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Family Preparation

Family is the most meaningful source of support for parents and children alike. Therefore, it is important that each family member be involved in the preparations in order to acquire tools to better cope with emergency situations.
• Equip the secure space with essential equipment for emergencies and things to help pass the time.
• Arrange an emergency bag in case of evacuation.
• Know the protocols, your protection region, the allotted time to reach your secure space, and the devices that warn you of emergencies in case of a siren.
• Discuss between family members the necessary preparations and the appropriate behavior during a siren.
• Distribute responsibilities amongst family members and plan according to the family’s specific characteristics and needs.
• Practice entering the secure space according to the allotted time for your region.

Dear parents,
All children are different, each filled with a world of capabilities, possibilities and needs. Thus, advice to help them cope isn’t “one size fits all.” You, as parents, know your children best, but we can add and clarify a few principles for how to act and cope.

6 Principles:
1. Feeling "normal" in a "non-normal" Situation
It is "normal" to experience stress and hardship. Channeling this into self encouragement for coping action will relieve the stress. Try to be patient with your children’s response and unusual behavior. Insist on keeping limitations and order for the children.

2. Parents as the Center of their Children’s World
Children can be sensitive, especially toward your body language; therefore it is very important to pay attention to your feelings and responses. As long as you remain calm and collected, this will be projected onto your children as well.

3. Dangerous VS just Scary?
Explain to your children the difference between danger and fear, especially the differences between coping with each:
"Danger" – Requires external action to cope with the danger.
"Just Scary" – requires internal action to regain balance.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”  ~Nelson Mandela

4. A Little Less News
Keeping the news running on television on all day on high volume isn't appropriate or helpful to children. Instead, it can increase stress.
Keeping a quiet atmosphere in the house will allow children to more easily adjust to the situation and prevent panic.

5. Daily Routine + Extra Hugs
It is very important to initiate and encourage closeness with the child, while respecting his wishes and feelings.
Be aware of the child’s changing needs regarding sleeping arrangements and respond to their special requests.

6. Give room for Emotion
Allow the children to share with you their thoughts and emotions, and allow them to feel comfortable asking questions that are bothering them.

***You are expected to act as a role model but not to be completely immune yourself.
It is allowed and advised to share with the children that you are also concerned, how you deal with your worries, precisely so they can deal with them as well.