Prepare Your Family For Survival Now
When natural disasters or some other crisis strikes, there’s is a little more to worry about than just yourself. What are you going to do to prepare your family for survival?
For example, how would you keep your own family safe and sound in addition to yourself? A selfish plan is never enough because there is no one-size-fits-all way to deal with a disaster. How you best alone react to a flash flood, for example, may not be how you best react when others are involved.
You need a disaster plan for the entire family. Every family needs one of these.
However, not one person or survival guru can give you THE plan for how to deal with a flash flood or a new economic depression.
If your house happens to be on a mountain, you may be safest there, but if it’s in the valley, you must flee because of quickly rising floodwaters.
We mentioned it before: With all of the available information about the unique situation you’re in, only you can fully determine what is right for you and your family.
3 Main Ways Of Dealing With A Disaster
To help you formulate some plans for various scenarios, here are some of the main ways of dealing with a disaster to help in how to prepare your family for survival.
Bugging Out Of Your Home
If staying in your home is too dangerous, you will need to leave for some more secure location. This is called bugging out.
In order to bug out, though, you need somewhere to bug out to. This is your planned bug-out location.
It’s somewhere close enough that you could get in a reasonable time by foot (most say three days), but far enough away that it is less affected by the disaster.
Never expect to bug out to a hotel. Hotels have a tendency to fill up the second an evacuation starts.
Your chosen spot can be anything from an old caravan on a piece of property that you own to a friend or relative’s house.
If you own it, you should make sure to stock your bug-out location with preps. Just because it is safer than your home doesn’t necessarily mean that it is entirely unaffected by the crisis situation.
Secondly, you will need a way of getting there. This is a bug-out vehicle. Most plan on using cars, but some will go for bicycles or even horses.
Now you might be wondering why you had to expect to walk to your bug-out location if you are allowed to take your car. The reason is simple:
You never know if the roads are blocked or unpassable, or you simply won’t be able to use your car.
Next, you will need to get a map and figure out how to get from your home to your location with or without your bug-out vehicle.
You should know how to exit your area in just about any direction, but at least using three different paths. You never know what roads may be blocked or which way danger comes from.
Next, you should assemble a file folder or plastic pocket with copies of all the documents that you will need if you are forced to start your life over.
Your house may not still be standing when you get back, or you may never get back, so you will need proof of identity, proof of homeownership, banking and insurance information, medical papers including inoculation records, etc.
You might even consider providing a family member with a copy or making a second copy on a USB drive.
Lastly, you will need a bug-out bag, also known as a 72-hour kit. This is a bag covering all of your needs for three days.
It will get you from home to where you need to go, even if forced to go on foot.
Saying Home For Shelter
If your home has not become too unsafe to stay in, you will probably decide to shelter in place. This is also called bugging in.
This is the kind of disaster planning that we have been mostly dealing with so far in this newsletter series. But there is more than one way to shelter in place.
There is a pure prepping way; you decide to amass all of the things you may need during a disaster and keep them somewhere safe.
You may make alterations to your home to make it safer and to provide you with more prepping space, and you may take up some prepping related hobbies.
However, there is really no reason this means why you can’t lead a day-to-day life that is essentially identical to that of your neighbors.
There is also the homesteading way. Instead of prepping for the very long term, you design systems in your daily life that will keep functioning in a disaster.
Instead of buying large quantities of canned goods, you may can your own foods which you grow in your garden. You save seeds to ensure that you will have future crops.
Also, consider adding one new set of preps, add new systems. Don’t buy dried or canned meat and milk powder, but invest in a chicken coop and or goat(yes, a goat if you have the property) to provide you with both meat and dairy.
Your life, choosing this strategy, will be significantly different from most people around you, but that is not a bad thing.
You may also choose to live mostly as a prepper today, but be prepared for a future homesteading lifestyle. Do a little gardening on the side and save seeds for a future emergency.
Going Separate Ways For Survival
The third way of how to prepare your family for survival is dealing with a disaster scenario as one that we don’t talk terribly much about in today’s survivalist scenario, but it’s worth considering.
It’s a strategy often employed in serious situations such as wartime.
If your home gets less safe, you do have the option of splitting up. The children could be sent to grandparents or other relatives living in a safer environment, while you stay.
There are times when your home is not as safe as it could be, but at the same time, it is not so bad that you feel comfortable leaving it high and dry.
