Would Your Children Survive On Their Own?

We have all read about the street children in Argentina after the economic collapse there, who wander the streets begging, stealing and scrounging through trash to survive.

Many were forced into child labor and prostitution.  Some by their own parents that could not support them or worse exploiting them for their own gain. In many ways, children suffer most after a disaster.

In the aftermath of the 7.0 Earthquake that shook Haiti on 12 January 2010, many children become parent-less. We saw the same thing happen to children in Sri Lanka after the tsunami on Sunday, December 26, 2004.

Many more examples of orphaned children after a disaster could be presented here, but let’s get to the point.

There is a distinct possibility that something could happen to you during or after a disaster leaving your children or grandchildren on their own. Could they survive? Have you done anything to increase their chances?

Could your children survive on their own after a major disaster or TEOTWAWKI event? What would they do if you were no longer there to care for and protect them? Could they make it on their own – would they know what to do?

This is one of those things parents do not want to think about, but not thinking about it won’t lessen the possibility.

Most kids today have few survival skills or an interest in such things, most kids are more interested in playing video games, or when the latest teen celebrity is getting released from rehab.

If you can get them interested and motivated you have already won half the battle.

How you do this will depend on the child, but most will respond best if you make it a game, in other words, do your best to make it fun. Don’t go screaming at them that the world is going to end, or that you could die which would leave them orphaned and on their own. This is especially true when dealing with younger children.

Make it fun and use it as an opportunity to spend time together. Teach them to fish, hunt, trap, shoot, use tools, build a fire, grind grain, garden, cook etc. The important thing is to make it fun and not to stress them out by being pushy or militaristic when teaching.

Books and videos can help your children learn some needed skill, and give you an idea of what to teach them and how to go about doing it. I suggest, “Willy Whitefeather’s Outdoor Survival Handbook for Kids” and “The American Boy’s Handy Book“, and don’t forget to teach other skills such as gardeninghunting and staying safe.

A few months ago, I wrote this post “How Cross-Dressing Makes You a Better Survivalist” where I stressed the need to cross gender lines when learning survival skills. The same thing applies when teaching your children. Don’t just teach boys the “guy stuff” or the girls  “girl stuff” both should have a well-rounded and complementary skill set.

Even disciplined and well-trained children would be at great risk of being harmed or exploited without the guidance and protection of a loving adult. Having an arrangement with a relative or friend to take care of your children, if something was to happen to you is important,  but not always possible.

Many will decline, not wanting the responsibility or make a promise to do so that they never intend to keep.

If you are lucky enough to find someone ready to take on the responsibility of caring for your children in case of such an unfortunate event, the next thing you have to consider is their capabilities.

Let us face it, many people aren’t ready or capable of taking care of themselves or their own children after a disaster. How can they be expected to take care of yours? Can they do it? If not, it’s best to keep looking until you find someone who can.

Whoever you choose, be sure your children get to know and trust them. Spend time with them, hang out, go camping or whatever both families enjoy doing, this will give them time to get to know each other. The last thing you want is a frightened child shooting the stranger who is coming to help them.

Depending on the circumstances, it is probably best if your children stay put or move to a close and predetermined location and wait for the adult to come to them, instead of going out on their own. This should be understood in advance. Be sure your children know what to do ahead of time.

This is one of the most difficult survival situations to contend with and unfortunately, there are no easy answers. I wish I could give you a guaranteed way of keeping your children safe after such an unfortunate event, but I can’t. There are too many variables,  most of which we have no control over.

All you can do is teach them the best you can, make arrangements for their care and pray that God will protect them.

What have you done to prepare your children if you are no longer able to care for and protect them?

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. One might. The other? Probably not. Our daughter is a city slicker and proud of it. Doesn’t like a lot of “clutter” in her home. This is her excuse for not accepting the preps we’ve tried to provide, because she’s hours away from us by car. Eats out. Pays someone else to clean her house. Lives financially on the edge. Spends whatever she has available on some “froo-froo” because “she deserves it”. She is a business owner, early-30’s, and single. A typical American of this generation, and doesn’t want to hear anything from the rents.

