If parents get too sick to care for their children, it helps to have a plan in place.

Planning ahead for possible emergencies is even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic, a press release states. One key priority is knowing what to do if a parent or guardian becomes sick or hospitalized due to the virus.

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has created a planning kit to help families with this important part of emergency preparation. Having a plan to care for children can help reduce stress in the event of an emergency, and help everyone transition.

The COVID-19 Family Planning and Information Kit guide families through a process to Plan, Prepare and Share a plan for childcare in emergencies. The kit gathers key information in one place. Parents can complete the kit online and save it or print it out.

Details include:

• Choosing other caregivers

• Comfort items and routines

• Medical and other special needs

• Child care and school

• Faith-based and other important community contacts

• Legal matters

The completed kit should be shared with alternative caregivers before an emergency happens — plus family, neighbors, teachers or child care providers, faith-based communities, and health care professionals. It may be helpful to have printed copies on hand, or have a copy travel with your child.

The planning kit can be found at bit.ly/mdhplanningkit.

MDH also has resources on how to talk to their children about emergency preparedness and COVID-19 in the Family Resources section of its COVID-19 website at bit.ly/mdhfamilyresources.

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