Sarah’s Snippets 1/12/2016

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Sarah’s Snippets 1/12/2016

On January 11, 2016, Posted by , In Sarah's Snippets, With No Comments

Children say the darndest things, as Art Linkletter used to say. In doing so, they often reveal important truths. Last month the VISTA members spent a day at the Gilboa-Conesville school district in southern Schoharie county sharing preparedness education with the K-8th graders. The youngest children at Gilboa-Conesville may not remember having lived through the 2011 event, but most of these young people have vivid memories of that time and many of them shared some of their experiences the day that the VISTAs visited.

Following the preparedness topics that were taught by rotating small groups through four different stations, every child received a readiness bag that had been prepared by the VISTAs. Each readiness bag included a variety of age-appropriate items to be used during an emergency, The goal of the bags was to create a greater sense of preparedness, and thus reduced anxiety, during a future crises event. The children were instructed to keep their bags within easy access and to make sure they kept the items in their bags so they would have them in case of an emergency.

Some of the classes wrote thank you notes and sent them to SALT. The following quotes are from these notes:

  • Thank you for coming. I learned that during an emergency you have to keep calm and not panic. My bag stays on my dresser knob so I can find it.

  • I liked learning about what to do if there was a storm. I named my stuffed animal Bob, and my friend named hers Fred like my dog.

  • Thank you for being so nice to us and making sure we are safe. Now I feel better and know how to be safe.

  • Now I know what to do in case there is a power outage or fire. I liked that part the best .I’ve been looking at some stuff in the bag. I colored some in the coloring book. I make sure that everything would go back in!

  • I will keep the stuff in the bag forever. I keep itr in my closet so my brothers don’t find it, I opened it because my mom wanted to know what was in it.

  • Thank you for the emergency bag. I opened mine because my mom dropped her phone behind the couch so we had to use the flashlight in the bag.

These comments illustrate that the program was a success. The VISTA members were able to share the information in ways that the children could understand, find valuable, and remember. But even more, the comments reveal important truths: Preparedness education helps individuals by acknowledging that their apprehensions about another event are real, then empowers them by providing tools they can use to cope with an emergency more effectively. These children remind us that ” preparedness”  is still an important part of SALT’s mission.

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