When I packed a go bag for my kids the first time I cried. What would they really need to carry, I can carry their items for me, then it struck me, hard, what if we were separated?
Would my kids be prepared for that? That is an entirely different blog though. What would they need? What would they want? Could I put something in there to comfort them? Most importantly, how much could they actually carry? All these questions depends on the situation of course. I lived in NY when the twin towers came down. Of course, a scenario like that popped into my mind. My eldest son was 6 at the time. Shortly after that, all the schools in my area began implementing disaster drills. Lock downs plans. We were notified IF another situation like that happened, the kids would be moved to secure locations. This got me thinking, do I need to put something in their backpacks in case of an emergency? My middle son has severe food allergies, so I started there. I kept in a small bag an emergency contact index card with all his allergies and needed phone numbers and granola bars. Because who knows what or how long he would need to stay at a secure location. What if something happened to myself or his dad? Then my daughter came along and I did the same thing. That is how I started their first go bags.
I do not expect another 9/11 event to occur, most likely an emergency situation would be weather related , hurricane, flash flood, fire. As a parent, you will most likely be with them. So what's the point of them needing their own bag? Kids like to feel useful. They like to know they have some control and could possibly help in an emergency. So when I packed their first bag here is what I put in it. I used a small pack. I put in:
A change of Underwear and socks (in a ziplock bag)
A small flashlight
A couple snacks and granola bars
A small First Aid Kit that included band-aids, antibiotic cream, burn cream, handiwipes
A small stuffed animal, no bigger than 3 inches
Emergency information on an index card kept in a zip lock bag
a family pic in a ziplock bag
On the side pockets I added a bottle of water.
Medicine they need, my kids have asthma, so I included that, chewable benedryl and chewable pepto tablets.
Over the winter I crammed in a dollar store pair of gloves and a hat
I was surprised how much this little pack held.
That's it. This pack weighed about 5 pounds. It was small enough for them to carry and all the items in it they knew how to use.
We practiced with cleaning the skin, putting on the ointment and then the band aid ( We went through alot of band aids : )
They were too small to know how to start a fire. of course as the years passed, I have taught my kids fire safety and how to start a fire from a magnesium stick, so these items are included. Now that they are bigger, I have eliminated the stuffed animal and included a small power bank for their phones and a charging cable, but the packs are still small.
My middle son wants a medium sized bag and would like to add more items such as a multi-tool and a base set of undergarments and upgraded flashlight and first aid kit. He's 14 now.
Hopefully this small article helps in a small way to get you started on your road to putting together a go bag for your small people.