Sometimes in a disaster, it’s easier to “bug in” rather than evacuate. You’ll have to make that decision when the time comes, but if you do decide to stay put, it could prove challenging if you are not adequately prepared. Additionally, if you are bugging in with kids, you’ll have some additional preparations that you need to consider and plan for ahead of the crisis. Just as traveling with kids can have some additional requirements and responsibilities, bugging in with them (especially for a lengthy amount of time) will bring about some new issues, too. Here are some things to consider before you and your littlest preppers bunker down and ride it out.
Have Plenty of Food
Kids like to eat. A lot. And they like to snack. Bugging in means you probably aren’t going to be able to run to the store to grab another bottle of apple juice or more raisins if you run out, so you need to get that stockpile going ASAP, and make sure to account for snacks and extra drinking water, too. If you are concerned about putting together a food stockpile, a good rule of thumb to follow is to have enough food and water for every person in your home to last at least three days. Most people go beyond that to have enough to last for a couple of weeks. Bugging in is a little easier when it comes to food, as you don’t have the worry of finding food while traveling or in an unfamiliar location. You will be in a place where you have access to all of your own supplies and comforts when it comes to preparing meals and adhering to any dietary needs (if applicable).
Have Things to Do
Kids are busy. And when you are cooped up in one location for an indefinite amount of time, boredom can set in if you are not careful. It is essential to have things that will entertain kids included in your emergency preps. Think board games, card games, craft supplies, and toys. Books are another good option to add to your supplies. Choose books that you can read aloud together, and ones for kids to read independently. Education is something you should also consider, especially if it looks as if you will be bugging in for awhile. Keeping kids learning is essential, not only for their education, but also to combat boredom. Flash cards, workbooks, and other educational tools can also be a welcome asset to your stash. They could come in very handy. Sometimes even the tasks that must be done while bugging in, like cooking and other household tasks like caring for pets or helping with laundry or gathering supplies can help to keep kids engaged and involved when they get to take responsibility for them. If possible, provide outlets for them to get exercise and run off some energy.
Watch For Distress
Sometimes the stress and trauma of a disaster will manifest itself differently in kids that in adults. You should take special care to watch for signs that your kids might be trying to process everything. They could be struggling with questions or fears about what has happened, and need to know you are a safe place for them to come. They could become withdrawn, or could become extra clingy. They might regress in certain behaviors, or could act out in anger or frustration over the situation. However, kids are also surprisingly resilient in difficult situations. They will probably astound you with how they are able to handle everything going on.
Bugging in with kids doesn’t have to be stressful. Planning ahead will help you to be prepared for keeping them safe as well as engaged and happy in an uncertain situation.