Tag Archives: Survival Planning

Preparing Your Child For Emergencies

Preparing Your Child for Emergencies

One of the hardest things to talk about with our children is what to do if there is an emergency. We don’t want to scare our kids, but we want to make sure they are prepared in case something happens such as a fire, natural disaster, or in this day and age, a terrorist attack. One way to make it fun and easy for a child to participate in emergency planning is to make it fun for them. FEMA has a lot of free resources for disaster planning that are made specifically for children. Don’t know where to start for your family’s emergency preparedness? We’ve gathered some tips to help you and your children get started!

Child

Make a Plan 

Tip #1 is to make a emergency plan for what to do if there is an emergency of any kind. Children need to know that their family has rules set in place for them to follow if there is danger. First, pick a designated adult to contact in case of emergency. Things will be less hectic if one person is the go to for calls or text messages in case of emergency. Next, choose a fire escape plan for your home or apartment. Make sure you have two exits for each room and designate a meeting place outside and away from any dangers (roads, water sources, woods). For example, a specific tree in your back yard, maybe even a neighbors house if they live next to you. For emergencies when not at home, pick a location where everyone can meet, like a park or school.

Memorize Useful Information 

Tip #2 is to have your child memorize key pieces of information in case of emergency. Their name, address, phone number, and birthday are essential to know if your child needs to ask for help. Parents names are also important, however if your child is too young to remember this information, make sure it is written down on a card and kept in your child’s backpack at all times. Teach your child to carry their backpack in an emergency and the information will always be safe and ready at hand.

Pack Your Child With Essentials 

Tip #3 is to begin your child with a small readiness pack to carry with them in case they need it. Things to pack could include a small first aid kit with bandages and antiseptic ointment (get permission from school nurse), reflective material, emergency whistle, small flashlight, water bottle, protein snack and small comforts like candy or a stuffed animal. These things will help your child should an emergency arise at school and you are separated from them.

Emergencies At Home 

Tip #4 is to make an emergency response kit for your household to keep at home. This should include emergency food rations, water, blankets, flashlights, extra batteries, eating utensils, paper plates, whistle, can opener, blankets, hand-crank radio, first aid kit, and baby supplies if needed.

Practice Brings Progress 

Tip #5 is practice, practice, practice. Having a plan for emergencies will not help your family unless you practice those skills into your child’s memory. Practicing can also be a fun way of letting your child show you how much they have learned!

It’s All In The Family 

Tip #6 is to allow your child to be an advocate for emergency planning. Encourage them to talk to their neighbors, friends, extended family, church members, little league team and just about anyone else about the plan they helped create for the family. It will assist your child with retaining the information and spread the word about emergency preparedness planning in a cute and positive way.

Now that you have some ideas, start implementing! In no time you could have your children ready in the face of danger, emergencies, or disasters. Being prepared will allow your family to enjoy their lives to the fullest and worry less about what could happen.

This article was a guest submission from Lee Flynn who is a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.

Emergency Food Storage: 7 Tips for Getting Started

No matter where you live, there is potential for a disaster. If something were to happen, would you be prepared? Taking the time to store emergency food, water and first-aid supplies is essential in fully preparing your home or business for the unexpected. Starting with a basic food and water storage is a great way to make some headway. For this, you can start with a-la-carte food storage items and pick up more as you go, or purchase quick and easy kits for a solid base. Emergency kits are available in pails, backpacks and duffle bags, each designed for a specific use. These kits are great if you don’t have the time or desire to start building a food storage base on your own. They’re also inexpensive and designed to accommodate almost every emergency need.

Whether you choose to pick up food storage items as you go, or start with emergency food kits, it’s important that you store your items properly for optimal shelf-life and quality. To give you a better idea of how you can do this, we’ve provided the list of food storage tips below.

Food Guidelines for storing:

  • Keep food in a dry, unused area
  • Keep food enclosed at all times
  • Open food boxes or cans care-fully so that you can close them tightly
  • Wrap cookies and crackers in plastic bags and keep them in tight containers
  • Empty open packages and put into screw-top jars to protect them from pests
  • Inspect all food for signs of spoilage on a regular basis
  • Place new items in the back of the storage area and older ones in front

Starting a Storage

Now that you know where and how you should store your emergency food supply, it’s time to get started! Canned foods are the best choice as the food can be well-maintained for a very long period of time. Dried fruits, nuts, sugar, tea, and coffee can also be stored in sealed containers.  Review the tips below for a complete description of what you should start storing and when.

1)     Create Kits

First, make an emergency evacuation kit, also known as a 72-hour kit. Each member of the family should have their own emergency kit with an assortment of emergency supplies and food in a backpack or small bucket. Each kit should have enough supplies for three days. If danger strikes and you need to evacuate instantly, all you have to do is grab your backpack or bucket and escape. Don’t forget the following items: food, water, clothes, first-aid kit, hygiene needs, necessary medicines, important papers, and basic tools and utensils.

