McHenry County Department of Health - Emergency Preparedness & Response
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Kid's Corner

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What is an Emergency?

Penny rererereredo copyWhat is an emergency? An emergency is something that happens that we do not expect. We have to act quickly to keep ourselves safe. So how do we prepare for emergencies?

Every day you do your homework, or practice music or sports; these are all acts of preparedness. You can be ready for emergencies in the same way by planning and preparing.

Click on the links on Penny’s guidepost to learn more about the steps you take to get ready for emergencies!

Together we can plan, prepare, and protect.

What to Do When Lots of People are Getting the Flu

The Flu is a serious illness that you can give to or get from someone else. You can give flu germs to other people before you even know you are sick! People with the flu may have a fever, headache, stuffy nose, or a cough. Usually people get sick with the flu during wintertime. Flu germs are spread by coughing sick kid transor sneezing, or when a sick person touches things.

When a lot of people are sick with the flu it is important to stay healthy. You should wash your hands and cough or sneeze into your elbow. Make sure to get plenty of sleep. If you are not feeling well tell your parents, you may have to stay home from school. If your friends are sick, do not share food or toys until they feel better.

What to Do During A Severe Thunderstorm

Thunder transDuring a thunderstorm, there is a lot of thunder and lightning! The safest place to be during a thunderstorm is inside. When you are inside, stay away from windows or glass doors. Stay away from water - don’t take a bath. Stay off the land-line telephones and other electronic devices that are plugged into the wall. Ask your parents to turn off the television, computer, and air conditioner.

If you are outside and cannot get inside, stay away from things that are tall or made out of metal.  Go to a low, open space, crouch down, place your hands on your knees and lower your head. Lightning can strike even if it is not raining. If you hear thunder there could be lightning.

What to Do During A Tornado

Tornado TransIf there is a tornado warning, take shelter. A warning means that someone has seen a tornado nearby! If you are indoors, go to the lowest level. Once at the lowest level, stay away from windows, and go into a bathroom or closet if possible. If you cannot get in a closet or bathroom get under something sturdy like a table or a desk. Try to cover your head and neck from falling or flying objects. Stay covered until you have heard it is safe. 

If you are outside with no shelter nearby, lie flat in a low spot so that the wind and debris can blow over you. Protect your head and neck with your hands and arms. 

What to Do When There is Flooding

ready-kids--disaster-floods-mainFlood waters are dangerous and carry diseases. Stay away from flooded areas - water may still rise. Try to get somewhere high up. Never try to walk or swim in flood water. From the surface, you cannot see holes, trash and debris, or how fast the water is moving. Water only 6 inches deep can knock you off your feet.   Stay away from river banks in flooded areas. The ground could collapse and is slippery!

If you are inside during a flood you should stay in, and only leave with your parents or trusted adult. If water comes into your house, go upstairs. Never go into a basement that has water in it. Don’t touch anything with electricity, it might shock you!

bug out bag transKid's Activity Readiness Kit

When an emergency happens, you should have a kit ready to go containing supplies such as food and water.   Also, pack some of your favorite belongings and activities to help occupy your time.  Here is a list to give you some ideas:

  • A favorite book or two
  • Crayons, pencils, or markers and plenty of paper
  • A deck of cards
  • A puzzle
  • Favorite stuffed animal or toy
  • Favorite blanket or pillow
  • Pictures of family and pets


Send Us Your Flat Stanley or Stella Preparedness Picture!

Steeeellllllaaaaaa and stan transparantFlat Stanley and Flat Stella are FEMA ambassadors to promote preparedness. How great is that?!
We want children and their parents (or teachers) to print their own FEMA Flat Stanley or Flat Stella and send us a photo of themselves - along with Flat Stanley or Stella and items from their emergency kit.  We will post all of the pictures on our website!  Here is what you need to do:

  1. Click here to print a copy of Flat Stanley
  2. Click here to print a copy of Flat Stella
  3. Take a picture of yourself, Flat Stanley and/or Stella along with some items from your Emergency Kit.
  4. Send your picture to [email protected]
  5. Include information you want us to post, such as your name or class.  (If you do not want your name posted, that’s o.k.)

You can click here to see other people’s Flat Stanley and Stella preparedness pictures.

 Kid's Activities and Games

You can access a treasure chest of preparedness activities and games by clicking on the link below!!!


To Learn More About Preparedness, Visit the Following Links:

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