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What About The Kids

February 20, 2011


As Americans, many of us are prepared in case of emergency to vacate our home for safer ground.  These events have mostly been due to  natural disasters that we have no control over.  Times are changing, there are other events that can occur that puts all Americans at risk to temporarily take refuge elsewhere, even for a short time while the danger subsides.  We adults prepare for this, but often forget our little ones and their preparation.  A well informed child, who understands what is going on at the time of crisis, can take a lot of anxiety out of the families rush to safety. 

Too better explain that, a fellow Patriot has brought forward some great planning ideas that could help immensely in a time of crisis.  So without further blabbering from me, here are wise words from:           


It’s time to review your preparedness to face the unexpected occurrences that will be happening someday (maybe soon) that will bring a dislocation of some severity to daily life for each of us. You’ve worked hard to get ready for any natural or man-made disaster.  You have the right number of 72 hour kits for everyone in the house.  Those bags diligently follow you every day to always be at hand for when you might need them.  At home you’ve stocked up on food stuffs, water supplies (potable and non-potable), emergency medical supplies, emergency cooking supplies, defense equipment, and emergency shelters or shelter repair equipment for examples.  You’ve put together your pre-packed bug out supplies to hasten your departure to a more secure location if needed.  You and your significant other have walked over all the plans to gather the family together should the disaster occur when the family is scattered about for their daily life activities. 

 Yes sir, you’ve got it all set out to the best of your abilities.  You and your significant other are prepped!  Or are you forgetting some prep work?  Not sure?  Okay, I’ll prompt your thinking some – what about your kids?  What do I mean?  I know you’ve packed all their kits.  I know you’ve laid in supplies specifically geared to the kids based on their age needs.  I know you have medical gear that is specifically for what kids go through as a part of growing up.   But, what age and ability appropriate prep skills have you taught the kids?  What can they do to help in times of turmoil?  You haven’t?  Oops, let’s talk my friend.

 Let’s look at some instances to get you thinking through what your kids could be taught to do for themselves that benefits them individually and the family group overall.  We’ll start with their 72 hour kit.  Can they carry it?  How about farther than a block or two?  Even a five year old can carry a pack, if it’s not too heavy for them.  If they’re younger and less able then make up two packs for them.  One with some portion of their gear they can carry and the rest in another pack for an older person to carry.  This gets them participating in their survival and makes things easier on the other person who has some of the weight taken out of the gear for the child that they must carry in addition to their own. 

  What is a 72 hour kit or pack?  It’s a pre-packed bag or container (I recommend a military grade backpack) large enough to contain items for surviving for 72 hours while awaiting aid, rescue, or moving to a secure location if caught away from your designed shelter location in time of an emergency or disaster.  What should be in a 72 hour kit?  Well, that depends to some degree.  But, basically I recommend the following items as minimum requirements for a 72 hour kit for an individual:

  • Battery Powered Radio
  • First Aid Kit & Manual
  • Sleeping Bags & Blankets (wool & thermal)
  • Manual Can Opener
  • Waterproof/Windproof Matches
  • Non-Perishable Foods
  • Flashlight
  • Water Storage (1 gal./day)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Utility Knife
  • Emergency Candles
  • Extra Eyeglasses/Contact Lenses
  • Essential Medications
  • Extra Clothing (two days worth – especially underwear and socks)
  • Personal Hygiene Items (roll of toilet paper, bar of soap, small tube of toothpaste, toothbrush, etc)
  • Good Hiking Footwear (weight of the footwear is not a consideration since you’ll be changing into them immediately and make sure they’re broken in beforehand to save your feet)

Other items will be dependent on the personal needs of the individual the pack is for.  Infants would need some diapers and rash creams for example.  Add to the packs as you find necessary for the individual.  Just ensure items are non-perishable and will last for a reasonable period of time (for me that means one year.  I make equipment and contents checks every six months even then) without making the packs so heavy they are more hindrance than help.  Remember you may be carrying it on your back for an extended period of time.

 Let’s go farther on the pack the child will carry.  Do they know what’s in their pack?  Do they know how to locate it without having to take everything out of the pack (which helps you determine if you packed it properly for them as well)?  Do they know what each item is for and when to consider using it?  No, get the thought out of your head that you’ll be available to tell them what, when and how to use it!  That’s not necessarily true and you’ll condemn them to unreasonable hardship if they become separated from the family/adult group and have to survive until you can find them again!  I know you love and cherish your children, so why would you risk their survival on an assumption like that?  You want to care for them and protect them, this we all know.  So do that!  TEACH them.  Give them the skills they need.  That is an important part of true love and protection for your child too.  Okay, back to the task at hand.

