Coronavirus (COVID-19): Important information from Sharp
Doctor's office
Enter your doctor's name to get office information.
Find labs in your network
Enter your primary care doctor's name to find labs in your network.
Find urgent care centers in your network
Enter your primary care doctor's name to find urgent care centers in your network.
Driving Directions
Update Information
Forgot Password

Please enter your e-mail address.

Sharp Health News

How to talk with kids about disaster preparedness

Sept. 27, 2019

How to talk with kids about disaster preparedness
September is National Preparedness Month, but it’s important to think year-round about your family’s disaster plans. And while natural disasters can be scary for children to think about, make sure to include the whole family when creating a plan.

“San Diego is at risk for disasters such as earthquakes and wildfires,” says Sharon Carlson, director of emergency preparedness for Sharp HealthCare. “It is important to talk to your children about these risks.”

Carlson shares five tips for talking to children about disaster preparedness.

  1. Explain disaster preparedness in a kid-friendly way
    Fires and earthquakes are scary subjects, especially for children who may not fully understand what they are and what to do when they strike. Explain different natural disasters that affect your area in simple terms.

    “Allow your children to ask questions and try to provide honest answers using language they understand,” says Carlson.

    Take into account your child’s age and level of comprehension when you have these discussions. Then, go over steps for how your family can be prepared.

  2. Explain why
    Your message may resonate with kids better if you explain why disaster preparedness is important.

    “Let your children know you are doing everything you can to make sure they are safe,” says Carlson. Reassuring your kids in this way will help them play an active role in disaster planning while reducing their fears and anxieties.

  3. Help them learn important information
    It’s important that your child knows key information that can help them stay safe. That includes special needs and allergies, which you can also keep on a medical alert bracelet that your child can wear. Carlson also recommends teaching kids their first name, last name and telephone number as soon as they are old enough to remember.

  4. Build a disaster kit together as a family
    Creating a preparedness kit with your kids will help them feel safe and ready, while also helping them learn the necessary items when dealing with a disaster.

    Here are some items to include in your kit:
    • A list of your child’s prescribed medications and extra refills, in the event the pharmacies are closed
    • Extra clothing, diapers and formula
    • Age-appropriate games, so the kids can have something to do while waiting in a shelter
    • At least a gallon of water per person per day, for at least three days
    • A supply of nonperishable food for at least three days
    • Flashlight
    • First-aid kit

  5. Make a plan
    You should also include your child in discussions about your family disaster plan.

    “Important topics to talk about include establishing a family meeting place, choosing an emergency contact and deciding how your family will communicate if you get separated,” says Carlson.

    You can keep a copy of the disaster plan in your child’s backpack so they have it with them at all times. To help your child feel prepared when at school, talk to their teacher about the school’s preparedness plans as well.
To learn more about disaster plans, join Sharp HealthCare from 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday, Oct. 12, for a free, family-friendly Disaster Preparedness Expo in Balboa Park. You’ll be able to hear tips on how to care for pets in a disaster, talk to vendors about the latest emergency supplies, and try Quake Cottage, an 8.0-magnitude earthquake simulator. For more information, visit

You might also like:

Choose the doctor who's right for you.

At Sharp, we make it easy to find an exceptional doctor — right where you live and work.

All Categories
Contact Sharp HealthCare
Call us


If this is a life- or limb-threatening emergency, please call 911 immediately.

Email us

Please do not use this form to convey personal or medical information.

How would you like to be contacted?
Date of birth

Find other numbers

View our phone directory

What's This?

These important numbers are located on your billing statement.

Find your Sharp Rees-Stealy account number

Find your Sharp Rees-Stealy account number

Find your Sharp hospital account number

Find your Sharp hospital account number

Find your SharpCare account number

Find your SharpCare account number
What's GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governs the processing of personal information gathered from individuals while they are in the European Union (EU) and parts of the EEA (European Economic Area, which currently includes Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway).

We are sorry, but we are unable to process hospital price estimates if you live or are travelling within the EU or affiliated nations.

To learn more, call us at 858-499-5901.

What's This?

Many surgery and procedure names sound similar. If possible, please provide the current procedure terminology (CPT) code, which can be found on the order from your doctor.

If you cannot provide the CPT code, please contact your doctor's office for the CPT or a detailed description of services.