    The other one lives with us and at least has stopped calling us “crazy” for what we do. Is he seeing the light? Hard to say, but, at least he no longer ridicules the ideas. And, he sees what we do every day, so, it’s possible he might be able to pick up the mantle if we were gone.

    Yes, they worry us. Nothing we can do about it that we haven’t already done or are not already doing.

    • Same here Pat. Our son maybe. He is gradually coming around. He agrees now that certain scenarios could put us back to 1800 and we would have to fend for ourselves. Thankfully, he is a nurse and his wife is a PA (physicians assistant). While they have the medical covered in the event it all hit the fan, he still lacks the understanding of living the life of self sufficiency. Our daughter and son in law are a totally opposite story. He is something in the city administration in the city they live in, about 120 miles from us. He obviously thinks he has the inside track on everything and feels that I’m a paranoid extremist who does not practice the PC way of life. My daughter just rolls her eyes and ignores everything as she makes sure the granddaughters are involved in acting classes and singing. They insist in living in a large city near a major hub city and yes, every cent is spent before it even gets into their hands. So the bottom line is the. Our son would probably struggle but would survive. In the event of a zombie apocalypse, our daughter and her husband would become zombie fodder. Hard to say, but that’s just the facts.

    • I don’t think that’s what they (Survivalist) is getting at! Our kids may be worldly & a little naive but they’re still ours – yes, do what you can for them, they’ll be forever greatful once the reality of it all come to fruition, especially when (if) we’re gone! This year (016) seems a bit dreadful, being a Believer lightens the load a lot – Notice how everything coming together all at once! Not only the globe unrest but CERN etc!
      *It’s all being generated by the illuminati/occult’s who’ve been deceived by Ba’al & associates! It’s going to get real ugly, keep sober & your wits, never rule out humor – the very young still love story telling – keep positive – Call upon the Savior Jesus Christ, w/out Him, theirs Zero Hope.

    • Crazy Joe in South Jersey says:

      Hello Pat , as emotion is nearly absent from my life I do not worry about my children and grandchildren . My X , their mother does over any little thing . I am curious as to how old the child is that lives with you . Thank you in advance for the reply . Joe

  2. Tough question, do we want that reality? As a parent I would like to say yes, but have to downgrade and say maybe. Realizing of course that most kids strive at going their own way, but usually remember lessons taught from their youth later on in life. I wonder when exactly that kicks in ? Again as a parent, that is not soon enough in our eye’s.

    • “when?”. None of us can say for sure, PatrickM, because every kid is different, as they should be – but the Word of Holy God instructs us: “train up a child in the way he should go, and WHEN HE IS OLD he will not depart from it”. Emphasis added. That emphasized part usually gets omitted as it is quoted. Proverbs 22:6

      • Thankyou Patr, I couldn’t remember where the exact quote came from, but that is what I was trying to illustrate by stating they “usually remember lessons”………

        • Axelsteve says:

          Not too sure. The oldest is close enough to be with us. He lives less then a mile away from us. The youngest is on the side that government can figure it out.My youngest has some gear and trains with it though.I hope they can.

  3. I have three grown children and two toddler grandkids. One child is learning disabled and lives with us, but she often picks the worst moment (like in grocery stores) to loudly proclaim that I already have loads of that item in (location). Another child, single, lives nearby and supports my prepping. I’ve taught him about rising food prices, shrinking sizes, what real bargains are. He’s at the point where he helps me build items for our survival, eg new chicken coop, grape trellises, etc, and he hopes one day we’ll leave him our home with the survival setup. My other child, married with kids, thinks mom has blown her top and he ‘goes along’ because he loves me. DIL is still figuring what planet I’m from. Stores will always be open so why buy something before you run out?

    Despite their varying opinions, I love them and have lots of stores for them to share, plus a lot of how-to books and notes I’ve printed out and organized into binders. It’ll be a scrabble for some of them to learn things quickly should life take a sudden downturn, but the tools are here for them to learn and use. I pray regularly for them and trust the Lord will watch over them for me.