2)     Build Your Storage of Favorite Meals

Make a food storage plan based on your current diet. This would include a two or three month supply of the food your family eats regularly. In an emergency, you will want to have foods that you’re accustomed to eating as they will ease your transition into long term food storage items. Do not forget water.

3)     Stock PLENTY of Water

A top priority for getting started is an ample supply of clean water. The average person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day, and hot climates can double that amount. Water will also be needed for food preparation and hygiene. One gallon per person, per day is usually recommended. According to FEMA, you should have at least a two week supply of water per person in your family. Never ration water. You can always minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.

4)     Stock up on Food Staples

You will want to start storing long term food items. These are simple foods that store for extended periods of time and provide sufficient nutrition. These include grains, legumes, and other staples that will allow you to provide for your family in a reasonable manner for an extended period of time. You will need to incorporate these into your diet so your body can become familiar with them.

5)     Plan for Fire Needs

You also want to consider fire. It is very important to have the ability to light a fire for cooking and warmth. A fire starter is a vital item because it could be tough to locate burnable material and even tougher to ignite it.

6)     Make Sure Storage is Easily Accessible

Location is important. When an emergency is happening, you need to be able to locate your emergency kit and fast.

7)     Plan for Every Emergency

Your home isn’t the only place you should have an emergency kit. You will want to consider placing one in your boat, cabin, vehicle, etc. You never know when disaster could strike.

These are great suggestions and are compliments of the folks at Augason Farms.

Madness and Mayhem

The news over the last few days seems to be filled with chaos and mayhem. Whether it is the abandonment of vehicles in Atlanta or cryptic statements being made by journalists, it seems as though we are experiencing interesting times in America. To me, this further reinforces the need to be prepared and have a plan. Here are a few of my thoughts on recent events:

1. The gridlocked traffic in Georgia, Alabama, and other southern states reinforces the need to have a bag packed with appropriate items to help sustain your life in the event of an emergency. What if the businesses like Home Depot were not willing to harbor refugees from the weather? What would you do? Where would you go? It is possible to remain in your vehicle and protect yourself from the elements with the right equipment. Make sure to go out with a plan and not blindly hope that other will look out for you. Even if you do nothing else, put the following items in a bag in your car at the minimum:

  • A blanket for each person in the vehicle.
  • A one quart bottle of water for each seat in the vehicle. (Wrap these up in the blankets to keep them from freezing.
  • Food – Stable food that does not require special treatment (refrigeration) and that needs no resources to prepare. Think about items like jerky, granola bars, MRE’s, etc.
  • A first aid kit.
  • Hand Warmers
  • A light source (flashlight w/ batteries or chemical lightsticks).
  • Hat & gloves for each person.
  • A roll of toilet paper.
  • A disposable poncho for each person.

This is just a short list of the minimum items. These are all items that can be purchased at the dollar store. Put all this stuff in a plastic tote and keep it in the trunk. It could save your life!

2. Matt Drudge recently made a cryptic statement on Twitter about needing an exit plan. His exact tweet was, “Have an exit plan…” Many have taken this to the extreme and speculated about economic and stock crashes as well as other ideas. I take it as another reminder that we should all be preparing for the tough times that are likely ahead of us. It is not a bad idea to have an exit plan about how we would live our lives if we only had ourselves to rely on. (FYI-In the end, you can only count on yourself anyway.) Think about these points to assist you in your exit strategy:

  • Get out of debt.
  • Store enough food and water to sustain you and your loved ones for a predetermined amount of time (a MINIMUM of 7 days).
  • Have a plan on how you would acquire more food and water once you run out.
  • Establish a way to secure yourself and your property. Have a gun and know how to use it!
  • Always be able to provide yourself shelter, even if it means just having a tent and a plan on where it can be safely set up.
  • Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors about what you would all do if something were to happen. The solution to difficult times is to band together, pooling your resources and planning the path to recovery.
  • Pray, meditate, or do whatever you have to in order to seek wisdom and guidance as to how to deal with challenges. This is a daily task and does not have to only apply to an end of the world scenario.

These are a few of my thoughts. Take them for what they are. Remember that it is better to have something and not need it, then to need something and not have it!

5 Bug Out Bag Clothing Considerations

If there is a catastrophic disaster that were to occur right now, many of us would be left with the clothing on our back and whatever is packed into our Bug Out Bag (BOB). With this scenario in mind, a bug out or move to get home begins with what you have on your person. Perhaps the most important of these things in the scenario is the protection that your clothing offers you. Depending on your occupation, hobbies, and habits, the clothing on your back could be a benefit or a burden.

Like the greatest bean dip you ever tasted, the clothing you depend on to survive should be based on a system of layers. Now, I would not recommend wearing onions, sour cream, or guacamole and leaving the bean dip reference only as a way to equate the way that layers can enhance the “flavor” or comfort of your survival situation. Consider the following factors when deciding on what clothing to pack in your bug out bag.

