Research: Mothers and Children Feel Prepared for Disasters, Few Take Action

New research commissioned by the national nonprofit Home Safety Council (HSC) finds that while a majority of mothers have talked with their children about preparing for emergencies, very few have taken action to ensure that their family is prepared to respond in the event of an emergency.

As part of its effort to underscore the importance of family readiness during National Preparedness Month, the Home Safety Council is releasing findings from the new survey which assesses how ready U.S. families really are when it comes to emergency situations.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/homesafetycouncil/29599/ The survey polled mothers and their children ages 6 to 11 and found that while nearly 60 percent of mothers feel their families are prepared for an emergency situation, less than one-third have developed and discussed a family communications plan. Alarmingly, even fewer families have assembled readiness kits. The children surveyed echo the same sentiment with 64 percent saying they think their family is prepared for an emergency, but only 27 percent reporting that their family has developed and discussed a communications plan or assembled readiness kits to use in an emergency situation.

"With our new research results showing that busy parents are not taking the basic steps needed to prepare their families for emergencies, it's time to call on kids to take the lead in driving family readiness," said Meri-K Appy, president of the Home Safety Council. "Children can often be the catalyst for getting the whole family to take positive action, like developing a family communications plan and assembling emergency supplies kits. This fall, the Home Safety Council is debuting a host of new initiatives specifically to engage kids in preparedness activities."

New HSC Preparedness Initiatives for Kids
During National Preparedness Month in September, the Home Safety Council is introducing new programs to get children, parents, teachers and community educators involved and taking the actions needed to prepare for disasters:

The Kids Prepare America Contest
In September, the Home Safety Council is launching the Kids Prepare America Contest and calling on third and fourth grade students across America to take the lead in driving family readiness efforts at home. By showing the Home Safety Council what they have done to help prepare their families and communities, students can become eligible to win a trip to Washington, D.C. next summer. Ten Grand Prize Student Winners from across the country will be selected to visit the nation's capital with an adult family member, teacher and safety partner from the community to attend an awards dinner on June 5, 2008 in their honor. Visit http://www.kidsprepareamerica.org/ for contest entry forms and rules.

Get Ready with Freddie! -- Expanded Program Distribution
As the new school year starts, the Home Safety Council is re-distributing its successful disaster preparedness program for kids -- Get Ready with Freddie!. The program will be distributed to every elementary school with a third and/or fourth grade classroom across the country, reaching a total of 13 million teachers, students and their families with important messages on developing a communications plan and assembling "Ready-to-Go" and "Ready-to- Stay" preparedness kits at home.

Preparedness Tips for Families
No one knows when or where a disaster might strike, so families need to take time to prepare for emergencies in advance. The Home Safety Council advises families to have both a "Ready-to-Stay" and a "Ready-to-Go" Kit to ensure they are prepared for emergencies that require sheltering in place as well as for events that require evacuation.Ready-to-Go Kit:Every family needs to keep the following items in a backpack or duffle bag in order to be ready if an emergency situation forces them to leave home.

•One gallon of water per person
•Food that does not have to be refrigerated and a manual can opener
•Plastic/paper plates, cups and utensils
•Flashlight and extra batteries
•Battery-operated radio
•Change of clothes
•Card with your contact information and the number of someone out of  state to call
•Pet food and supplies for one or more days
•Small first aid kit
•Personal identification card
•Personal hygiene items, soap and hand sanitizer
•Store medicine you usually take near your "Ready-to-Go" Kit   

Ready-to-Stay Kit:
It is equally important for families to have extra supplies on-hand in the event an emergency situation forces them to remain in the home for several days. A "Ready-to-Stay" Kit contains all of the items in the "Ready-to-Go" Kit plus a few others. Prepare a "Ready-to-Stay" Kit with the following items stored in a plastic tub.

•Three gallons of water for each family member
•Canned food and snacks for at least three days and a manual can opener
•Pet food and supplies for three days
•Toilet paper
•Non-scented bleach
•Blankets
•Books and games to keep busy
•Paper and pencils For more information on what you can do to help your family prepare for disaster, visit http://www.homesafetycouncil.org/ .

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