Friday, April 15, 2011


One of the unfortunate things about both my husband and I working outside the home and living in suburbia is that neither one of us is very close to where we work. Certainly not within walking distance. Right now schedules, toll roads and of course cheap energy make it so that our commutes are not crazy insane. I spend something like 30 minutes commuting each way but that includes dropping third children at various schools or daycares on my way. My husband spends about 20 minutes on his way to work and 40 on the way home. I work a later schedule and take a toll road so I avoid most traffic whereas he works a later morning schedule but still gets off at 5.


The point of this is to say that one of my "worse case scenarios" has centered around my children being without me in an extreme "SHTF" scenario. If the world as we know it suddenly crashed I'm literally hours from my house walking. My husband too. His mother lives even farther than we work.

One of my comforts has always been the spacing of my children. I have a child that is so much older than the other two that she can of course babysit and I feel like she could adequately handle their needs until I was able to get home. (According to Mapquest that would take me about 4.5 hours)

My eldest has recently decided to move with her dad to Las Vegas. It's not because of me, she and I actually have a pretty decent relationship but she is tired of Here and wants to try There.
That makes me sad for many reasons that have nothing to do with preparedness but it also makes me stress out because I don't believe my 6 year old can currently take of her self OR her little brother for 4.5 hours.

In reality it would be HIGHLY unlikely they would be together alone for 4.5 hours ANYWAY because he is cared for by a home daycare that is not in our neighborhood while she attends the school located directly behind our house. But it's sort of the principal of the thing.

So with my oldest child leaving I'm now having to think of things that a 6 year old can handle on her own that I was always sure I could at least count on a 15 year old for.

Things like first aid. Food. Warmth. Security.

Right now I'm having to re-evaluate her 72 hour kit. It included food that my kit could warm up to make palatable. A 6 year old can't warm anything up and shouldn't so instead of rehydrate, heat and serve meals I'm trying to think of things that she can eat at room temperature.

I'm failing.

So all this is to say, help? Anyone have any ideas on a)what I can change in her 72 hour kit and how I should start preparing her for the chance that she would have to fend for herself in case her parents weren't around?


Andrea said...

Wow. Yeah, this is stuff my husband and I have discussed a bit; he works about 12 miles away, I stay at home. Mercifully, I can SEE my mom's neighborhood (3 miles away as the crow flies), school is 5 miles away and my 6 year old's papaw works right next to the school. I've told him if there's ever a problem, a big problem when he's at school that he is to run to Papaw.

For your daughter's BOB, try some simple snacks, like cheese and crackers, raisin packs, granola bars, juice pouches, jerky, even pull-top cans of Spaghetti-o's (gag) would work in a pinch. And there are also those little lunch kits for chicken/tuna salad, if your daughter would eat them. They don't have a great shelf life, but you can rotate them every 6 months, just like her clothes as she outgrows them, right? Maybe even consider some of the MRE-type stuff. There are inexpensive desserts, side dishes, accessory packs that could provide a reasonable amount of nutrition without being heated.

Kimberly said...

I thankfully don't have to worry about this as my dh works next door to the boys school/daycare. That being said, if that wasn't the case I would probably pack some protein bars, poptarts, and other simple meals that my oldest (who is 7) could manage. Good luck!

Ollamha Anne said...

There are a lot of pop-top canned goods that a school-age kid could carry in their BOBs. Sometimes, the lids on these can pop on their own if your child has a habit of throwing the bag around. Bag them in zip-loc baggies, and then they also have a place to put the lid and used can afterwards.

At my first "real" job after high-school, I used to take a can of canned spaghetti for lunch and eat it cold out of the can. I still like them. Sure beats not having any lunch at all. My sons are out on their own now, but they both still love eating canned spaghetti cold out of the can. I guess I started a family tradition.

In terms of the poop hitting the fan during the school/work day, one of the things I did with my boys is transferred them to schools close to wherever I worked, and they came to my office after school. Mind you, I had some very understanding bosses. But this did insure I was close to hand if my boys needed me.

Kris said...

While researching freeze-dried and dehydrated foods, I saw several websites that sold emergency-ration food bars. They look similar to clif bars and the like, but have a longer shelf life. I didn't buy any so I can't tell you what they taste like, but I remember they were very high in calories.

Also, Angela at Food Storage and Survival talks about her homemade survival bar here:

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