    • I hope it is a minor stumble that gets their attention. My son and DIL thought I was a bit crazy as I stored food for all 5 of us. Her sister and hubby prep. They lost their jobs about the same time and shocked complacency right out of them. They bought a business and are doing better for now. They are now prepping and looking at acreage. He used to have about 250 wealthy clients… all had acreage and prepped. We can’t force our kids, we can love and pray.

  4. Our 3 kids are all mostly responsible young adults now. Son is a gun enthusiast, has some outdoor-hiking-camping skills & a good dog, but lives on the edge of suburbia over 1000 miles away.
    Daughters & a son-in-law live close to us, in same sm town. One daughter has no survival skills, but is a good worker. The other one, married -she & her hubby are comfortable reloading & shooting at the range -but little else in terms of survival skills. Not good odds. If my wife outlives me, she can also shoot & knows more about my prepping supplies & how to use them. My goal for next 6 mths is to increase food supplies & get a garden going & hopefully get one of them to help gardening.

    • I also have a good library of books & prepping articles that would be available for their use, which could help fill in gaps where they lack knowledge.

      • RedC:

        My oldest is aware of what we do and why. She is very independence minded, but financially restricted. Getting by without help, but no real cushion for emergencies.

        We also have a large library, both in print and digital, that is available to her.

        I’ve done, and continue to do, the best I can. I want my children and grandchildren to understand personal responsibility and to stand on their own. We stand together, but do not “depend” on the others to provide.

        • My print & digital library has become gradually more important to me. Partly b/c there’s just too much info & skills to learn & recall. But if u can find a book or couple articles, that’ll help. Everyone in our family is a big reader. They don’t see the need now, but if & when… But part of what I need to do at this pt is to show my wife & one daughter more of my/our supplies.

  5. Thomas The Tinker says:

    My eldest … son … no. He has an “X-er” generations logic and perceptions that refuse to look beyond the next job he ‘Wants’. His ability to take care of any ‘business’ do not extend beyond the carry out containers in his fridge. No preps, no savings

    The baby … Daughter … Yes. She has no preps at present beyond the 30 day set up we supplied her. She does have a means of defending herself and an uber-high demand skill set and a very good savings for her age. She does have that ‘something.. thing.. sense..’ that drives her in life’s prudent directions.

    DIL … No skills, no preps, no interest.. no hope.

  6. Have 4 children. 2 boys and 2 girls. oldest and youngest are boys and are involved with our concerns. Middle 2 are girls, oldest understands, youngest has really started listening also. Oldest sons’ fiancé is from well to do, “I am in the Now” family. Super smart girl, has been listening to what we do and the reasons why. Is understanding the uncertain times and doesn’t want to be one of the “Woeful Masses”.
    We all garden, have livestock, (Cows, chickens), and have all been able to shoot and hunt since we were all old enough to do safely. I have tried to make them aware that they need to be self sufficient if something happens to me. They should all be fine. I pray every day that it is so.

  7. Those over 16 are almost adults, by 18 they should be living on their own and working full or part time and maybe going to school or learning a trade like my generation did. Not a good idea to have children in these perilous times. I warned younger folks long ago, having a family is a risk since America is trashed with corruption on all levels, plain and simple. Jobs are given to foreigners brought in on visas. Older kids must do their own prepping and not depend on parents.

  8. All of our children know how to handle a firearm safely, & so do the grandchildren who are old enough. My father thought that was important for us, & we thought it was important for our children, too. When they were younger, my husband took them to an outdoor range regularly until all of them were decent marksmen. All of them know how to garden, altho some are better at it than others, & all know how to put up fruit, veggies, jams & meat. All of them know how to dehydrate as well. All of them know how to sew, except our son, & his wife sews very well. The daughters understand how to prepare for the winter & rotate canned goods.

    Our son sees no need to prepare, altho his wife thinks it’s a good idea to buy when things are on sale, from the financial viewpoint, & has multiple streams of income from her sewing abilities. Both of them voted for the current president tho, & think he is doing a fine job. Enough said.

    Obviously, all our children are grown, but all of them with children have made arrangements for the care of those children should they be orphaned. We have taught them all we could, & some are more “prepared” than others. We continue to teach grandchildren any skills they wish to acquire. Our oldest granddaughter is learning to knit, & makes a fine jelly/jam, & so do the next 2 of her siblings, one of whom is only 11. She wants to learn to sew, so we have been working on that.

