Thursday, February 23, 2012

12 Preparedness Tips for Families with Children

familyGaye Levy, Contributing Writer
Activist Post

Something I have not given much thought to is how to deal with survival and preparedness matters when there are young children in the household.  Perhaps it was watching the children on Doomsday Preppers that set me on this path, or perhaps it was just something I started thinking about on my own.

Whatever the reason, I have always treated young children as mini-adults, able to rationalize and understand and feel the emotions and body language of the adults around them.  And I love kids.  Even though I don’t have any of my own, I recognize and love that they are fresh and unspoiled by life and its failures.  For no other reason, I wish to share my thoughts on preparedness for families with little ones under the roof.

A Dozen Preparedness Tips for Families

1.  Include children in family preparedness discussions.  Explain what you are talking about in a calm, assured manner and answer questions honestly and simply.  Focus the conversation on the safety issues that will ensure their survival.

2.  Regardless of their age, teach young children to memorize their basic personal information such as full name, address, telephone number, and the names of their parents or guardians.  This will be invaluable in the event they become separated from their family following a disaster.

3.  Learn the disaster response policies of you child’s school or daycare center.  Be sure to establish a backup plan so that someone is available to pick them up and/or care for them if you are unable to do so.  A good idea would be to have the backup person check on them, regardless, just to be sure.  (After all, you may be hurt and unable to call the backup person yourself.)

4.  Make sure the school or daycare center always has current emergency contact information for your children.  They should also have a list of persons authorized to pick your children up from school.  The last thing you want is for a kidnapper to take advantage of the chaos and snatch your child away for some nefarious reason.

5.  Establish more than one family meeting site and make sure you child knows where it is.  This will help if you can not return to your home.

6.  Establish an out-of-state contact person and make sure that your child and the school knows how to reach this person.  Remember that although local phone lines may be down, long-distance circuits often will be working following a disaster.

7.  Teach your children how to use 9-1-1 and practice what they should say to the dispatcher when they do call.

8.  Educate your children regarding the need to stay away from downed trees, downed utility poles and any wires that may be lying on the ground.  Also teach them to recognize the small of gas and – this is important – to tell an adult they smell gas even if they are not 100% sure.  Include instructions to get outdoors and leave the home or building if they even think they smell gas.

9.  Practice evacuation strategies and evacuation routes as a family project.  Make an outing of it; and while you don’t want to diminish the importance of the practice mission, make it fun as well.

10.  If you live in an earthquake or other natural disaster zone teach them basic responses such as Drop, Cover and Hold or Stop, Drop and Roll.

11.  Prepare a mini Go-Bag for each child.  Include a family picture, a toy, and a game, book or puzzle to keep him or her occupied.  Also include some treats.

12.  In the adult/family Go-Bag, include copies of the children’s birth certificates, recent photos and additional kiddie comfort foods.

The Final Word

One thing I used to hate when I was a child was the grown-ups talking about something and assuming that I was either not interested; or worse, unable to understand. In reality, I had an innate curiosity and even though I only understood half of what the adults were saying, I still soaked it up like a sponge.

With that in mind, I cannot think of a better situation for including your children than a family discussion about planning for an emergency of survival situation.

Read other articles by Gaye Levy here.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Gaye Levy, the SurvivalWoman,grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State. She lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable, self-reliant and stylish lifestyle through emergency preparation and disaster planning through her website at SurvivalWoman speaks her mind and delivers her message with optimism and grace, regardless of mayhem swirling around us.


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Anonymous said...

And...teach them Permaculture so they might have some semblance of a viable future...

R2 said...

Great tips, as stuff always happens when you least expect it.

Anonymous said...

Survival tips for what? , dec 21 2012????

Anonymous said...

Survival tips for what? , dec 21 2012????

You need to stay at Fox News and MSNBC and not stray into a REAL REALITY sight such as Activist Post. Alex Jones,David Icke,Natural News or Dr. Mercola would just confuse you more.

Our Supreme Leaders of this World are planning World War III among thousands of other enslaving and murderous plans!

Harold Camping has a sight just for your kind, if you are interested in Dec. 21st 2012 info.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious this writer has a good deal of experience with "survival" for grown ups; it is also equally obvious she has absolutely zero experience with children. There is a HUGE difference between those who have actual experience with kids in difficult times, as opposed to those who have theories.

I raised 6 of my own; it's a subject with which I am intimately acquainted.

With children in the Public Fool System parents have a disaster just waiting to happen; in an emergency (in big cities) nearly all schools nation-wide have in place a policy of school lock-down where the kids are essentially rendered prisoners. During a disaster, the schools in many cases will whisk the kids off to a "non-disclosed safe location", where they will be interred indefinitely, with parents prevented from any contact with their children, much less "allowed" to re-acquire them.

Better come up with a better plan.

Anonymous said...

I have 11 children and many grand and greatgrand children. Someone with no children has no idea how to raise a child or knows how they think. Dr. Spock comes to my mind

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