I don’t think I truly understood fear until I had children. I mean, my life was full of fears before I had kids. In fact, I was hemmed in by them until I slowly started to dismantle them, one by one. (An on-going process, to be sure.) But the all-gripping, irrational terror and helpless type of fear? That soared to new heights as soon as Cookie Monster came into the picture.
Perhaps my penchant for post-apocalyptic fiction fanned the flames, but really, any news story relating to natural disasters and small children would add to my “crazy” pile. I know I’ve written about this before thanks to a brief and completely non-harrowing stint stuck in an elevator. But it bears repeating. Or rather, it’s been on my mind lately because of a LifeHacker article on making a Go Bag (aka “Bug Out Bag”), the recent earthquakes in SoCal, and a few discussions on Facebook (spurred on by me, of course).
So, since I’ve written before about Go Bags and disaster preparedness (albeit, briefly), I won’t rehash that ground here. (Or maybe, I will. I’ll just keep you in suspense until the end.) Rather, today I want to write about all the classes I’m going to make my children take so that they will be prepared in the future.
Hapa Papa thinks I might be taking it a bit too far, but since my primary job is to raise my kids and keep them safe, it seems perfectly logical to me. Of course, Hapa Papa and I should take these classes as well since we really can’t rely on our four and two year olds to do this if the inevitable zombie apocalypse comes before the kids are old enough to amass all this knowledge. (Incidentally, Hapa Papa thinks that if I am serious about all this end of the world stuff that we should own guns. Several guns. I just. I can’t. It taps into even MORE fears of my kids being idiots and killing each other accidentally.)
So, here are, in no particular order, a bunch of things/classes I want my kids to learn in order to be useful in a disaster situation (as well as be all around BAMFs):
1) Wilderness survival class (hopefully this includes what plants and animals are safe to eat – otherwise, that’s another class)
2) Natural disaster preparedness
3) Being in scouts (someone has to teach them camping, etc.)
4) Martial arts of some sort (eventually, Krav Maga because Israelis/Mossad are the BAMFs of all BAMFs)
5) Gun safety and training
6) Orienteering (perhaps this is covered in scouts and wilderness survival)
7) Urban survival training (this is the most likely scenario, anyway)
8) CPR and general first aid
Of course, this list isn’t all-inclusive. I’m sure there are disasters and scenarios that I can’t conceive of or remember on a gloomy Monday morning. but that’s a nice start. However, the likelihood of needing this knowledge is low (other than CPR and first aid). More likely, what is most helpful at present are the following:
1) Knowing my and Hapa Papa’s cel phone numbers and home address.
2) Knowing which strangers are OK to approach when lost (eg: police officers, mommies with children in tow, people in uniform)
3) Knowing which foods they are not allowed to eat due to food allergies
4) How to swim. (Admittedly, much harder than all the rest to learn considering Cookie Monster’s first and last swimming lesson resulted in him screaming his brains out in my ear for 20-30 minutes.)
Crap. We are currently at 25%. I better get going. Hmmm… better yet. Maybe I can convince Cookie Monster’s preschool teacher to teach them 1 and 2 instead. Heehee. Excellent!
Alright. Anything I missed? Tell me in the comments. No need to tell me I’m crazy. I already know that.
On this one I don’t think that your fears are completely unfounded or irrational at all. My biggest concern is about making sure my family (including my wife) is preemptively esconced somewhere safe during a time of crisis. Most importantly, we teach our kids about spiritual preparation: Jesus is Lord and understanding the Bible makes watching the events unfolding in our world all the more understandable and makes the stuff we read in the Bible much more personal and believeable. That is first and foremost. Secondly, teaching yourself and kids criticle thinking skills can make a huge difference. For me, knowing that my kids are able to make good rational decisions allows me to sleep better at night. Your kids are younger so this is harder but the earlier you teach them the better off you are. Thirdly, learning urban survuval, wilderness survival and personal safety (fire arms, martial arts, SEER, etc) CPR and first Aid are also essential. Fourth, learning how to manage your life without utilities for a few days at a time can make a big difference if we find ourselves without due to unforeseen circumstances. To add to your list I would recommend that we all teach ourselves and our kids a basic trade or two or three; It seems to be a lost art. During times of uncertainty (natural disasters, economic collapse, martial law, etc.) having basic trade skills that can be used to provide services to those in need and can be a great way to ensure that you never go without. Restoring electrical power, purifying water, procuring/preparing food, constructing/repairing shelters/structures, etc. are all skills that people will pay or trade for in times of crisis. It also allows for a fall back income source should massive downsizing occur or incase of the demise of an industry, etc. Additionally, teaching our kidsa foreign language (my preference is for Chinese, Russian and/or Spanish) is going to become more and more important over the next few years. I think it’s fantastic that you’re already ahead of hte game on this one. At any rate while we may never see a zombie apocalypse (though its’s fare more plausible than most people realize), we may very likely seen some very difficult time starting this year and for the next few years. What we wil likely see first, before we see war, is the rampant falling value of the US dollar, rising food prices, a scarcity of drinkable water and soaring fuel costs. A go-bag is good but unless you have a bug out spot, making sure you can feed your kids and protet your family might very well be your first priority. The next would be to do the thing that we Americans seem to have forgotten how to do: Develop community – birds of a feather and so forth. Try to get to know your neighbors well and foster relationships with the people around you.. In times of trouble, having help close by can be a life saver. Anyhow, those are my thoughts. Keep on writing.
Can I apprentice my kids to you so they can learn some construction skills? You are quite handy and useful! Lol. I am serious. The 7.5mo may be too young. But the 4 yo and 2.5yo – maybe?