    One of the things I do with the grandchildren as they learn to read in elementary school, is I read with them every day over the phone, for a year or two. The child with whom I am reading now chose to read scriptures together, & we read a chapter a day. It makes sure they learn to read well, & I get a closer relationship with each of them. Reading scriptures with this one, (& with his older sister previously) helps them develop a relationship with the Lord as well, & that’s the best prep I can give them.

  9. Since our “adult” sons still live with us at the moment, I’d say they are set up pretty good. LOL

    We’ve taught them to work hard, to save, to put by, to self-educate, to garden, to shoot, etc. It will be interesting to see what they do with that once they get out on their own.

  10. Child survivors. I guess my 1st thought was the young.

    Under 5: poor chances without help. Modern children are taught dependence in everything. Independent, unsupervised play is discouraged. They are discouraged from making decisions without “adult supervision”. If they have a problem, their taught response is to find an adult first.
    Ages 6 – 10: As we’ve seen on the news these kids can survive. The will also probably be used and abused, but they will survive. Doable but not any fun. Probably never will learn to have any either.
    Ages 11 to 14: I was a “latch key kid” before it was a term. I feed myself (from the house stuff), did my chores, did my h0mework, and entertained myself from about 11 yrs old on. I relied on my parents to provide the basics, but worked to provide myself with some extras. Jobs were available then, paid tasks really, to anyone who was willing to look for them and do the job.
    Ages 15 to 18ish: Currently cocky and “entitled”. Will quickly take to gangs and stealing, as having “stuff” is their right. This group will become extremely dangerous quickly. The elderly are at extreme risk from this group.

    Adult children: These are those who moved out (or should have) and are legally responsible for their actions. They will fall into 3 groups.
    1. Zombies – mentally unable to handle the situation, wandering aimlessly, no plan; unlikely to survive 10 days.
    2. Takers – used to being given what they want/need. Technologically dependent. Aggressive and frustrated they are not being provided for. These will be the “leaders” of the small gangs of teens who will quickly turn to criminal pursuits to satisfy their needs. Short term they will survive. Long term, when the “easy pickings” turn slim, will start their “die off”.
    3. Responsible adults, living on the edge: These will be okay for a few days, then, thinking the ROL still exists, will find themselves killed as the search for resources. Estimated Life Expectancy: 2 weeks.
    4. Responsible adult, self-reliant: These are the real survivors. They may not have the physical resources, but they know how to adapt and prosper. Unfortunately, this group has gotten smaller over the years. With the insistence of going to college (on loans or paid for by someone else) and our “safety nets” put in place they, mostly, don’t know how to plan for “setbacks”, but this group will figure it out. They have examples in their life of “over-comers” so they know it is possible. These are not the ones who “discard” a marriage when they start having problems; these are the ones whose first thought is NOT “I’ll just move back home.” This is the group we hope we have raised.

    • Excellent summary, JP. The economy is already crashed enough that each of these groups is readily visible already. The 15 year old who killed her mother and boyfriend is a perfect example.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Well put JPMT …

  11. SoCalPrepper says:

    Well, since he is 4 months old, I’d say no! But I’m building up a great stash of milk in the freezer, and stock powdered formula for use in the event there is a long term power outage. In a couple a months he will be able to start solids, and at 12 months will be much less dependent on my for food (production, since breast milk is the main nutrient source until 1), so that will be a relief.

    • 4 months old? That’s no excuse! Young people today are allowed to freeload much too long! ; )

      PS: I started my son on “table food” (whatever we ate – within reason, of course – only processed like baby food) at 3 months, against the pediatrician’s advice. I was tired of the infant waking up in the middle of the night crying. Once he started getting enough to eat, he started sleeping through the night. He is now in his early 30’s, 6 ft 5 in., and strong as an ox. Obviously didn’t hurt him too much!

