KIDS, TEACH THEM THE DRILL! Yep, the safety drill!
Melinda Reynolds Tripp Author of What Should You Do? EMERGENCY DRILLS? Not just for fires any more....... REALLY? Won’t it just scare them……? Not if you do a good job. That goes for teaching any safety lesson. Think empowerment! Remember, not knowing what to do is really scary! Pick yourself a safety emergency word, make one up or do what I did, use a foreign word for danger that couldn’t be accidentally used. Here are a few scenarios……they may never be applicable, you pick what you need. 1) Tornado coming- A trusted family member yells warning- no lost time- family goes directly into their drill. Practice makes perfect. Take turns scattering family members around home area, trusted adult yells emergency word, family responds…..make it a game, discuss any problems. Children are great at contributing their ideas. ( I had a certain blogging Mom in mind here!) 2) Home Invasion- (About a mile from our home, two men were shot during a home invasion last week. It has been years since we had this kind of activity in our town. ) Growing up my daughters had their drill, if they heard our emergency word in the house, there has been a home invasion, get out your window, over the fence, and to the neighbors. That was our drill, you will make your own. You will have no time, they need to trust, and act. Naturally, if you can get your children out of the house, you can then focus on saving yourself, your spouse, etc. Like all of my safety lessons I remind people that the people with the bad behavior, the bad guys, have no idea you are yelling to save your kids. They have no idea your children are busy saving themselves. We used a Japenese word at home. I don’t know why, but I picked Japenese…..I wouldn’t have used a Spanish word, most Californians can speak some Spanish. 3) Car-jacking- This happens! If a car hits you from behind, check, this could be a carjacking. If you think it’s a carjacking I’m counting on your observation skills and intuition (say you see “kids”getting out of their car)….. You can start by, not stopping, call 911. Personally, I would drive to a safe place. Remember your cars usually have an alarm, use it! That being said, here’s where I would have made the wrong decision. This happened a block from my daughter’s home just a few weeks ago. I probably would have gotten out, it was a car full of young girls, a block from the university. Wrong, it was a car jacking, go figure! We are all still learning! If you are parked, getting gas, perhaps, A) No kids, hit alarm button then throw those keys, yelling,” take it!” Grab what you can, me, I’ve got my wallet, and yelling, run to a safe place with safe people and call for help. B) Got Kids? Hit the alarm button, Then you may have to use your emergency word. Yell your word. Older kids able to get out of seatbelts, do, and if possible, unbuckle siblings. Then get out and run to a safe place. Your job, keep the attention of the assailant! Then throw the keys as far away from the car as you can, yelling, “take my car! Not my kids!” this is a huge heads up to the good people, who are everywhere! You always want to get attention. The bad guys really hate alot of attention! Open the doors, evacuate the kids, run…… A little aside, don’t carry lots of cash, or credit cards, be sensible. The ones you do carry keep a copy of both sides of those cards at home so you can call them in if stolen. Okay, so now you know what’s been happening in my little university town……..usually it is all good , but the gangs in CA really do have us more aware of our surroundings, watching out more for ourselves, our families and our neighbors. Think safety……Just keep an eye on what your family needs. Keep on top of current events in your town, or area. Like all of safety education, having a plan is less scary than not having one. My children never had to hear our emergency word. But they did know how to save themselves, and are now smart, secure and aware parents.