While we concern ourselves with the basics of prepping and preparedness, it is likewise important to consider our kids and pets!
They have unique needs too and your life will be a whole lot easier if you plan your preparedness around them as well.
During an “event” which requires the implementation of your preparedness plan, your kids (depending on their age) might become anxious, scared, or even excited. It’s best to recognize that this may happen and to deal with it in a way that will settle and calm them.
Your young kids might be better off not knowing the extent of the “event” that you’re dealing with. That’s a judgement call on your part. Be aware that your own anxiety will definitely transfer to your kids, so remain calm yourself.
Kids are easily distracted. Take advantage of that and get them involved with some activities that may be fun for them during the time period. Chances are that the electricity will be off, so they may be going through gadget-withdrawal.
Time to refocus on fun things that don’t require electricity to remain entertained…
Here are a few ideas:
Favorite Board Games For Kids
It helps if the board games are those that parents like too! It also helps if you actually get them involved with learning a game or two before you actually “need” to distract them – plus it’s just good family time…
Scrabble (available here)
Sorry (available here)
Battleship (available here)
Chutes and Ladders (available here)
Chess (available here)
Checkers (available here)
Monopoly (available here)
Candy Land (available here)
Operation Game (available here)
Connect 4 (available here)
Obviously games are age-dependent. What are some of your favorites with the kids?
Things To Do With Your Kids When The Power Is Out
Besides board games, arts-and-crafts are often a good way to pass the time. Have plenty of paper, pencils, crayons, tape, etc.. to keep the hands and minds of the little one’s occupied.
Step outside and go for a walk with your kids. Check on the neighbors to see if they’re alright.
If it’s appropriate, get them involved with whatever you’re doing.
Books! Get them reading. Discover where their interests are peaked when it comes to books and get them some… from the library, from the book store, Amazon, etc..
Kids Books Ages 2-4 (Amazon books)
Kids Books Ages 4-8 (Amazon books)
Kids Books Ages 6-8 (Amazon books)
Kids Books Ages 9-12 (Amazon books)
Outdoor activities: Most kids love to play outdoors, so have a variety of outdoor games, balls, etc.. that suits their age group.
Have any more ideas?
Cautions: Be aware of potential safety issues. When the lights are out, accidents can happen due to (yes you guessed it) “poor lighting”. Be especially cautious if you decide to use candles – especially with kids in the house. Don’t leave any unattended. Flashlights and LED lanterns are much better and safer.
Infants: Preparedness for infants involves simply having enough extra formula and diapers to make it through the “down time”. For short term (level-1) prepping and preparedness chances are that you already have enough, given that you go through this stuff like crazy… – but just keep that in mind.
Preparedness For Pets
Although easier to deal with, your pets may also feed off of your own anxiety and will itself become anxious (e.g. dogs). This is one of the secrets to being in control of your dog in general – you being the “alpha dog” to your own dog while being in calm, firm control.
The rest is simply having enough pet food on hand.
In case you need to leave your residence, it may prove to be very helpful to have a copy of your pets vaccinations kept in your vehicle, especially Rabies – which is often required proof if you need to stay in a motel (although some don’t check this). I discovered that LaQuinta hotels are all pet-friendly. Good to know…
Okay, hope that helps. Look forward to your own thoughts on this…