  12. Exile1981 says:

    My four are all young and still in school. I would have said that the oldest one would have been able to keep the others alive if something happened to mom and dad as long as the preps held out. Now that she is going through puberty her mind seems to be somewhere else all the time. sigh and she forgets to eat now if we don’t remind her. Our second oldest has always been horrible about self sufficiency. The youngest sadly is currently the one who would likely self feed and last the longest.

  13. Daughter #1 on here Facebook page shows her cutting and canning meat, she hunts and goes fishing, daughter#2 when she talks about fixing a nice dinner means she’s been to Costco and bought a pre- made lasagna dinner or some such thing.
    Well grandchildren, two of them could go out in the woods and come back with something to eat. Other two, God help them as soon as McDonald’s close’ s there doors.

    • w x nw
      the funny thing is how different they all are. same parents, much the same upbringing and yet you’d never guess some were related to each other.

  14. What I am grateful for is how many hours my father spent teaching me survival skills and how many hours my mom spent teaching me garden and raise chickens. I an the result of their teaching. I taught my son many skills which he did not appreciate until he bought his first house and noticed how much his friends paid for the simplest repairs. He and I made a motherinlaw apartment on his lower level and I designed it. I figured the easiest and cheapest way to plumb the kitchen. He was skeptical until he had a plumber come bid it and the ridiculously expensive plan he put forth. My son plumbed it my way. He and his wife scoffed at my one year food supply until a year ago when they lost their jobs at the same time. They were lucky they lived in Washington that pays much higher unemployment benefits. They are making good money in the business they bought and are now well prepped. They are looking for acreage in the mountains for a family compound. My grandkids not so much. At 7 and 9 they are over watched and over protected. When I was there for 2 years, I got my grandson gardening. I built two 60 foot long raised beds and planted blueberries, raspberries, currants, perennial wild violets for greens, and a standard garden. My DIL gardens some and my grandson loves it. I taught both of them to knit. My granddaughter is learning to cook and likes making her own meals. They both like woods time and learning edible wild foods. Ready? No. Then neither am I. Ack! Fearful times. I am glad that my son’s family is moving in the right direction and her sister’s family are way ahead. The two couples are now scouting for acreage for a family compound including 5 grandparents. If they get something mortgage free I will be delighted to sell my 5 acres and move back home. I have hope for my family. I scouted a location away from Seattle that has good water and is wooded. My son’s business ties him. The rest of us could live anywhere. He is considering hiring a manager and living on site too. I hope we have time for his plan. Right now they all plan to come to me… a long way. This new plan got started when I retired and don’t need to live close to work and his BIG started an online business that frees him up.

    • That should be BIL. We are all getting excited about this new lifestyle we are creating whether SHTF or not. I think it would also help the four of them with 5 aging parents, two adult children in college and two young children.

  15. Goatlover says:

    We have six grown children and they all live close by. They are aware that I’m a ‘crazy prepper’, but only one has his eyes wide open to the things going on in the world. He and I have spent hours talking about SHTF topics….he’s seen the stash, asked lots of questions, and knows there’s enough seed to plant 50+ acres. I have trained my DIL in animal husbandry, goats and chickens mostly…she can milk my goats as good as I can. But she’s still too liberal-minded to do much prepping.
    I have developed a survival library, including lots of books and notebooks with all sorts of medical/food/emergency articles in them. I’ve also printed out instructions and put them in with various preps…how to use fish/bird antibiotics; How to roast green coffee beans; how to render lard, make soap, etc. On all my saved seed packets, I’ve written when to plant, how deep, and how far apart. One old lady can only do so much to ensure the survival of her youngins!

  16. Anonamo Also says:

    One Daughter has a “fighting chance”…to survive a bit, .would try to get home,… Knows enough to do certain things,still trying to give her information on certain topics and is receptive and learning… but husband won’t make beyond 5 days.too far away to really assist… Son won’t make it, doesn’t want to hear, or learn or think about the “impossible happening”and his family are dependent and intercity with the take out mentality. Other daughter has supportive spouse, with broad range of skills, into hunting and camping and the grandchild has a very good chance because of this mindset.

  17. I taught my kids what I was taught so they’re as ready as I could make them. They’ve been teaching their kids. We even pay for martial arts lessons for one set of grandkids and will probably pay for another set when they are old enough. Their final exam in survival is to make it here when the balloon goes up. All that being said, I have one grandson that probably won’t survive the loss of the medical system despite all the preparations.