Photo Credit: Flickr.com

Base Layer – The base layer of clothing consists of undergarments and can vary based on the environmental conditions. During cold weather, additions to the base layer can include thermal underwear and vary in the different weights available. Even in times of warmer weather, a good base layer can be an added benefit during night hours or in an environment such as the mountains where the temperature can differ drastically depending on the time of the day. An important consideration to keep in mind when looking at clothing for your base layer is to employ moisture-wicking technology if it is available. This will pull moisture away from the skin to avoid environmental injuries as well as maximizing comfort.

Intermediate Layer – The intermediate layer will typically consist of standard clothing like pants and shirts. The season of the year will typically determine the needed clothing for a bug out bag. Short as well as long sleeve shirts can be an integral part of the layering strategy, where shorts and pants can also be rotated as the seasons change. Even during the summer months though, it can be beneficial to keep long pants in a bug out bag because of the protection they can offer regardless of whether you may bug out through a rural or urban area.

Outer Layer – Clothing items that fall into the outer layer category are only worn as needed. While outer garments are typically thought of as something that is worn to keep the wearer warm, it is also important to remember pieces of clothing that can assist the wearer during warmer temperatures as well. During hot weather, a hat for example can protect the wearer from getting sun in their eyes as well as a sunburn on the head and neck. In addition to hats, gloves, scarves, coats, rain gear, and snow gear can all be necessary items to include in a BOB.

Versatility – There are several clothing items that have been developed to accomplish multiple purposes with only one garment. Convertible clothing if you will. These are the ideal choices to include in a bug out bag. It will not only minimize the number of items in the bag but will also reduce the total weight as well. Examples of these items that come to mind include pants that have the bottom portion zip off to convert into shorts, long sleeve shirts with sleeves that roll up for more of a short sleeve feel, and jackets that have removable sleeves to become a vest.

Durability – Regardless of the items that are in your BOB, they can be worthless if they are not durable enough to withstand the purpose for which you will use them. The old theory that may apply here is to be frugal but not cheap. Buying the best product that you can afford may, in the end, still cost less than replacing an item over and over because of wear and tear. Look for articles of clothing that are specifically engineered to withstand hard and repetitive use. This is the greatest value for your prepping dollars.

Putting together a BOB can be a daunting task but it is one that can be very rewarding if you ever need it. Make sure that you have the proper clothing to offer function, protection, and a safe arrival back at the ranch.

Prepping During Cold Weather

The winter months can require an adjustment in the way we approach our daily activities. Snow on the ground means the lawn doesn’t need to be mowed, but it also means that it is cold enough outside that the average person does not feel like spending much time outside. Colder temperatures could be an excuse to take time off from prepping all together because you “can’t work in the garden or spend any time at the range” but it can also be the catalyst to get some of the less exciting tasks completed at the same time.

Some of the prepping tasks that are ideally suited for cold weather months include:

  1. Rotate Food Storage – The food you put up for the future or for tough times should always be rotated and maintained. If it is consumed, it should be replaced. If it has an expiration date, eat it before it goes bad and then replace it! Even though some long-term storage food is good for 10 or even 25 years, it can still go bad far sooner if it is not properly kept. As a result of this fact, the winter months can serve as the perfect time to check over food stores and ensure that cans aren’t swollen, boxes aren’t stained or soaked with moisture, or that there are not “things” living in your food.
  2. Update Emergency Information – Curl up in the easy chair with your computer in front of the fire and make sure that the administrative side of emergency preparedness is together and organized. Things that can be updated include the evacuation routes that would be taken from home, work, etc., who to call if there were a tree that fell across your driveway, and ensure the accuracy of insurance information/coverage amounts.
  3. Plan Next Year’s Activities – What do you want to accomplish next year? Is the garden going to be bigger? Will you grow a different variety of a certain plant? This is also the perfect time to determine what your financial goals will be and how your projected income will fit into your prepping efforts.
  4. Learn New Skills or Brush Up On Old Skills – Some new skills can be acquired through reading, taking a class, or watching a video. If you are staying inside anyway, learn one of those new skills that you have been thinking about picking up! YouTube is a great resource for many survival, homesteading, emergency preparedness, etc. related videos and allow anyone with a computer and internet access to learn something new or brush up on a skill that lacks confidence. The local library usually offers a wide variety of books that can be useful in this same area. Many skills such as cooking or home brewing can have some level of mastery achieved in the course of one cold weather season.
  5. Perform Maintenance/Upgrades – Equipment needs to be maintained and upgraded. Maintenance and equipment upgrades can sometimes be put off and the downtime that winter affords can be the ideal time to perform some much-needed work. Firearms can be cleaned and oiled, knives can be sharpened, first aid kits can be upgraded, and the car can be taken to the shop to have the oil changed and the tires rotated.

Winter does not have to be down time for preppers. There is always something that can be done regardless of the weather. These are some of the ways that I could think of to stay prepping during the cold weather, how do you plan to stay with it this winter?