18 May 2016

Think of the Children: Emergency Kits for Kids

     We had Family Night on Monday. Each week we try to have a "Family Home Evening" and we do a song, prayer, and some sort of lesson. Often it's some story from the scriptures or an inspirational video. Sometimes we'll have an activity or do something as a family, and tie it in somehow to a principle to help reinforce whatever lesson we want to teach. This week was about preparedness, particularly for the children. My oldest is pretty familiar with the concept of emergencies. Lately she has made up some stories to tell about emergencies that never happened or she might ask for a bedtime story about an emergency I've seen, like that time Uncle Scott "breaked his leg" on the motorcycle.

Scott and Thomas
(One of her favorite stories) 

     We talk about how to handle sticky situations whenever the occasion arises, like if a car battery dies and needs a jump or if some kid drives his car off the road. We explain what is happening, what we do about it, and why we did what we did. To her, they make for cool stories, but over time, I believe it will help empower her to make a difference in her own life or someone else's when things get tough.
     While we have quite a few emergency supplies scattered throughout our house, and some that we have assembled into kits, we haven't had anything, other than a diaper bag, tailored specifically to the kids' needs. Occasionally I have added a baby or kid item to my supply, but nothing focused specifically on them. That's what we decided to work on this week. I usually have the notion that I'll "figure things out" if I need to. I consider MacGyver a role model and personal hero.

"MacGyver Multitool"
     Figuring things out is a badge of honor and I believe it is a necessary skill. However, while I am away at work a third of my life, and we have three kids to consider, that particular preparedness strategy could easily come back to bite us. The two older kids were excited to get prepared for emergencies and were about as helpful as two kids who have no idea what they are doing can be. Although at one point, my daughter yelled to me from the other room, "We need to get some food," so I think she's on the right track.
     She has this backpack that she absolutely loves. It's tiny, so it fits her, and it has some of her favorite Disney characters on it. Our next oldest isn't as tall as her yet. There's probably not a backpack anywhere that would fit him, so we grabbed a fanny pack. That, of course, wouldn't fit around his tiny waist, even if we tried to do a crazy knot in the strap, so we ended up slinging it over his shoulder. He seemed to think that was alright for now. Our daughter's backpack has some items for her brother, like a pair of clothes for him and his diapers and small packs of wipes. It also has clothes for her and a first aid kit for both of them. We gave them each a whistle...which they were able to practice...a lot. They also each have an emergency blanket, poncho, flashlight, glowsticks, granola bars, water, emergency contact information, and .22 revolvers. Okay, that last one wasn't true; it would add too much weight to the packs. I may be forgetting to list a thing or two, but you get the idea. We also plan on adding a couple comfort and entertainment items, like stickers, crayons, a small toy, and candy.
     For the wee little baby boy, we packed some emergency water, diapers, clothes, and the samples of baby formula sent to us by the formula companies after he was born. We added a couple other things, but it while it was baby-specific, he didn't actually have a hand in making it...because he's a baby. So we focused primarily on the other kiddos.
     It didn't take us long, but we have taken a small step in preparing for an emergency. It's definitely not all-inclusive for their needs, but it's all they can carry, so after that we'll probably have to take care of them ourselves...I guess. We didn't go through anything crazy to put these together. We tried to gather a few things ahead of time so it wasn't a mad dash for everything, and we focused only on the kids. We can adapt and add to our own kits any time, and on our own, but it took very little effort to do a kid-focused kit that they could have a hand in preparing. After a very short time, they were both wearing their kits, ready for an adventure.

     A while ago, when we were working on the "When Time Matters" video, we did the mad dash: 5 minutes to grab everything you think you would need if you had to leave right then. It turned out to be an interesting mess, but a fun experience. Any way you decide to start or increase your family preparedness, know that you are empowering your family to be awesome and to have peace when the world tries to introduce chaos. Crazy things happen, but we can be proactive and head them off at the pass.

1 comment :

  1. I think this is wonderful! My boys have always been pretty good with preparedness drills and packing. And I am so glad that they are now big enough to carry their own big packs. But this is so great to keep them involved. Great job!