Coping with a survival situation as a single adult is usually a lot easier than dealing with one if you’ve got children. Many adults have been blessed to not have experienced a true survival situation and our children don’t often have a fraction of the life experience that we adults have. How will either know how to respond when quick action is required?
The best way to avoid a potential cat herding situation is to get everyone on the same page: prepare in advance for survival situations as a family.
1. Rehearse And Role Play
Conducting drills once a month with your children and spouse will get everybody on the same page. If there’s an impending tsunami, and you only have minutes to get away, a family that rehearses often will immediately know that they need to grab their bug out bags and wait at the car so that everyone can drive off to higher ground.
If there’s a break in at your house in the middle of the night, all the parents need to do is shout “Intruders!!!”. The kids that wake up will know that they should throw a rope out of the window and scale down it and run to the neighbors for help instead of going downstairs to investigate. (This is recommended by security professionals.)
Rehearsing the plan of action repeatedly will teach the kids what they need to do, and they won’t forget it. Don’t go overboard and rehearse too often. Once or twice a month will suffice.
2. Bug Out Bags (BOBs)
All family members should have their own bug out bags packed and ready-to-go. The kids can have smaller bags with a water bottle, some chocolate bars, a few toys, etc. They’ll be able to carry some of the weight while the adults lug the essentials.
It’s best to keep the bug out bags at ground level so that you can grab them and run out of the house. Running upstairs to get your bags and run back down will be wasting precious seconds and can get tiring.
Ensure that every family member knows where his/her bug out bag is.
3. Meeting Places
Should the family be separated, everyone needs to have a common meeting point. If the kids are at school and the parents are at work in different locations and there’s a flood, everyone will need to meet at a common place.
With everyone having a cell phone these days, communication is easier… but only one designated adult should give the instructions. This will prevent confusion and mixed signals. Discuss with your family members where they will meet you in an emergency.
4. Safe Houses
In some cases, there may not be time to meet up. For example, if there’s a terrorist attack, waiting around at any meeting place may not be a good idea. If roads are blocked and you can’t get home, you’ll need a safe house to go to.
Are there any friends or family members houses that you can take shelter in? These will be your safe houses. Choose one and plan ahead of time with your family which safe house you’ll all go to during an emergency.
5. Safety Precautions
It’s crucial to discuss safety with children. For example, if there’s an approaching hurricane, your children need to know that they have to keep away from windows. They should know that firearms are extremely dangerous, and they should not play with them.
The kids should also know where the first aid kit is. If an adult is injured and unable to move, the kids can bring him/her the first aid kit if they know where it is. The same applies to fire extinguishers, etc.
Discuss all safety aspects with your kids often so that it’s seared into their memory. One can never be too careful during a crisis. Prepare as a family and everyone will be better equipped to cope during a crisis.
“Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought after with ardor and attended to with diligence.” ~ Abigail Adams