Summer child safety children

How to Prepare Your Children for an Earthquake

Now that school is officially out for the summer, many parents are looking for ways to entertain their kids so that cabin fever doesn’t ensue. Summer may be a break for the kids, but it can certainly be a more stressful time for parents.

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably considered (or gone ahead and done it) signing your kids up for swimming lessons, horseback riding lessons, day camps, summer school, week-long camps, baseball and other sports, and more! And that’s great!

But at some point, you’re of course going to have your kids at home with you and—although leaving kids to their own creative devices for a few hours at a time is healthy—you may want to come up with a few ideas for home-based activities that you can pull out when the going gets tough.

You may already have some routines in place, like getting out on a walk each day, doing some reading each day, etc. Why not add a mini-lesson on earthquake safety?

Since the ‘big one’ is imminent, it’s a good idea to be prepared for it at all times. And if you have kids, it’s of utmost importance that they also know what’s going on during an earthquake, and can maximize their chances at survival even if they find themselves alone in bed when it happens.

Besides practicing DROP, COVER, HOLD-ON as a family regularly, you may want to pass on some of your knowledge and even do some learning yourself as you teach. Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Discuss the safest place to be during an earthquake. Move through the house and identify the best places.
  • Practice an earthquake drill by turning it into a game. Practice getting into position under sturdy furniture, away from windows and doorways. Make sure that your kids know to hold on and cover their necks and heads.
  • Discuss what to do after an earthquake is over. Talk about moving carefully after an earthquake, when trying to get out, and finding a solid pair of shoes to wear as soon as possible, to avoid sharp debris causing foot injuries. It’s also important to talk about the real possibility of being trapped under rubble, too. Go over the method of pulling a shirt over your mouth to filter out some of the dust and make breathing easier.
  • Make sure your kids know that you will look for them after an earthquake. Remind them of this over and over, so that in the event of an earthquake, they will never, ever give up. You can even practice the rescue part of an earthquake by turning it into a game—letting your kids know that making noises with anything except their voice (so they don’t wear it out) is best.



It’s also a good idea to go through your family survival kit with your kids. It’s best if they know where in the house it’s stored, and what each item means so that in the worst case scenario, they can take some steps to help themselves.

For more tips on how to talk to your kids about disasters, check out what the BC Government has to say.

-Content created by Sophie Wooding – Writer, gardener, cyclist and emergency preparedness enthusiast!

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