MADISON, Wis. – From fires to floods, disasters can be scary for kids. September is Preparedness Month, and ReadyWisconsin encourages parents and educators to help protect children by teaching them how to be prepared for the unexpected.
“It’s never too early for kids to learn what they should do during an emergency,” said Wisconsin Emergency Management Acting Administrator Greg Engle. “During Preparedness Month, families should teach their children about the possible dangers in their community, and then include them in the process of creating emergency plans and practicing them.”
Parents should talk to their children about what to do if there is an emergency at home, school, or daycare. Make sure they know who to contact and identify a safe meeting place. Put together a supply kit and have them help identify what items should go inside. You can find tips on building an emergency kit at https://readywisconsin.wi.gov/make-a-kit/.
Preparedness also begins in the classroom, and ReadyWisconsin is once again helping to educate children with the Student Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP) program. This curriculum developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is made available to fourth and fifth-grade classrooms across Wisconsin at no cost to educators. Participating schools are also provided with materials to help students build their own emergency kits.
The STEP program is funded with financial support from AT&T. Since 2012, AT&T has provided nearly $100,000 to support the STEP program in Wisconsin.
“Since it began in Wisconsin, STEP has helped over 85,000 children in the state learn about the importance of planning for emergencies,” said Engle. “Wisconsin Emergency Management is proud to continue offering this important program to teachers and students.”
Fourth and fifth-grade teachers interested in offering the STEP program in their schools during the spring of 2022 can find registration information online at https://readywisconsin.wi.gov/step/.