Do you have a Separate Bug Out Bag for your kids?
During a crisis or disaster situation, one of your most important jobs will be to help your child feel as safe and secure as possible. Something that I’m a big proponent of, and something that I think helps give children a sense of security, is involving them in your preparedness planning as much as possible. One great way to make them feel like they have a voice, and a sense of power, is to give them their own dedicated bug out bag.
Having their own child-sized Bug Out Bag, filled with familiar items and comfort foods, can be a real life saver during an emergency. With children, comfort items often become a top priority; having a bag filled with comforting and familiar things can help ensure their overall mental health during a crisis or disaster.
What Items should go into a kids bug out bag:
What goes into the bag really depends on your child’s age and their maturity. While the needs of each child are going to be different, there are some things you should consider when building an emergency bag for your child.
Basic Survival Items: These should be lightweight, age-appropriate items. Heavier items and gear should always be in the adult’s bags.
- Emergency whistle (clipped to the outside of pack so they can easily find it if they become separated from you)
- Laminated emergency contact list with name, home address, and telephone numbers.
- Pre-paid cell phone
- Extra socks, pair of gloves and knit hat or bandana (depending on your climate)
- Dust mask
- Small pocket knife for the older kids
- Band aids & wipes
- Small bottle of hand sanitizer
Comfort Items: When building a bag for a child, comfort and mental stability are the primary purposes of the bag. Don’t overlook the importance of entertainment and comfort; during a disaster, the last thing you need is a kid who is overly stressed out and anxious.
- Stuffed animals
- A couple small light-weight toys
- Pack of playing cards, or travel size games
- Baseball or small Nerf football
- An IPad, tablet, or small device to play games on
- Hard candy
- Sugar packets
- Trail mix
- Drink mix packets
Remember, a kid’s bug out bag is not meant to be an adult BOB. Its primary purpose is to provide comfort during a stressful situation and give your child a sense of control. With younger children, comfort items are a top priority and will help ensure their overall mental health.
Make sure you customize the bag for your child’s age, personality, and overall fitness level.