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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Emergency School Backpack Survival Kit Thoughts

Suppose something catastrophic happened while your kids were at school.  They are there a good part of the day, right?  Unless you home school which would solve this little dilemma for you.  But the majority of us send our kids off to school somewhere every weekday.

We already have a plan in place with the kids that they stay at school with their class/teacher/principal and mom or dad will come get them, but I've been thinking about this some and considering a small packet of "stuff" that could go in their school backpack without taking up much space/weight and give them some survival gear if they had to be stranded at school for a while or hike themselves home.  I haven't done anything about putting one together yet.  I have too many questions that I want answers to first. Like these:

What "emergency" would warrant them actually having to stay at the school for longer than a day?  There was a school last winter that the kids had to stay the night due to a snowstorm making the roads unsafe, but what situations might warrant a longer stay? Our school is easily within walking distance from our house, so under what circumstances would we not be able to get down there or my kids not be permitted to just come home?

This year they are all at the same school, but next year the oldest is headed to the Jr High which is another mile or so farther from the house.  Still walkable, but they won't all be together.  And once they get to High School, that's about 12 miles from the house in a different direction than the other two schools and they won't all be there together either.  Does who is in what school and the location of the school in relation to my house change my plan/strategy and what kind of stuff they might need in their backpack?  Probably.

What does the school have to take care of their students if there is an emergency?  Do the classrooms or faculty have emergency supplies?  I know the lunch room is usually well enough stocked to get through a couple of days of feeding kids as long as there was power to cook the stuff.  But do I trust someone else to take care of my kids in a situation like that?  Or do I want them to have something in their backpack for themselves just in case?

Would they ever consider evacuating the school, and if yes under what circumstances, to where, and for how long?

Would the kids get expelled or something ridiculous if they were found in possession of a firestarting kit?

I guess my main question is if there is even a need for them to have gear in their backpack since the school is so close and our family plan is for mom or dad to come get them at the school if something happens.  I just like to have options and give them security.  I'm not home all day every day, so in some situations it might take a while for either me or dad to get to the school.

What do you think?  And if you would or do send survival gear with your kids to school, what should be included?