Richmond, Va. –
National Preparedness Month is an opportunity to include the entire family in disaster preparedness planning.
Children, especially, can benefit from being part of disaster preparedness planning, as it can help them feel like they have some control during events such as severe weather, which can be stressful and frightening.
"Planning activities together to engage in as a family before, during, and after an adverse event can reduce the impact of stress, and the likelihood of problematic behavior in family members of all ages,” said Melissa Futreal, Defense Logistics Agency Family Programs manager for DLA Installation Management Richmond.
Futreal says preparedness can also help decrease the risk of some forms of family violence, which is the primary mission of Defense Logistics Agency Family Programs.
“DLA Family Programs provides specific skills to strengthen all family relationships and instill protective factors to promote resiliency. Good communication skills, and other simple, but strategic parenting techniques can prevent a myriad of behavioral issues,” she said. “DLA Family Programs provides information and referral for individuals, briefings to groups, and classes on a variety of behavioral health related topics for the entire DLA workforce on Defense Supply Center Richmond.”
Futreal has over 25 years of experience as a licensed clinical social worker and serves all DLA employees; uniformed members, civilian and contract employees. She can be reached at (804) 279-4337 or at Melissa.email@example.com.
Specific ideas and tools for involving the family in preparedness planning can be found on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, https://www.emergency.cdc.gov/; on the Federal Emergency Management Agency website, https://www.ready.gov/kids; and at the American Red Cross website, www.redcross.org.