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Virtual class helps military families to prepare for an emergency

Emergencies are just an accident waiting to happen. And though you might not know when you can find yourself in one, what military families can know is their plan of action for child care. To help families build an emergency child care plan, a coalition of MFRCs will be hosting a virtual information session on Monday, Nov. 9.

The information session will help participants navigate through common questions such as how to create an emergency child care plan, what benefits and resources are available during a deployment and whether or not you have a plan for respite care.

The session will be hosted by Meghann Trollip, Deployment Support and Education Coordinator at the Mainland BC MFRC.

The session will begin by briefly looking at the military family care plan. Trollip says many times families aren’t aware of the family care plans their military spouses may have at work.

She will then dive into the emergency child care plan that the BC MFRC designed and loosely based on the military family care plan. The plan was developed into a booklet that is handed out to families new to the area.

Trollip will take participants through a step-by-step process on how to set up a plan and the benefits that are available. The plan is divided into two parts: first looking into the first 72 hours after an emergency takes place. It is recommended families have two contacts for this initial period. The plan then describes long-term care past 72 hours, when close family members can arrive to take care of the child.

“Circumstances happen that are out of our control, and it’s always good to have a written backup plan because what happens is if you’re in an emergency situation it’s hard to sometimes think reasonably and think about who should you call. If you have a plan already built up that you’ve talked to your spouse about and know which people to call you can make the decision, and you don’t have to search for numbers. It’s just a way to be prepared for an emergency when spouses are deployed. Prepared families help with military readiness as well,” said Trollip.

Having a set plan also enables the emergency contact to be aware and ready to help in case the time ever comes.

Trollip recommends that the plan should remain with the primary care provider and be kept in a visible place like the fridge.

The session will also give participants a chance to learn more about the new Military Family Service Child Care Policy that went into effect in August.

Trollip tailored the BC plan, after realizing many military families had the need for an emergency plan in the area, for a national audience. The BC plan also outlines emergency contacts and resources. It also discusses the importance of running criminal record checks on a child care provider you may not know personally and clearly discussing expectations with the emergency contacts.

“We are encouraging every family to have those in case something does happen you are prepared,” said Trollip.

The information session is open to military families across Canada with an information session in French is in works for early next year.

Timings for the session are 7 p.m. EST and 10 p.m. EST. Each session has a 25 person limit. To register visit http://bit.ly/1Rim3Lh.

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