Most preppers with families know how important it is to make sure your children are prepared. Every member in your family should have a bug out bag, preferably one that will cover at least 72 hours in a survival situation. But what happens when your kid is at school and separated from you and their own supplies?
Making sure your kids are prepared for any potential disaster scenario, no matter where they are, is an easy way to help them stay safer in case of a disaster. Even in a small scale event, a school closure, getting snowed in, an earthquake– you can easily give your child some essential tools to aid in any survival situation. By adding a few simple, and compact items to your kid’s backpack you can help them in any situation, whether they are at school or maybe even just at a friend’s house.
Most of the items here can be easily packed into a backpack while still leaving room for their everyday school necessities. Depending on your child’s age or specific needs these items, of course, can vary. As always, consider your child’s needs first and pack accordingly. I can stuff most of these items into one hiking style water bottle, keeping it neat and compact, and out of the way of my son’s daily activities.
As I said before I keep most of the items packed inside the water bottle, however, it’s pretty common practice for many kids to already take a water bottle with them, without bugging out in mind. A water bottle is one of the most important tools out there; keeping hydrated is key to survival. It is estimated that you can only survive 3 days without water, but the side effects of dehydration set in long before then. Make sure your child can stay safe and hydrated.
The water bottle won’t help much if you can’t find any purified water. Water tablets are easy to carry and are useful in emergency situations. I prefer to pack a life straw, which is a personal purification system that is compact and effective. For children, I find they are less resistant to using a life straw in comparison to the tablets, I mean I can’t convince my son to eat peas, let alone a strange tablet in his water; that is why I pack a life straw for my kiddo.
Emergency whistles are an excellent safe guard, helping to keep your child safe from possible attackers. By being able to alert those nearby to a potential danger or even just to scare away a potential assailant, a whistle is a lifesaving tool that takes up very little space in your child’s backpack. It’s a good idea to consider if and when your children are mature enough to understand they can only use them in an emergency.
Emergency ponchos can pack up to be extremely small and are often extremely affordable. If rains or dangerous weather hit, a poncho, or really any type of rain gear, makes a huge different in keeping a kid dry and safe.
Bandanas have hundreds of uses in survival situations. They can be used in first aid, as a signal, as a washcloth, as a sling; they can be used for sun protection, for cleaning, cooking and for countless other applications that can aid you in survival. A bandana is easy to carry and takes up little room, they can even just be tied on the outside of a backpack to make sure they don’t take up any crucial space.
Extra Socks and Underwear
There’s no explanation needed for why an extra pair of socks and underwear is a good idea. Even just as a backup for a regular day, having a change of these important necessities is something that will always be useful.
Flashlights are incredibly useful, especially in the case of a power outage. Younger kids who are afraid of the dark certainly should not be without one of these important tools.
An extra granola bar or some dehydrated food will go a long way to not just feed your child in case of an emergency, but also to give them needed comfort in scary and stressful times. Pack something that will last for a long time so you don’t have to keep replacing it. I also make sure I keep one thing my son really likes, something that would be a real comfort to him, and replace it in his pack as needed.
Drink packets last a long time and kids love them. There are also liquid drink mixes, but the powdered ones are easier to store and often come in pre-measured packets so any kid can simply add it to their own water bottle easily. Powdered milk is also a good consideration, especially for the younger kids. (If you have powdered milk, dry cereal is a great food to pack).
Emergency Contact Information
A small information card is a huge benefit, especially for younger kids who aren’t able to memorize a lot of facts. On my card I have all of my contact information, in case someone needs to get a hold of me during a disaster or emergency. I also have my son’s name and an alternative emergency contact listed, just in case I cannot be reached. If your children have any medical conditions or allergies you may want to include that on your contact card as well.
Small First Aid Kit
Having the basics: band aids, antiseptic wipes, ointment, gauze, etc. will go a long way if any injury occurs. Whether your own child gets hurt, or if it’s one of their friends, a first aid kit can come in handy in an emergency, or just in everyday life.
A lot of people send their kids to school with hand sanitizer already, so this one is easy to include. Hand sanitizer is also often sold in small bottles making them compact and easy to store.
There are several somewhat smaller size emergency blankets that will fit in to your child’s backpack without too much notice. There are Mylar blankets as well, which aren’t as durable, but they are a much more compact option. In addition, emergency blankets can also double as emergency shelters if needed.
Especially If you’ve got a younger child, this, something of comfort might be one of the most important items. Make sure you have something that provides your child an escape from their potentially scary situation. A book, a stuffed animal, a photo album, whatever it may be, make sure you have something that is there just to make your kid smile.
You can pack as much or as little as you feel is necessary, but remember this is not your child’s main bug-out bag, so don’t overdo it. Make sure you avoid potentially dangerous items. While a pocket knife is an integral survival item for older kids, they simply can’t bring those to school.
When disaster strikes, you certainly hope you are not separated from your kids. Just in case, however, you’ll want to do whatever you can to ensure their survival and ease your mind until you are back together again.