Children. Love ’em or hate ’em, they’re the future. Without children, we cease to exist. And, as you know, we are wired to survive and pass our genes on to the next generation. In an extreme survival scenario, protecting the children is job one. To most parents, their children are the reason they live and they will protect them; or die trying. This is where family preparedness comes in.
Instead of trying to think quickly and figure out what you, your spouse and your children need, where you should go, or if you should go when a disaster strikes, you should have a preparedness plan for your family members. Take into account, the area in which you live, the scenarios most likely to affect you and the safest way to handle said scenarios. In your plan, assign each able bodied person only tasks you know they can and will complete. Use common sense and your family members’ skill set to carry out the plan. Your family’s survival will depend on the training and planning you implement.
Self Defense For The Family
Never underestimate children. Kids are a pretty good judge of character and can read body language very well. They are also good with snap decisions. Take all of this into consideration in your planning. We, as parents, know how to sneak lessons into play-time activities. We do it all the time with counting, spelling, etc. Start implementing survival and self-defense techniques in the same manner.
You can enroll your children in self-defense classes, in some cases, as young as four years old. Obviously a four-year-old isn’t going to take anybody down but these classes instill discipline, self-discipline and, depending on the type of class (judo, kung-fu, tai chi, etc), different levels of physical fitness.
If you have children and guns in your home, then safety is paramount. If I have to explain this then go get your gun, drive to the nearest gun shop, and sell it…quickly. Teach your children firearm safety! If you don’t teach your children to respect guns, the best you can expect is a hole in your 60″ flat screen when your kid decides to help his favorite TV hero catch the bad guys. And the worst you can expect is someone dear to you dies of high-speed lead poisoning. Teach your children to shoot when they are old enough to control the weapon and understand the responsibility. I’ve seen very young kids on the firing range with more discipline than their fathers (and a better shot, too). You know your kids best and will be able to decide when they are ready.
Enroll the whole family in a Family Firearms Safety Course. It may also be a good idea to take a few defensive shooting courses. You may be Dick Dead-Eye on the range, but do you know how to clear a house with a handgun? A shotgun? Do you know the best self-defense techniques with either weapon? There are so many techniques out there it would behoove you to learn them and teach your family. Or enroll the whole fam and be that much safer.
Family Survival Supplies
It is your responsibility, as the parents, to make sure each member of the family has adequate supplies when storing food, water, and medicine. Use this guide or another source to gauge whether or not you have the supplies and gear you need.
Plans should include:
A pre-written threat assessment for relevant scenarios ie: hurricanes, flood, tornado, etc
A bug-out-bag for each family member
72 hours of food and water for each family member
Important documents (social security cards, birth certificates, passports, ID cards, credit cards, currency, family photos and etc.) should be packed in your bag with back-ups on a thumb drive
Pre-determined rally points should be established between family members in the event you are not together when you get the warning of a scenario or the scenario has started.
Since Murphy, of the infamous Murphy’s Law, is always present, disasters seem to strike at the most inappropriate times. For example, when you are at work on one end of town, the kids are in school at the other end and your spouse is at the gym. Remember, these are your children and no one has the right to deny you access to them. If chaos is breaking out around you or is scheduled to break out, don’t waste time arguing with some hippy-dippy teacher who thinks he/she knows better. If the scenario warrants an evacuation from the city, collect your family, your gear and haul ass! Act quickly and decisively but be rational. Panicking will only slow you down and scare your kids. Learn your children’s school evacuation plans. Designate a safe spot to meet should your child be separated from their classmates or need to flee from the school. If your kids have phones (as most of them do), use easy, one-word text messaging codes to communicate with them quickly and securely. These easy codes will prevent any malcontents who see them from finding you and your loved ones.
Parent to Child – FROG = Go to the designated safe spot.
Parent to Child – ZEBRA = We need to leave NOW. I’m coming to get you.
Child to Parent – LION = I Can’t leave. You need to get me.
Child to Parent – BIRD = I will wait outside for you.
Parent to Child/Child to Parent – OWL = I Understand.
Also, use code words for places deemed as rally points. To make them easier to remember, try to use a characteristic of the location which isn’t very obvious or a memory you all share. Some examples might be…
Your kids always thought their Grandparent’s house was haunted: Code Word – GHOST = Meet At Grandma’s
At your brother’s barbecue one summer, you tripped and fell into the pool fully clothed and the family doesn’t let you forget it: Code Word – BBQ = Meet At Uncle Joey’s
Come up with these code words together. That way everyone gets to contribute and the codes will make sense to the whole family.
Kids think quickly and react even quicker. Don’t underestimate them. When disasters strike, it flips that switch we all have, regardless of age, and turns our natural instincts on. Train them well, responsibly and thoroughly. They are capable of a lot more than you realize or maybe than you want to admit.