Survival Planning – 5 Tips for Families

Coping with a survival situation as a single adult is usually a lot easier
than dealing with one if you’re married with children. Children do not have
the life experience that adults have to make wise decisions.

The best way to get the entire family on the same page is to prepare for
survival situations as a family. In this article, we’ll look at 5 tips that
you can apply starting from today.

1. Rehearse and role play
Conducting drills once a month with your children and spouse will get
everybody on the same page. If there’s an impending tsunami, and you only
have minutes to get away, a family that rehearses often will immediately
know that they need to grab their bug out bags and wait at the car so that
everyone can drive off to higher ground.

If there’s a break in at your house in the middle of the night, all the
parents need to do is shout “Intruders!!!”. The kids that wake up will know
that they should throw a rope out of the window and scale down it and run
to the neighbors for help instead of going downstairs to investigate. (This
is recommended by security professionals.)

Rehearsing the plan of action repeatedly will teach the kids what they need
to do, and they won’t forget it. Don’t go overboard and rehearse too often.
Once or twice a month will suffice.

2. Bug out bags
All family members should have their own bug out bags packed and ready-to-go.
The kids can have smaller bags with a water bottle, some chocolate/food bars, a
few toys, etc. They’ll be able to carry some of the weight while the adults
lug the essentials.

It’s best to keep the bug out bags at ground level so that you can grab them
and run out of the house. Running upstairs to get your bags and run back down
will be wasting precious seconds and can get tiring. Ensure that every family
member knows where his/her bug out bag is.

3. Meeting places
Should the family be separated, everyone needs to have a common meeting point.
If the kids are at school and the parents are at work in different locations
and there’s a flood, everyone will need to meet at a common place.

With everyone having a cell phone these days, communication is easier… but
only one designated adult should give the instructions. This will prevent
confusion and mixed signals. Discuss with your family members where they will
meet you in an emergency.

4. Safe houses
In some cases, there may not be time to meet up. For example, if there’s a
terrorist attack, waiting around at any meeting place may not be a good idea.
If roads are blocked and you can’t get home, you’ll need a safe house to go to.

Are there any friends or family members houses that you can take shelter in?
These will be your safe houses. Choose one and plan ahead of time with your
family which safe house you’ll all go to during an emergency.

5. Safety precautions
It’s crucial to discuss safety with children. For example, if there’s an
approaching hurricane, your children need to know that they have to keep
away from windows. They should know that firearms are extremely dangerous, and
they should not play with them.

The kids should also know where the first aid kit is. If an adult is injured
and unable to move, the kids can bring him/her the first aid kit if they know
where it is. The same applies to fire extinguishers, etc.

Discuss all safety aspects with your kids often so that it’s seared into their
memory. One can never be too careful during a crisis. Everyone will be better
equipped to cope during a crisis when you prepare as a family.