LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: How to prepare kids for emergencies.

September is National Preparedness Month — and a time federal safety officials want mom and dad to get the family together, to have important conversations with their kids about being prepared for disasters and emergencies. This involves knowing what to do when there is a weather-related issue, like flooding, blizzards, and tornadoes — to emergencies like someone getting hurt, or a fire and going through what to do when something unexpected happens.

There are major steps to follow, and the first includes, putting an emergency plan together, which includes:

*Determining how the family receives emergency alerts and warnings

*Coming up with a shelter plan

*Figuring out an evacuation route

*Creating a household communication plan

*Updating or making an emergency preparedness kit

Let’s now focus on the emergency kit. It should be enough stuff to sustain your family for at least 72 hours and can include the following items:

*Water

*Medications

*Personal hygiene items

*Towels and blankets

*Non-perishable food with a manual can opener

*Paper cups and utensils

*Basic home tools, like a flashlight and extra batteries

*Waterproof portfolio or envelope to put family and personal documents inside

Plus, don’t forget about your pets. Have an emergency kit for them too — that includes things like water, food, and a leash.