You may be able to get by at home, but your children may be in danger, and you might be in danger because you are unable to stop worrying about and taking care of them.
Some food for thought, I hope. Now get to work detailing your disaster plans!
Let’s lighten the mood a bit for this next part of the post.
Prepare Your Family For Survival With Some Fun
This will obviously be of greater interest to you parents out there, but there will also be something for you uncles and aunts out there, and for you teachers who want to nurture a more prepared future.
Make a game out of it
Your children need to learn a number of crucial skills to help them survive a disaster, but they may not have the attention spans for a lecture.
They may also be too young to handle the details.
That’s okay. You don’t have to tell them that they are learning anything at all. Make drills and exercises into family fun time.
All children should learn their address and phone number, but how about teaching them a more general awareness of where they are?
When you are out and about, quiz them about how to get home. The winner gets to pick the dessert!
Just about any drill can be made into a game by applying some creativity.
Surprise camping trips make excellent bug-out bag drills. Grab your 72-hour kit and go! Just don’t forget to pack entertainment for the young ones, or they might not be that excited next time.
If the little tykes aren’t ready for bug-out drills, then start slowly with camping in the garden or an overnight family hike.
Scavenge for supper! The better your children get at identifying edibles in the wild, the more of a competition element you can add to the game.
Who can find the most food in 20 minutes? Who can find an edible berry first?
Don’t wait for your children to get hurt to teach them how to properly apply a bandage. Work first-aid instruction into their regular play.
Children love to play doctor, and they will love it, even more, when they get to play with real grown-up supplies.
Learn something new together
Children love to play, but don’t underestimate the power of simply doing something together.
Learn a new skill as a family. Pick up shooting or archery as a hobby, go on an orienteering course, learn about knots, or take a weekend course on wilderness safety.
Join an outdoors club, pick up hide tanning from a historical reenactment society, or learn to sew and knit.
Start a garden together, or start one just for the children. Togetherness is the key, but it’s also important to pick activities that suit the different temperaments of your family members.
Pull up your sleeves together
As I said, don’t underestimate the power of doing something together.
While your older teens may be less than thrilled about the ‘prepare your family for survival’ thing, younger children are often excited to be a part of their parents’ activities.
Instead of laboring in the kitchen with your food drying and canning alone and in silence, involve your kids.
From the moment they can sit, a child can be placed in a high chair and given the task of moving chopped vegetables into a cooking pot.
Your children can participate in just about any prep that isn’t highly dangerous.
In fact, you’ll be surprised what valuable survival skills your children could learn from non-prepping activities, such as helping you when you work on your car.
Give your children more responsibilities
While we’re on the topic of underestimations: don’t underestimate your children!
One very efficient way of getting them more excited about prepping is to give them more responsibilities.
Obviously, you need to start small and check in on their work from time to time, but if you give them the chance, you might find that they will run with it and shine!
With very young children, you might give them the responsibility of packing their own little bug-out bag.
You will be carrying all of their survival preps so, at this stage, their responsibility will be to pack some toys and snacks. You may find that they take this task very seriously!
As your children age and progress, you can give them more responsibilities. Maybe it could be their job to ensure that there is enough of their favorite cereal for a bug-in scenario?
Remember that your objective right now is to get your children excited about prepping!
While some children may be over the moon at being promoted to toiletries supervisor, others may lose interest altogether even if they have the skills for the job. Match their duties with what they like, whether that’s getting ready in the morning or making an afternoon snack.
Read survival books to your children
Reading to your children is a great way of engaging their imagination, which can be a vital prepping skill on how to prepare your family for survival.
There is a steadily growing number of fun survival stories for children on the market these days. Some bookstores have even taken to sorting some of their children’s and young adult fiction into a “survival” or “wilderness” category.
These include books such as the “Brian’s Saga” series by Gary Paulsen, about a thirteen-year-old boy surviving in the Canadian wilderness after a plane crash.
Or another book about “Julie of the Wolves” by Jean Craighead George, a book about an Inuit girl who runs away and lives on the tundra?
As you read and get involved together, you can take the time to sit and talk about the skills that the main characters use and how they might apply to some real-life scenarios that may be presented to you and your family.
I hope that this has given you some food for thought!
You can surely come up with many more ways of making prepping interesting and fun for yourself and the whole family.