How to Introduce Emergency Preparedness to Your Family

Emergency Preparedness: The Most Important Family Conversation

One of the most important conversations that your family should have is about emergency preparedness. It is necessary to arm the entire family with knowledge of what they can do in the event of a disaster or situation that requires them to defend themselves. By sitting down at a table and talking about preparedness and self-defense, your entire family can develop the most essential survival skills.

You can never predict when emergencies and disasters strike, so it helps to share the following self-defense and prepping tips with them:

Start slow

This means that you should avoid frightening them with worse-case scenarios right away. Yes, your main goal is to prepare them for disasters and emergencies, so everyone has a great chance of survival. However, this does not necessarily mean that you should scare them about what might happen.

Open up about preparedness in a slow and relatable manner. Tell your family that it is not just about disasters. It is also about preparing for job loss, loss of income, or a sudden illness. Communicate your concerns in a non-terrifying manner. You can also share examples of previous emergencies and disasters, but make sure to do this in a personal and relatable manner.

Explain preparedness and self-defense to kids in an age-appropriate manner

If you have kids at home, then you have to talk about preparedness and self-defense in a manner that they can easily understand. You do not want to over complicate the situation, or worse, terrify your kids and cause them to experience unnecessary stress. What you should do is to prioritize the things that matter to them. Open up about the topic through experiences that they can easily comprehend. Also, explain to them in simple terms the things that they can do in case a disaster strikes at school.

Make sure to take the whole discussion slow. Incorporate the topic in daily conversations in an engaging manner. Let them participate in the discussion, too. Be their guide in building situational awareness. Show them the fire exits in certain establishments. Also, start asking them questions about what their responses to certain dangerous situations would be. That way, you can figure out how you can effectively relay to them the important message of preparedness and self-defense.

Lead by example

You can also introduce emergency preparedness and self-defense to the family by leading by example. Begin by preparing the most effective tools for self-defense that you and your family can use. You should also start preparing for an emergency kit containing essential things that you can use when natural disasters strike. Make sure to share your preferences with your family and the safeguards and security solutions you have already set up.

Before discussing the topic, though, you have to create a list of the people whom you want to share your emergency preparedness plan with. Your immediate family, like your parents, spouse, and kids, might be obvious answers, but you should also not forget other important people in your life who have a huge part in your emergency preparedness and end-of-life situations. Among them are your siblings, close friends, caregivers, medical providers, and financial custodians.

Create an emergency contact list

It is important to create an emergency contact list and share a copy of it with every member of the family. If you have kids, then the list should be in their purse, gym bag, and backpack. This lets others know who to contact in case any member of the family is in a compromised state. The emergency contact list should also be laminated.

Also, it’s not enough to simply share the list with your family. Make it a point to review the emergency contact list the entire family on a recurring basis. Tell them who they should contact first. Your kids’ contact lists should also include their name, age, address, and any allergy or health conditions, so anyone who is trying to help them out while they are in shock will know what to do.

Create a family emergency preparedness plan

This plan is important in ensuring that all the members of your family are fully aware of the steps they should take in case of a disaster. The plan should be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. Among the things that should form part of the plan are contact information of family and friends, meeting place if you can’t go home, alternative routes, like public transportation options, and out-of-area contacts. Furthermore, it should also have a special plan for pets, kids, and any other medical requirements and concerns.

Convince them about the importance of emergency preparedness

One thing that you can do to convince them is to offer a preparedness gift, like first-aid or a car preparedness kit. This kit will serve as a way to open up a discussion about the topic and change their mindset. Once they receive the gift, you can also expect them to start thinking about the other things they might need during a disaster.

Giving them an emergency preparedness book or a survival guide is also another non-threatening way of introducing the topic. It should cover all kinds of threats, disasters, and crises that your family might face. You can also convince them by using the latest news. If there is a recent disaster, then you can use it to discuss the topic.

Avoid going overboard, though. It should just serve as a conversation starter and as a way to make them think about the steps they should take in case they encounter such a situation.


Preparedness is the key to surviving any disaster or situation that puts you and your family members’ lives in danger. This is why you should not delay talking about this topic with your loved ones. Your goal is to improve their readiness to handle disasters and improve their self-defense and survival skills. While you can’t prevent disasters, you can still control the way you and your family responds to them. So schedule your family meeting soon and talk about how you can prepare for disastrous events!

Angela is a writer at, a website featuring posts written by experts that specialize in specific areas of prepping and survival.

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