    I like the books, I’ve already gotten in trouble for giving the grandkids the Dangerous book for Boys and the Daring book for Girls…lol. I guess I’m going to be getting them a bunch more books now.

  18. We have three grown children and 5 grandchildren. Sadly, none of them prepare and haven’t taught their kids the value of savings and preparedness. They were taught how to’ s on th farm and left for greener pastures of city life. None of them will be able to get home in a case of natural disaster or EMP and despite many conversations none of them wants their kids to have much to do with the farm. It has caused me many sleepless nights. I pray for their enlightenment and their safety.

    I am learning greenhouse gardening from an organic perspective and one of my granddaughters expressed interest in helping me when school gets out but her parents don’t approve of her being on the farm by herself citing allergies to bees of all things. My granddaughter is so smart and is interested in plant biology (as I am) and only hope my son gets a pair and let’s her learn from a patient teacher who inspires others to be the best they can be. I can fit in a few firearms classes in too if given the opportunity!

    • bees- make sure she has two epipens and knows how to use them–you, too.
      keep benedryl capsules on her person and a bottle of water, too.
      my husband always has his epipen and benedryl with him.
      we live near the hospital.
      be sure you have the emergency # with you and a cell phone when out on the acreage.
      she probably knows to not wear perfume where there are sweat bees and other bees.

  19. YOU won’t like this BUT everyone needs to know,THE LORD says when america DIVIDES JERUSALEM,hes going to destroy america for IT,Now hes shown me whats going to happen,A GIANT COMET will hit off the east coast killing almost everyone up and down the east coast,THE TIDAL WAVE WILL GO FOR HUNDREDS OF MILES INLAND,and most of the gulf states,GET AWAY from the coasts,NOW,…AFTER the comet,everything will be turned OFF,power,water,NO FOOD,The earthquakes will be mag…12,most homes will be damaged beyond living in them(buy a tent now) you may be living in it very soon,Remember you may need heat,so get a small stove,chairs sleeping bags,BE VERY WELL ARMED and the russians and chinese are waiting for this event,THEY PLAN TO INVADE AMERICA,you’ll have to fight them or die in a fema death camp,you don’t even want to go there,NO CHIPS,or THE MARK of the beast on you,it will be a trick to be OWNED BY SATAN,and then they’ll kill you anyway,SO JUST RUN to the wilderness,young grasses are good food,under 6 inches tall can be eaten roots and all,I would advise EVERYONE to get a GOOD survival manuel,your going to need it here shortly….THE WARNING TIME FRAME,…watch ISRAEL,WATCH tyhe earthquakes,7 mag. 7 earthquakes in a row tell you its about to happen,when you see the LAST EARTHQUAKE,NUMBER 7,you’ll have less the 24 hours to be ready,all hell will be coming on america,and THE COMET too,WATCH THE EARTHQUAKES,it’ll be your only warning….and STAY CLOSE TO THE LORD,he’ll save his people,the rest will be on their own……

  20. mom of three says:

    I’ve talked to both kid’s and my daughter, has learned many thing’s in scouting that she could use again. My son, is starting but yes we need to do more like how to start and keep a fire going. Trusting our kid’s to do stuff now a day’s your an abusive parent by the government stand. I still have my kid’s mow the lawn, cook, and help with canning. My kids know how to plant, but I need to have it stressed to understand the germinating of plant’s, water, sun, and all the things to have a successful growing year. It’s true we need to help our kid’s so they do have better chance of survival.

  21. Out of my 9 kids all but two are adults and live on their own and of those 7. They all know how to defend themselves. Two of them, no matter how hard I tried, are more interested in what the latest celebrity gossip is than being prepared or learning survival stuff. One of my adult girls is married to a man that grew up on a homestead in the Alaskan bush so he brings more skills to the table besides the ones that my daughter knows. My 10 and 13 year olds have learned to shoot and are very into outdoors activities like hunting, fishing and camping.

