Many of us have children whom we love and care for. They tend to be one of the reasons why we do the things we do, and can provide motivation when we need it. This is just as true for us.
When we stared our journey, we had a single child, a wonderful daughter. She was still a baby, so the preps for her were unique, and fortunately for us we ran through them so fast we always tried to have plenty on hand. In that capacity it was easy. As she continued to grow, we had to account for her changes in what we set aside for her. This included making sure she was covered in our portable 72 hour kits while she couldn’t manage her own bag.
Of course her safety was our responsibility, but it never did feel like it was a ‘have to’. It just felt right. Later when our son came along we continued to bolster and add to our kits and other preparations. Again, no hard feelings were felt. With that said, we have met some people who have treated their children as an afterthought, and when we’ve talked to them about their preparations they seem stumped when we asked what they’ve done specifically for their children. While it wasn’t a conscious misstep, they believed that if they took care of themselves, they’d be able to manage for the kids. We believe that this is simply a misconception. We urge each and every one of you to take heed and be conscious when you have a child to take care of.
As we mentioned, at the start our children’s needs were relatively few and easy to take care of while being very specific and unique. As they grew, and continue to grow, their needs have changed and evolved. And those needs continue to be as unique as the child themselves. This is why we involve our children in our discussions and planning. This allows them to think through their needs, and gives them the ability to add a couple of luxury items. This also let us get them their own go bags when they were able to shoulder their own fair share so that we could reduce our load.
In reality, preparing older children is no different than preparing for ourselves. We have the same basic needs, and we have to consider any special needs they might have. We’ve found that the major thing that we have to deal with when working with our children is their tendency to want to over pack. Our enjoyment of hiking and camping has given us a unique insight into how much of a mistake over packing can be. We might be able to handle the weight at the onset, but over time it can become grueling and unbearable.
So far we’ve talked a lot about preparing out 72 hour kits and setting our kids up with kits of their own, but there are some great things to ensure you have around the house for emergencies as well. If your kids are anything like ours they are well immersed in technology, playing games, reading, and getting the rest of their non-physical activity through the use of electronic devices. With many of the emergencies we deal with we often find ourselves sitting at home without power. Its in these instances that we’ve found having a couple of board games and children’s books can really help pass the time. It can also be the difference between kids laughing and playing and them fighting like cats and dogs.
Our experience and knowledge as parents / guardians / adults is the best tool at our disposal, and out edge. It’s what helps us mold our children as they grow into adults. It’s also what lets us prepare them for life with and without us so they can deal with whatever comes their way.
“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”