The Lunch Box Bug-Out Bag

Regardless of the age of your school age children, in this disaster ridden age, it would do them well to put together an emergency kit that can be carried in their backpack or left in their locker at school.  There are reports every year of children having to stay at school over-night because roads were impassable for school buses or cars.  In most cases the school lunch program had enough food to feed the children, but sleeping arrangements were less than ideal.

When my youngest daughter left for college, I put together a compact "bug out bag” that she could carry in the car with her as she traveled back and forth to school.  I put it in a soft-sided lunch box which was small enough to place in her suitcase, a back pack or by her feet.  This size container will also work well for a school locker.

Here are some items to consider for the emergency kit:

Small stuffed animal (especially for elementary and kindergarten children).  A stuffed animal has proven to provide comfort and security for all age children and adults during disasters, accidents and emotional crisis.

A blow-up pillow with a plush outer covering.

A micro-fiber towel can be used for cleansing or as a lap blanket for sleeping.  They come in all sizes and can be purchased at the dollar store or your favorite camping supply store.  As the weather turns colder in the fall, be sure to send a coat with your child each day.  This way they will have a warm covering to use as a blanket.

A plastic blow up mattress (the kind you would use as a pool flotation device). These are inexpensive and very compact.  They would add insulation if sleeping on a  tile floor.  If classrooms are carpeted, an air mattress might not be necessary.

Water bottles are allowed in most classrooms during class instruction.  If not allowed, they can be kept in a grade school cubbie, in the child’s backpack or in a teen’s locker.  Providing a water purification bottle instead of a regular water bottle will allow hydration if the school water source is contaminated.  Most purification bottles will filter 200 gallons of water, so they could provide pure water for the whole class. 

A pocket first aid kit containing band-aides, ace bandage, folding scissors, Neosporin, butterflies, large band-aides for knees and elbows, etc.

Snacks: Whether children buy their lunch at school or take their lunch, provide a morning and afternoon snack on a daily basis.  You might also put together a snack pack that could be kept in their cubby or locker that would provide them with several days of shelf-stable food.  When my son was playing football in high school, I would send a substantial lunch with him to eat at noon and then another lunch to tide him over after school and before football practice.  That way he would have the nourishment needed for a long day of activity.

Whether you live in Tornado Alley, or the northeast where ice storms and flash flood are common, or in the northwest where power outages are frequent, putting together a kit like this for each of your kids will help them feel calm and collected during an emergency if they can't get home from school.

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Tags: Emergency Living  Prepared  Good Ideas 

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