  22. I remember ‘We Were Soldier’s, Once & Young’, both the great book by Col Hal Moore & Mel Gibson’s movie version…. salient related point: All Moore’s men knew the job of the man above him & the man beneath him, in rank. I didn’t serve, but it makes sense to this prepper.

    All parents want their children to do better than the parents, it’s incumbent upon me to do likewise.

    • This was my dad’s outfit. He made it out alive and came home after 13 months, but in the end he still died from the war. Agent Orange killed him of cancer in the end. He spoke very highly of Col Moore and Lt Marm. He did make it to the 25th reunion of the ia Drange Valley and kept in touch with many of them until his death. A good read for anyone studying military history.

      • JAS- wish I could give you 10,000 thumbs up! Kudos to your dad!!!! One section in the book was very touching…. the Faith of one the officers killed there. He & his wife were missionaries prior to his enlistment. He never got to see his daughter, Camille. His wife was carrying her when they shipped out. I can’t think of his name now, but I will. Marvelous man, he!

        The book covers them having to march out & get torn into, again. Left out of the movie, I gotta ask why.

        Heard Col Moore interviewed a couple times. Quite a guy!

        Talk radio really inspired me. Led me to name my sons after George Smith Patton & Lance Peter Sijan (awarded CMH posthumously- this is a man’s man!!!!! Was captured, severely injured, talked only of creating discord for his captors. Died from his wounds while en route to Hanoi Hilton. I could go on, but spatial limitations prohibit).

        I did NOT serve, but admire sooooo much of those who did!!!!

        Again, TY 4 reply….

  23. My kids are ages 4, 6, 9, 10, 10, 14 and 21, the eldest being away at university. I would say that they know their way around the farm. The at home bunch would be able to take care of themselves to a point. They could light the wood stove if the power was out and cook basic meals. They could do all the farm chores and keep the animals alive as long as the supplies were available.

    If we were visiting the city and there was an EMP and I somehow became separated from them, they would be doomed. They have zero street smarts.

  24. My boys had an advantage not all kids have these days: living in the “country” and grow up hunting and fishing, shooting and camping with canoe and kayak. Of course they had chores (the real trick was getting them to do them!) and learned carpentry and mechanics as well as housekeeping (one of their chores), logging and firewood (another chore) and tending livestock (ok, I classify chickens and horses as livestock).

    Then they grew up… darn, not sure they learned anything at all.

  25. In a word “NO”. I am 64, military and police trained. I grew up living and breathing survival. I stay fit and will survive for some time, no matter what happens. My wife is 73, city slicker, disabled and medicine dependent to live. If things get really bad, she will probably not survive for very long. I have two daughters. one step son, six granddaughters and one great-grandson. My youngest granddaughter (19) lives with us and has since she was 5 months. I have taught her as much as she has been willing to learn, but I still don’t know if she would make it. She is too immature for her age and believes that every thing will be OK. None of the others prepare for anything. Their biggest concern is how to buy their next tattoo or go on their next cruise. Most of them live day to day and haven’t got enough food in the house to last til the end of the week. No matter what happens to them, it is always someone else’s fault and they take no responsibility for their own lives. They all live at least 1500 miles from me and are on their own, so I can’t help them. If we did have a zombie Apocalypse, they would be the ones throwing the dress like your favorite zombie costume party. I am afraid that if things get really bad, they will be some of the first to go.

  26. I guess I am in the same boat as the rest of you. My oldest had a Coexist bumper sticker on his car at one time and is a BHO supporter. I have been giving them totes of prepper food for Christmas over the last few years. His girlfriend looks forward to it; my son, he just smiles. I hope he learns something from The Walking Dead. Maybe TV will work, my influence has not. He had a flat tire a few years back and called his step-dad to come help. I failed somewhere.

    My middle is married with 2 children and I also give them totes of food for Christmas. This year they went through it and took out what they wanted to eat now and put the rest up. Her husband can shoot and defend, but not much else. I taught her how to change a tire and she tried. Got to give her credit. She just needs to remember to jack it up before she removes the lug nuts.

    My youngest is on her own and has a pistol, she can shoot, I gave her food and I believe she kept it set aside, but she is only a few paycheck away from a disaster.

