Natural disasters, unstable governments and economies, plagues and other dangers seem to be on the rise. The chances of going through life without facing an emergency on some level are becoming less and less.
We pray and we prepare. As we prepare, it’s important not to overlook our children. They need to be an integral part of our survival planning. Part of that plan is preparing their own survival bag or kit. Children will need many of the same things adults need, like water and clothing, but they also have some unique needs. Knowing and preparing for these can go a long way toward smoothing out any emergency situation.
Along with helping our children prepare survival backpacks or bug-out bags, we also should be teaching them basic survival skills. We can’t guarantee that we’ll always be there, but we can help our children gain the skills they will need to deploy in emergency situations.
The Basic Survival Bag
You will want to choose a bag that is child-size appropriate. Some child-sized backpacks even offer built-in hydration systems. Plan to have your children pack their bags as much as they are able. Obviously, preschool children will need a good deal more help than a teenager. Include extra clothing and update your bags whenever you update your child’s regular clothing drawers. Also include three pairs of socks and three pairs of underwear. Gloves, hats, sweaters or jackets and an extra pair of shoes are other important clothing items.
Hygienic items should include a bar of soap in a plastic bag (best option) or hand-sanitizer. If your children use deodorant, include that along with a toothbrush and toothpaste and wet wipes (both for washing and as a toilet paper substitute).
It is important to include contact information in case you and your child get separated. The best way to do this is to laminate a three-by-five card that has a picture of your family along with contact numbers and addresses on it. Teach your children how to find a safe person to ask for help. For older children, an area map can be a good item as well.
Food and water are especially important items to include. A refillable water bottle is great, and a necessity if your child’s bag doesn’t have a built-in hydration system. Pack a water filtration system and teach each child how to use it properly. Non-spoiling food, like nuts, sealed bags of dried fruit, granola bars and hard candy should be added. Also, consider any medications your child has and include and update them regularly if possible.