This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest by Beckie B
As many of us are working on our bug out location, stocking food and water, which we all know takes both time and money. You might be working on living off the grid, solar, wind and water which again is time-consuming and costly, securing guns in case martial law goes into effect, and it seems the list of things grow each time you think about what you will need. In our home, the food and water storage is the work of both of us, the off grid falls on my husband as well as working on securing our safety with guns, gas and wood. My job is securing the future of our grandchildren.
So much has been posted on the above, but I have not read much on the children who will be impacted the most in the worst case scenario. Our grandchildren range from the ages of entering the world in October 2012 to eleven and it is very important to me that life keeps some normalcy for them in changing times. Since nobody knows how long life will be effective, preparing for them is my top priority.
Preparing both our local bug out location and our second, where we will end up and hopefully live out the major portion of our time, takes planning. As some of our grandchildren are not of the age to walk far (a consideration that truly needs to be addressed by all) if the need arises, and ground needs to be covered to reach your location, have you considered how to move them if needed. A bike with a cart in tow is one option if you have the means to get them or build them.
Wagons, sturdy big wheels to handle all terrain is a second option, as I figured it is easier to pull than push a child, and both carts and wagons have capacity to carry more than a child. Remember weight also plays a big role in the walking scenario, and too much will wear a person out. A child, two bug out bags, and blankets, and two adults per one child, as to have the ability to rotate this chore is how I am setting up our departure. I do hope that the truck works and all of this prepping will not be needed, but I rather be prepared in case it is needed.
So now you are in your bug out location, is it child ready? Have you considered how to occupy a child for long durations of time? Some will be lucky enough to still have the ability to go outside and play, others will be home bound. Games and toys are part of a child’s life, and while it is impossible to furnish them with all that most children have now days, I decided to stick to the basics of life.
Coloring books, and puzzle books. Both locations have all of these as well as crayons and markers, which you can get rather cheaply at the locate dollar store. Games like Yatzhee, Uno, Sorry, Life and Monopoly as well as decks of cards (which can provide endless hours of many games) are on hand.
These again can be picked up new or used, but will provide hours of entertainment for children. I have also stocked matchbox cars (gender friendly), small building sets, and have been raiding our grandchildren’s old toys each November and moving them to our bug out locations to provide them both normalcy (it was theirs and it is still here) and allowing them to be a child still.
Books to read and you need to remember expanding knowledge requires new books, workbooks to teach young ones the basics, reading, writing and arithmetic are essential to both their development and a sense of normalcy, and again the dollar store is a great place to achieve this goal. These items can be passed on, if you use them as tools and provide paper and pencils instead of having them write in the book itself, which will save you in the long run. Learning is part of being a child, as well as schooling, and this set time daily will again bring some secure back into their lives.
Now to most important part of being prepared for children, clothing! While most adults do not have to worry much about clothing, as belts will always work on pants that might become too big, or couple of quick stitches work on darting them, children do have a tendency to grow and the need to have clothes to grow into is a must. Pants and shirts can become short, and children will survive, but at one point it just will not fit them. Stores and shopping will not be an option, and while some will be lucky enough to have the ability to sew, others will not.
Another consideration is weather. Will your weather be affected in your area? Stockpiling clothing is something I began two years ago, and I am keeping it to the basics. Underwear, socks, sweat pants and sweat shirts, as well as shorts and t-shirts. I decided that basically I need 4 of each in sizes ranging from 2T to 16/18 (as at 18 they most likely will be wearing adult clothing). Underwear and socks were a main stay for each group as these are essential to everyday living.
In our location I have also added winter coats and snow pants to my stockpile list (and for those up North, now is the time to pick these items up at great savings) as well as hats and gloves. PJ’s were not an option, as children are very happy to sleep in sweatpants in winter. With this knowledge and the fact that children can be rough on clothing, and the need to be able to pass down to the next child, I have also stocked patches and material to mend the clothing if needed as well as buttons and snaps.
With the clothing covered I also had to consider the need of growing feet, so I have stockpiled both snow boots (again a Northern issue) as well as sneakers in each size. In all the above I did not go gender specific, what works for boys usually works for girls, so I keep colors basic. All of these items I bargained shop for and do not spend more than a dollar to three dollars on with the exception of winter clothing, but most of those I have picked up for under ten dollars each.
The last normalcy I wanted to provide for the younger children, was their belief in Christmas, so we have a bin at our bug out location that Santa can still come and leave a toy behind on Christmas, again dollar stores and shopping right after the holidays allowed this to be accomplished and the bin filled for under $50.00 and Christmas will come for many years.
Since our children and grandchildren will hopefully be the ones to reestablish our world, giving them the fighting chance is very important, and allowing them the ability to be children thru the changes helps to ensure this.
This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:
First Prize) Winner will receive a Nomad – 1 Person Standard Survival Package courtesy of Shepherd Survival Supply, a One Month Food Pack courtesy of Augason Farms, a $150 gift certificate for Remington Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner.com and a EcoZoom’s Versa Stove courtesy of EcoZoom stoves. A total prize value of over $875.
Second Prize) Winner will receive two (2) Rothco Sure Paks With Heater courtesy of Camping Survival, a Wise Food Vegetable bucket courtesy of LPC Survival and a Wonder Junior hand grain mill courtesy of Kitchen Kneads. A total prize value of over $509.
Third Prize) Winner will receive 3 – 27 Variety of Non Hybrid, Heirloom Non GMO Survival Seeds, 2 – Fruit Pack of Non Hybrid, Heirloom Non GMO Survival Seeds and 2- First Aid Kit with Sutures in a Waterproof Resealable Bag courtesy of Be Prepared Now. A total prize value of over $215.
Contest ends on March 30 2012.