    I try and keep my eye on the goal, maybe it will sink in before TSHTF. I didn’t start prepping seriously until a few years ago, so if they survive the world, maybe they still have time.

    I worry most about my two grandsons ages 3 and 3 weeks. I hope to get some time with them outdoors when the time is right.

    Stay alert, Stay alive.

    Big Lou

  27. My son has been through some scouting and we do a lot of survival games and activities at home . . he’s way too trusting, though and ,at 15, still thinks he’s invincible . . We have to work through that . . Noticing the more new skills we do the more he readily accepts them . . also good for him to see how changes make new rewards for us. . Newest prep~ we are moving from our house to a boat to save money . . We will be finding creative ways to homestead a boat!! We may also have to get into guerilla gardening (new skill) and I want to raise rabbits or chickens (both?) on the boat somehow . . . and have a greenhouse on the boat too . . . He will be inundated with new skills over the next year!!

    • karen,
      don’t know if they still do it, but china had people who lived on house boats, fished with water birds, and kept ducks for eggs and meat.
      the children’s book about it is ‘the story of ping’.
      don’t know about boat raised chickens, though.
      have fun in the new way of living!

  28. Karen, sweet! What an awesome adventure. I have a raised bed garden around my house, standard stuff. However farther out on my 5 acres I am creating an enhanced native food forest. I consider it guerrilla garden because most people won’t recognize wild edibles. What area are you in for your guerilla garden? I also made an indoor garden with grow lights that fed me salads all winter. Good luck and have fun with this always. Fish…. algae are mostly edible.

  29. MD, thank you for this article. This is an area where many (or most?) of us struggle & have to focus some of our attention. I didn’t get into prepping until our 3 kids were age 20 or older. Sometimes it seems like they think their dad has gotten a bit crazy on prepping, & they don’t even know half of my preps. Yet, the thought of losing any of our children, is a thought that burns a hole in any parent’s heart. We parents have to do more in this area. For those of us who didn’t get started until our kids were teens or older, it’s tough, b/c bigger kids aren’t as easy to mold.

  30. Crazy Joe in South Jersey says:

    Hello all …….. both sons know their stuff . Both daughters know a fair amount and have husbands that are pretty good . All 4 were taught from age 4 or so onward and benefit from my experience and teaching . Both son in laws see and hear my teaching in practice . If none of them were to make it – oh well . If they all turned out with Coexist bumper stickers and an all inclusive mulit cultural anything goes way of life I would not talk to them and that includes no invite to eat meat at Thanksgiving or Christmas .

    When children become a waste of time and space I have seen dozens of parents go crazy over this . They stress out . Their health is affected . They lose focus on their own needs . They , in many cases , shower money on a child that is not worth a bucket of spit . Now money is gone . Some people are just so strange to me . My life is filled with joy . Why would I want anything else . Sometimes they , the children , become the ” Prodigal Son ” and sometimes not . To rant and rave in prayer over a lost child is stupid . If a child straightens out ok , if not …. oh well .

  31. We homeschooled our now adult kids, and disaster preparedness was one of our courses, as was first aid and general medical care. We have a large family and teaching them in clusters and having an activity was very helpful. Then, they all went off to universities where they saw the concerns their father and I had for the world. I think our adult kids would survive as long as they communicated with one another. Collectively, there is enough training and judgement to survive what we fear. Of course, there is always the no win scenario, and I am not sure I would survive that one myself.

  32. Well……I cat has a bug out bag and will sleep on it ….

  33. Christopher Egnoto says:

    I love the old skills and techniques. A lot of people fail to teach children the skills. I often focus on teaching kids and they love the skills, especially fire and shelter and earthenware skills. My favorite methods of fire making are fire bow and flint and steel (both modern and new). Making string and cordage is also one of the most useful skills to have in my opinion. One thing a lot of people don’t focus on though are the fire structures themselves. Two of my favorites for cooking food are the Swiss log style (I love it!) and the Dakota pit style. I have a video (the link below) on one of my youtube channels of the Dakota pit if anyone is interested. I also have some other related videos up. Stay safe friends. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI9XG1UoduE

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