Preparing children for emergencies can help them avoid unnecessary confusion and panic and could help save their lives or the lives of others. Depending on how old the child is, you can teach him or her some general contingency actions, such as how to call 9-1-1 or other emergency telephone numbers to get help and, of course, how to reach you. As soon as they're old enough, children should memorize their address and phone number, as well as contact information for parents or other family members. Help the child develop relationships with a trusted teacher, neighbor, or friend's parent who can be available, in case you can't be reached. Teach them that police and firefighters are friends they count on for protection. Depending on where you live, you can have a plan already in place that you've practiced with the child in case there's a fire, earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or other type of disaster. Older children can take courses through scouting, the 'Y,' or the Red Cross in such things as first aid, water safety, lifesaving, C-P-R, and other types of emergency preparedness. You can also teach children how to recognize and avoid dangerous situations.