This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest by Chonte F
I am a stay at home mom to a 2-year-old little girl and while I have been through my fair share of snow storms and being housebound, I had never put any thought in what would happen if I had to leave my small apartment in an emergency. Then in 2010 there was a small earthquake on the east coast that put things into perspective. An earthquake was one of those things that “never happened here”. It was then that I started to wonder, what if?
So I got online and started doing some research. I decided like most people the best place to start would be a bug out bag. Having a small child makes things a little more difficult. She can’t carry much and wouldn’t be able to walk for long distances. So I knew that I would have to carry all of her needs as well as my own. I bought a back pack and began compiling my list. I had all the basics covered.
It addition to those things I have a pack of diapers and wipes, an additional outfit, a pack of lollipops,a small toy and a “binky” to comfort her. If a lollipop will ward off a melt down then so be it. The last thing anyone wants is a child freaking out in an already stressful situation. I also have a small tent and another small duffel for food and water. When there is room in the budget, I will buy a larger backpack that will hold everything but for now I’ll make do with what I have.
If your child is still bottle fed it is important to make sure you have extra water to mix the formula. I recommend using the pre-mixed kind if you can. When my daughter was an infant we were lucky enough to barter eye services and glasses for formula. My fiance is an optician and his office shared a building with a pediatrician’s office. Formula reps would come once a month and give the office cases of the ready-made stuff so we would always trade.
The next step is figuring out where your bug out destination is. Do you have somewhere to go? While having a retreat would be amazing we don’t all have that option. Is there a family member who you can go to? Make sure that they know you would be coming in a bug-out situation. Family or not I don’t recommend just showing up, especially if it’s a night-time situation. You want to be welcomed with opened arms not sticks and stones.
Especially when there are kids involved. My Father is about 4 miles away from me and Google says that it would take an hour and a half to walk. I imagine that with a child in tow this trip would at least double. The next question is how do I get there? Do you have a vehicle? What if you can’t use it (EMP)? What if you’re stuck in a traffic jam with no end insight, what if you just run out of gas? I see many people talk about using a wagon to transport small children.
While this may be a good option for some I don’tthink a wagon is for me. It offers no protection from the weather and I worry that if the terrain got bumpy my daughter would fall out. So I took all this in mind when I went stroller shopping. I purchased a Jeep brand stroller that is made for all terrain and has a good-sized storage basket. I then bought a stroller cover from my local drugstore. It looks just like a poncho only more heavy duty.
This is the stroller that we use all the time so I know that she’scomfortable in it. I keep my BOB by the front door next to the stroller. My plan is to put the tent and duffel in the basket of the stroller and carry my bob on my back. Now that my daughter is a little older she has her own small backpack. This bag is strictly to keep her happy. She has crayons and a coloring book, a travel first aid kit, a kid friendly flashlight, some granola bars and fruit snacks and a juice pouch.
Most of these things can be found in a dollar store if youdon’t already have them at home. Just try to keep things as normal as possible.Every once in a while we play in the tent in the living room. It’s become a fun thing for her so if we had to sleep in it, it’s all fun and games to her.
The most important thing when dealing with kids is that you HAVE to have some sort of plan. Kids need to feel safe or they will not be calm and you need to in control. Running off into the woods willy-nilly is not going to benefit anyone. In fact you will probably end up putting you family in more danger.
This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:
- First Prize) Winner will receive a gift certificate for $170 worth of Winchester Ammo donated by Lucky Gunner. A Smith & Wesson Heat Treated Collapsible 21″ Baton and a copy of my book Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat.
- Second Prize) Winner will receive a Wise Food Storage meat bucket and 3 dozen Tattler Reusable Canning Lids donated by LPC Survival.
- Third Prize) Winner will receive a LifeStraw water filter system donated by Eartheasy and a copy of the Wolf Pack Cookbook.