By Maria Bailey, Founder of and Host of Mom Talk Radio

Protecting my four children from unnecessary dangers has always been my top priority as a mother. Whether it was falling from a bike or stove burn, I am always quick to jump to prevent these accidents.

As my children have gotten older, I’m learning that there are many things I just can’t control, like unexpected situations. Nothing could have prepared me for the day that I learned my children were evacuated from what I thought was a safe environment because of a bomb threat. I was completely breathless as I learned via a call to my cell phone that they had been evacuated and were in a holding area near by. My husband could not be located and I was 3000 miles away on a business trip. You can only imagine how defenseless I felt at that moment. I was so grateful that the authorities had been able to find me even though I was sitting in a meeting in New York City. I learned an important lesson that day – always arm my children with contact and care information.

Today’s families are very active and always on the go. Many parents work outside the home while their children are much more independent and social. Kids as young as elementary school are spending more and more time away from their parents due to school and extracurricular activities. Long before moving out of the home for college, teens are driving further distances and venturing beyond the city limits on travel teams and touring church groups. All of this activity exposes family members to an increase chance of accidents and emergency situations. How can you protect your children even when they are out of your sight? The best way to prepare your family for an emergency is to take precautions long before accidents happen.

Preparing yourself and your family can be done in a few quick minutes.

1) Create a family emergency and accident plan and educate your children on what to do if something happens in your absence. Calling for help and calling you should be on the top of the list. However, include non-family members and close friends in the event your cell phone is dead or you are in a bad cell area.

2) Make sure you can be contacted in the event of an accident if your children can’t do it themselves. You can’t always be there when your child needs you, but you can assure you get there fast. Make it easy for emergency personnel to contact you by equipping your child with Emergency Contact ID’s. This critical communication tool can be obtained through online providers such as and is often included with other services. Make sure to include multiple contacts and several phone numbers. In the event of an emergency, it’s important that your family member receives the care they need and that medical professionals can contact you.

3) Provide medical professionals with the information they need to care for your child. It’s important your child gets the care he or she needs when they need it. Time can be of the essence, so make sure doctors know what they need to know to start administering care. Services like that can also assist you in compiling your family’s medical history and making it readily accessible by emergency responders. This ensures that the information will be available to professionals and current at all times. Make sure to include any special needs or allergies your child may have that would enhance or impede his/her care in an emergency situation.

Emergencies can occur at anytime. Chances are they will happen at the worst possible time or when you least expect them. Take the time now to provide your family with the tools to handle the unexpected. Prepare now so you won’t find yourself regretting your lack of preparation later.

(c) 2006 – All Rights Reserved. Take a few minutes to learn how Emergency Contacts can provide you with an additional sense of security and put your mind at ease.