Friday, November 12, 2010

Emergency School Backpack Survival Kit Thoughts

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Mamma Bear said...

I am almost sure the school would not allow fire starting equipment if they knew your child had it but....if you seal everything up in a Mylar bag and write "open only in case of emergency" or something of the sort maybe they wouldn't insist on seeing what was in their kit.

I think a gallon Mylar bag would hold quite a bit... A few things I am thinking of are a bottle of water, granola, trail mix. hard candies, water proof matches, band aids, a Mylar blanket. I am sure others will come up with better ideas.

My family also needs to work on a worse case scenario and have a meeting place should we ever be separated and need to be rescued.

Good post....makes one think.

StrivingSimply said...

I think about this post in a very different way. I don't have kids, but I do teach high school.

In my school, every teacher has clean up kits in case of illness or bleeding. Most teachers have some form of food, even if it's just a large bag of pretzels in their desks. In the labs, we have heat sources (hot plates or Bunsen burners) on which we could cook if necessary. Our school (and I believe all schools) have backup generators for emergency power only. I know from experience that in my school, water works when the power is out.

Personally, I snagged a second clean up kit, and keep that in my desk. I also always have at least two non-refrigerated meals in my desk, a couple of water bottles, and chocolate of some form. I have a toiletries kit, gum, mints, and a bandana. I also have a pocket knife that I keep on me or locked away. Beyond that, I have a car kit and could feed and clothe a couple of kids at least.

In coming up with a kit for your kids, I would pack Cliff bars, a water bottle or two, a light stick, a bandana, mylar blanket, Vitamin C cough drops, and some thing like a blast match. If they have lockers, send them the first day of school with an extra jacket and a change of clothes in a large ziploc. Clothes cover all manners of emergencies, from accidents to cold snaps.

Michael said...

Your kids school might have all sorts of disaster plans in place, you should check with them.

I live in earthquake country and I know that the elementary and junior high kids here all are required to bring a small amount of stuff to school at the beginning of the year of to be stored there "just in case." The schools have some emergency supplies as well.

Anonymous said...

Most school will suspend kids for matches... but if the kids know firestarting, send flint or rubbing sticks. There are probably teachers there with matches.... so.....

Space blanket or poncho that folds up to 3/5 size. Protein bars. Vitamins in original container.

There will be food there even if it can't be cooked...and a lot of schools have gas ranges, so cooking could still happen if electric is out.

If the water goes out, they will be getting those kids home one way or the other if at all possible.

Emergencies would be probably lockdowns due to hazards or people outside of school, roads out, floods, etc.... or warfare or nuclear, biohazard conditions.
Pray not!


Tess Pennington said...

I have been thinking of this very issue lately. In our school district, if an emergency happens and the school is on lock down, the parents will not get their kids back until school officials give the ok to come collect our children (This ony makes me want to home school even more).

But I have been thinking of putting a small "just in case" emergency kit in their back packs. The items that I have thought of were:

-mylar blankets
-cliff bar
-mini first aid kit (band aids, neosporin, etc)
-pediocare strips in case they get dehydrated
-in case of emergency contact information

I understand they are in good hands at school, but as long as they are away from me, I worry.

Carol said...

I no longer have any kids in school..but it is an interesting is your blog.

Pearls said...

My daughter has a note she keeps with her at all times and states that she is to come home immediately, that if the teachers, headmaster, administration has a problem they can call me, but in no way are they to delay my child. I also state that I appreciate their concern, but ultimately, she is my responsibility. We have a "code word" that she would receive by text from me or someone at our direction.

She also has some things in her truck as have been mentioned.

I do believe that I am at an advantage as she is at a private Christian school that backs up to the woods. Last year when her brothers were at the same school before we brought them home to homeschool, she was to grab the boys and meet me at a predetermined spot in the woods.

I will note that when I first gave her the note last year, she was apprehensive. She would have to respectfully confront authority and proceed knowing that they probably wouldnt be happy and try to stop her. I told her she was to give them the note, let them have a moment reading it and then start moving towards the door. She was not to wait for them to finish the note or to get permission from them to go. She was to just go.

She is good with it this year and we have not had a reason to use it.

I almost forgot - if I do give her the code - she is to bring all her books home - chances are she wont be returning - or at least for a while....

I am already worried about her at college....arghhhhh.......

Jeanne S said...

I believe the most important thing you can send with your child for emergency preparation is knowledge. They may lose items in a kit, but nobody can take away what training they've been given. Even though my girls are both grown (although the 18-yr-old still lives at home), we have a family plan as to where each of us should go in a disaster, based on where we are when a disaster occurs (the metro area we live in has a large river right through it; in a really bad earthquake, some of us might be stranded on the wrong side of the river). The girls think the preparedness efforts of my husband & I are a little nuts -- despite us having lived through Mt St Helen's & several earthquakes -- but they do listen and retain what they're told. My younger girl says preparedness info makes her paranoid, but I'm confident that in a true disaster, she would hold herself together far more than most adults.

Bitmap said...

As far as "get home" gear goes, you should check out the school policies for releasing the kids. In many schools these days they "lock down" the schools and don't let anyone out until whatever "emergency" has passed.

As far as sending stuff with them I think it is a good idea on general principle as it trains them to think about taking care of themselves. As you note, knowledge is the most important thing.

A space blanket, a magnifying glass, a couple of pieces of flint and steel, a small block of magnesium, char-cloth, paracord, fishing line, spare shoe laces (especially leather boot laces), a small first aid kit, and a small flashlight would probably pass muster in almost any school. Knowing that almost any small, heavy, and hard object tied on the end of a length of paracord or a bootlace makes a handy weapon could be a good thing. Leatherman makes some pocket tools without sharp blades that are intended to make it through airport "security" and they would probably be OK at school. A small electronic device powered by a 9V battery with a couple of spare batteries would probably be ok as well. If the child happened to have small bag of steel wool in another pocket then that would probably be ok. If the child knew how to use the steel wool and the 9V battery to start a fire, well, knowledge is a good thing.

A small hiking size filter water bottle and some coffee filters would be a good thing.

If school is only a short distance from home then FRS radios might be a good thing to have.

Having SOS type survival rations in the backpack would be good as well. They probably won't taste good enough for the kids to want to eat them as a snack so they would probably be there in a real emergency. Nuts and granola bars would probably be long gone.

Heidi said...

What an interesting post! I agree with the other folks... When I worked in the schools, the three drills we practiced were: earthquake, fire (or general evacuation) and lock down.

The only one I could foresee them not letting children go is in lock down. And I guess it's possible that it could last a while, if the threat wasn't resolved quickly.

I know the elementary school I worked at had emergency supplies in a trailer next to the school. But in a lock down situation, those would not be accessible. So I think having something in a backpack the child always has with them would be ideal.

I'm not sure what I'd put in there... Honestly, lock down drills are kind of scary (you all hide and make your room as dark and quiet as possible), so I think a small stuffed animal or other comforting toy would be great for the child to be able to hold. And maybe a small church book that could help them feel calm and peaceful.

And the food and blanket and tools for a weapon sound great, too.

I'd love to hear what you end up deciding.