a few fun bandaids, but a travel first aid kit is best)
*A little money in a baggie

Set out each personal bag on the eve of the Great California Shakeout. In the morning, much like a Christmas Stocking, kiddos can open their kits and keep clothes & shoes (that now fit because you bought 1 size up), activities, books, snacks, toothbrush, flashlight and glow sticks, and a little money for their piggy banks. Have new items ready to stuff back into their bags!


2. Take this time to update the family emergency kit. Here’s how:

*If you don’t have a family kit, buy/assemble one. Pre-packed kits make it easy!
*Write expiration dates for kit food and water on masking tape, and secure to the top. If items will expire before the next Great Shakeout, replenish them now
*Add to your kits! Start in your price range, and add a few items every year.




1. Do you bring Christmas cookies to neighbors every year? During the Great California Shakeout, bring starter emergency kits instead!



*Fill with basic necessities, and include a checklist with additional items to complete the kit!
*Have kiddos hand at-risk/elderly neighbors kits and say “I want you to be safe during an earthquake.” You can even have them make a card or note to attach.


2. Help kiddos assemble kits for any parent that works out of the home!

*Fill with 4-8 bottles of water, a few granola bars and bandaids
*Have kiddos attach a card or note
*To ensure mommy and/or daddy takes it to work, have them set it by the front door before they leave (or, like my 4-year-old daughter, have them wake-up a parent by screaming “I want you to be safe in an earthquake” and putting the kit right in front of their face. Equally effective!)




1. Play “Drop, Cover, and Hold on” in different rooms of the house!

*Make it fun while ensuring they know what do to in bed, if there is a table nearby, and if there’s no furniture to hold onto.
*Try it in slow motion!


2. Do your children know 1 parent’s phone number?

*Teach them to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”…”555-555-5555. That’s my mommy’s cell phone. That’s my mommy’s cell phone. 555-555-5555”
*If they are old enough to learn both, use different songs for each parent/guardian


3. Have a picnic in your Outdoor Family Meet Spot!

*If your home is not safe to enter or you get separated after an earthquake, designate a nearby outdoor space to meet in.
*Get your kiddos comfortable and familiar with the spot by taking frequent walks around the space
*Make it extra special during the Great California Shakeout by having a family picnic in the meet spot


Have fun starting new Family Safety Traditions this shakeout!

For more tips and resources, visit The Great California Shakeout website

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