Yeah, I hear you. Children are often an after thought when it comes to preparedness.
Try this site.Listening To Katrina Blog (*Click*). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
If you're looking for a short primer on children and preparedness here's one that I came up with.~ Thoughts On Children And Preparedness ~
Items that you'll need and things that you'll want to think about in regards to kids.1 ) Diapers, baby wipes, trash bags and/or a shovel - entrenching tool
: For the obvious.2 ) Pedialyte, water, formula, baby food or child oriented food that they'll like :
So they stay hydrated and well fed. Kids aren't going to like MRE's or canned corn at every meal, they're kind of picky. If it's a choice between eating something nasty and not eating at all they'll usually just not eat.3 ) Sun block/sun screen :
Babies are very prone to sunburn because their skin hasn't gotten used to it yet, so you got to rub that stuff all over their face, hands and neck to protect them. They hate it (I used to anyway when I was a kid and we went to the beach or the desert), but it's for their own good.4 ) A hat and proper clothing for the environment :
A hat's necessary so they don't get sunburn on the top of their head or they'll need a woolen or fleece beenie with something that covers the ears so they don't lose too much heat if they're in a cold environment. Kiddos also need clothing that's specifically suited to their surroundings as if they're really young, they can't tell you if they're too hot or too cold and if they're being carried or wheeled around they're not going to be generating much heat from exercise. 5 ) A warm sleeping bag and a blanket :
So they don't freeze and so you've got something to lay them down on that's padded and clean.6 ) Bug spray :
So they don't get eaten alive by bugs and something like Calamine Lotion, Aloe Vera gel and/or Cortisone creams for when they get bitten by bugs anyway (trust me, they will).7 ) Transport :
A way of safely transporting them if they can't walk or if your traveling over far distances (on level surfaces like with a stroller), in a backpack system of some sort if you're on foot (such as a 'Baby Sling'), a car seat so they're safely strapped in when riding in motorized transport or in the back or front of a bicycle.
It's obviously better to transport your kids to wherever you're bugging out to by car/truck, but that may not be an option (something as simple as flooding or traffic jams/gridlock with people trying to get out of town all the way up to something as exotic as EMP or a solar flare where your vehicle in inoperable may make this impossible). It's always good to have an alternative means of transportation.8 ) Medical gear and various meds :
Cold remedies, cough syrup, an Epi-Pen for bee stings, syrup of ipecac and activated charcoal in case they ingest something they shouldn't (afterall they'll be outside and you know how kids love to shove things in their mouth), some glucose, maybe an albuterol inhaler if you have any kids in your party with asthma, gauze, tape, bandaids, neosporin, burn spray, sterile saline, pepto etc etc.9 ) Hygiene :
Mothers spit on a thumb or forefinger may take off just about everything on a child and get them presentable in most situations during normal times, but when she runs out she's going to need a toothbrush and toothpaste, hand wipes, baby shampoo and soap made for sensitive skin (if you do have access to water), wash cloths and small towels, 'No Rinse' (*Click*)
waterless soap and shampoo, baby powder, lotion, comb/brush etc etc for her child.10 ) Games and Toys :
Something for them to do that will keep them occupied and catch their interest. Otherwise they're going to become VERY restless, they'll be very loud and unhappy and they're going to drive you nuts. Having something that they can play with will make your life and their life a whole lot better.
Kids are also tuned in to what their parents are like. If you're freaked out, stressed and/or really emotional that's gonna pass right along to your kids and they'll be the same way. The best thing you can with kids is to give them something to occupy their time (such as doing something productive that improves your family's situation), keep a tight rein in on your emotions and at least try to them happy and not so focused on the situation at hand.11 ) Introducing kids to preparedness before anything ever happens:
For the older kids (8 yrs old on up to their teens) taking them hunting and/or camping a lot might get them prepared for this kind of thing in a gradual way. Plus over the course of time it'll show them what they'll need to survive and possibly even thrive during an emergency.
The phrase : 'Dad, I didn't have any toilet paper and I tried to use poison ivy!!!
' isn't something that you'll want to hear, better that they know what poison ivy looks like to begin with so that they can avoid it. All this will get them involved in survival plans in a fun way and it'll expose the older children to firearms and firearms safety. Most kids like camping and hunting, I know that I did anyway.
Also emergency drills on what to do in case of a house fire, how to dial 911, basic first aid, signalling and what to do if lost in the woods might also save their lives. Hell, some kids even think that these kinds of drills or lessons are fun.
If they're going to be traveling, then a small well made backpack might be in order if they're old enough (I'm not talking about babies or toddlers) to carry a small amount of food, a small container of water (a lot of water weighs way too much for them to carry unless they're practically an adult), lightweight items of clothing etc etc.
This might be a good backpack for children.12 ) Defense for older kids :
If you're dealing with a fairly responsible older kid (what kid is totally responsible?) and you want to get them involved in firearms and firearms safety start out with a BB or airsoft gun, let them work their way up to a pellet rifle, then a .22 rifle (that's what many of our first guns were), then a .223 or a .243 bolt action, then the lower caliber handguns and then maybe an SKS, a 9mm carbine or an AR-15 (none of them recoil all that much) after you've seen that they're up for it and that they're handling themselves responsibly.
Pellet rifle to get them started (they should still be supervised)
Ruger 10/22 rifle (this is what a lot of us started on when we were kids).
Make sure they're ready for it and don't just turn them loose on their own with a firearm after a few practice sessions though. That's a good way for an accident to happen, kids should be supervised at all times whenever they're handling a weapon. I'm sure you know this already, but I still gotta say it.Thoughts on 'Bugging Out' :
I'd much rather 'Bug In' than 'Bug Out' and in most cases you really shouldn't be going anywhere as home's usually the safest place for children as they're in an environment they're used to and comfortable with. Plus most if not all your preps are already there.
However there could be a hurricane, a tornado, a flood, a Haz-Mat scene or civil unrest coming your way and you may have to move like it or not. A car, a truck with a shell or camper or a motor home's the next best thing to actually being at home, but some of the transport systems above may come in handy if you're forced to travel on foot or on a bicycle towards a friend or a relatives house.
This is what I came up with anyway, I hope it helps.
Edit : Fixed typo and added a link for the 'No Rinse' Cleanser.