 Do you go camping with your children?  No, the Holiday Inn Express you stayed in last night doesn’t count as camping.  Does your child know how to build a camp fire?  Have you taught them?  Even if they’re too young to actually start a fire you can teach them how to collect wood.  Yes, wood.  It does take a bit more than telling them to go pick up some sticks.  What kind of wood to look for would be a good place to start.  Do they know to get dry wood?  Do they know to look carefully before grabbing that small log to bring back?  Do they know about making a fire ring around the fire point?  Digging a small pit to help contain the fire and hold the heat in closer from any wind?  How to maintain that fire?  What about placing a proper grill surface over the fire for cooking (if you have one that is)? 

 Okay, so you plan to reside in place in the city during the turmoil and so you won’t be camping out.  Really?  You’re betting then that there will be gas or electricity just like every other day providing you the ability to heat and cook with, are you?  A bad assumption to make sir.  You may hunker in place and still need to go out in the back yard to cook or heat water, or camp if your home is damaged.  Let’s also be honest enough with ourselves to know you can’t do it all alone.  Survival of the group is a shared responsibility.

 Good, you’re starting to see the needs.  There are many other skills you will be teaching your children before all is said and done.  I know whatever they need to learn you and your significant other will decide based upon their age and abilities, and that’s only right.  Life may be upside down for a long time and your kids need to know they can survive – with or without you.  Honor them by teaching them and as a bonus you’ll get some very enjoyable hours doing things with your kids, and wonderful memories to recall when you’re sitting on the porch in your old age reflecting on your life.

 Now, get to it my friend.  I’m done talking.  Besides it’s time to teach my kid how to make pan fried bread. 

 Good luck and God bless.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2011 12:16 pm

    Survival of the group is a shared responsibility. PlainlySpoken … thank you for pointing out that it is the GREATER GODD in the end that counts. Welcome comrade!

    • February 20, 2011 5:55 pm

      Nice try Charlie – but we’re not talking the same thing and I think you know that (or should). The survival of one and their family to continue life does not hinge in any way on the “greater good,” or even the survival, of a society.

      So, I am afraid we’re not comrades in that greater good sense you’re speaking to at all.

  2. Judy Sabatini permalink
    February 20, 2011 4:05 pm

    It’s not my kids I have to worry about, they’re grown men, so they’re on their own. It’s my mother that I have to watch for, & if anything happens, I have to make sure we don’t get separated, she couldn’t survive on her own, not with her Dementia & her age 88. This is a very scary article to even think that this could happen, but I know, it’s a very good possibility. Great article PlainlySpoken.

    • February 20, 2011 5:58 pm

      Thank you Judy. Yes, the other end of that spectrum – the elderly members of our family – are a challenge as well.

      In the end I would reside in place if I couldn’t bring out an elderly loved one to a selected place of safety. I would refuse to leave them behind to face the turmoil and uncertain future alone.

  3. February 20, 2011 6:34 pm

    It was a piss-poor try (mispelled Good with Godd) … oy vey … but are you guys really concerned about some kind of apocolypse? I’ll have to reread your posts …

    • Judy Sabatini permalink
      February 20, 2011 6:53 pm

      My thought is, with the way things are going in this country, who knows for sure, but wouldn’t it be better to be ready, than not be? If nothing happens, then we don’t have anything to worry about, right, but still!

    • February 20, 2011 6:59 pm

      but are you guys really concerned about some kind of apocolypse

      Charlie, as I wrote in the post, “You’ve worked hard to get ready for any natural or man-made disaster.”

      That could be severe earthquakes (Loma Prieta of 1989, Northridge of 1994), major floods (Tennessee 2010, the Midwest in 2006), hurricanes (Katrins 2005, Andrew 1992), and on and on are perfect examples of the need to be prepared to live without services or aid for extended periods of time.

      A situation of general civil unrest could be possible as well. Need I remind you of the Los Angeles riot of 1992 being an excellent example.

      Is the world as we know it ending? Maybe, I don’t know the future. But, certainly one should prepare for the future regardless of the potential cause of the dislocation.

    • gmanfortruth permalink*
      February 20, 2011 7:09 pm

      Charlie, Concern is really not an isse for me, the world isn’t coming to an end. Could we have bad economic problems in the near future? Watch the prices of gold, silver, gas and food, that is the best way to answer that question. The dolloar is devaluing, costs are rising proportionately. It’s a little at a time, but looking back six months ago, many food prices have risen 25%. Most folks haven’t noticed that 16 oz. jar of pasta sauce is now twelve oz. at the same price. People aren’t seeing the obvious, their watching whats on TV. What could this mean? I don’t know for sure, but when food prices make it unaffordable to those on govt. assistance, I’m glad I’m where I’m at. I’m glad I’m prepared for tough times, even if they don’t come, I have peace of mind!

      • February 20, 2011 9:38 pm

        I can’t knock you for it. There’s nothing wrong with planning for the future. I didn’t realize you were talking about all types of disasters and thought you meant something like a nuclear war. Even then, though … can’t argue with planning.

  4. charlie miles permalink
    February 22, 2011 10:11 am

    the problem is that most people dont have a clue about dealing with a crisis most of them lose there damn minds if there cell phone loses service for a couple of hours

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