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2023 Preparedness - Wednesday's Wisdom: Week 14

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

Questions about Kits

Q: What do you recommend about rolling backpacks?

A: Full-size packs ensure that you can carry all your essentials with you, including a change of clothes. Backpacks should be brightly colored so they will be easy to find at the bottom of the closet when you have to get out fast. The colors also make it easy to identify family members if your family is in a large crowd. I do not recommend a rolling backpack because your hands will not be free to care for children and/or pets. With a rolling pack, you will not have hands free to remove debris. A rolling pack will not be able to roll over debris. If you feel you must use a rolling pack load it with heavy items while in the store and try it on. Many packs have metal supports that will dig into your back, making it impossible to wear for long.

If you or a family member is handicapped by age or a disability purchase a fishing vest and load it with the most essential items. You may even want to add a few more pockets to allow for more items to be stored. The vest may be worn or hung on wheelchairs or walkers.

We realize most companies do not offer kits designed for children. During an emergency, a sense of security is the most important thing to a child. As a child carries their own survival kit they feel empowered and more in control of their own fate. In addition, when a child carries their own supplies, the adults are more able to carry items that will increase the safety and comfort of the entire family having more room in their own kits. Even a two-year-old child can wear a pack large enough for a snack, ID card, whistle, Mylar blanket, and a game and stuffed animal.

Q: What do you mean to add a uniform to kits? What kind of uniform?

Having an item of clothing or a hat that is distinctive will make finding a lost family member easier. Purchase matching tie-dyed shirts. Purchase solid-colored t-shirts or hats and dye or paint them yourself with a crazy pattern. Purchase a yard of some unusual fabric and make bandannas. It is much easier for people to remember seeing a child or adult if there is something distinctive about their dress. You can ask if someone noticed your ten-year-old blonde son or if they saw your 10-year-old son wearing a shirt like this, your family uniform. Which would you remember?

Bandannas may be worn around your neck, arm, or head and can be worn every day without washing. Remember these need to be distinctive not just one purchased that looks like hundreds of others.

If you should lose a family member wear your uniform an take a photo to post noting that the lost member will be wearing the same thing. If being interviewed wear your uniform and note that your family member is wearing your family uniform.

Make this fun and get the children involved so the uniform is fun when the time comes to wear them. Grandparents, create a uniform with the grandkids or make a family uniform as a gift for the family.

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