Teaching your kids how to bug out from school
06/26/2020 / By Zoey Sky / Comments
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Teaching your kids how to bug out from school

Preppers are a self-sufficient group of people. And what better way to teach kids to be independent than by teaching them how to bug out from school when disaster strikes? (h/t to TheOrganicPrepper.com)

With the advent of events like shootings in schools and other public areas, schools are enforcing active shooter drills to teach staff and students how to respond properly.

But experts claim that these methods are scaring young kids instead of protecting them.

Prepping for active shooter and lockdown drills

More schools have been practicing active shooter drills due to the numerous school shootings that have made headlines in recent years. During an active shooter drill, both teachers and students are given blueprints to follow for how to handle that type of emergency.

The nonprofit organization Education Commission of the States reports that at least 42 states in the country require emergency or safety drills in schools to protect against active shooters.

However, there isn’t enough data on the effectiveness of these drills. Even though there are some federal recommendations, no standard template exists for schools to follow. There is no guidance on how to do these drills, how often to conduct them or how to explain their purpose to students of various ages without causing alarm.

“Active shooter” was originally a recreational hunting term, but it became part of law enforcement’s vocabulary after the Columbine school shooting.

Meanwhile, “lockdown” drills, a term from prison jargon, was used more regularly to refer to a rehearsal for events that may require students and teachers to hide in a classroom with locked doors, closed windows, lights off and blinds drawn. This situation may be called for when there is nearby police activity, a natural disaster or an active shooter.

Despite the conflicting data on the effectiveness of these drills, there are parents who support these drills because they help children understand the dangers they might face.

Should you teach your child to bug out from school?

Before you teach your child how to bug out from school, consider their skill level and mindset.

Explaining to your child why they’re required to practice these drills at school will teach them that these exercises should be taken seriously. And once your child knows what to do when SHTF, they’re less likely to feel scared or anxious because they know what to do and where to go.

If you think your child is mature enough to follow a school bug-out plan, below are some factors to consider to help them prep before disaster strikes:

  1. If older kids have younger siblings at the same school, they must have a way of contacting them. They should also know when to postpone the bug-out if they can’t contact their younger siblings.
  2. Decide on a primary and secondary meeting point where you’ll come and get your kids. Ideally, the location should be within a couple of miles near their school. The area should also let your children stay hidden from the main road. While the main goal is to head to the primary meeting location, if the area is unsafe or inaccessible, you should decide on a secondary point that your kids can reach by following a different path.
  3. Once you’ve decided on the routes for your primary and secondary meeting points, practice how your child will get there from school. Travel this route with them until they memorize the path.
  4. In the event of a natural disaster like a forest fire near the school, your child should stay where it’s safer. Discuss different scenarios where evacuation is necessary and teach your child when to bug out and when to head to a safe shelter with their classmates. (Related: Prepping with kids: What to teach them about natural disasters.)

Your preps aren’t done once you pack your child’s bug-out bag (BOB).

Once your child learns when to stay in school or when to bug out, they need to learn how to use each item in their BOB.

A sample BOB includes:

  • A sturdy hiking pack
  • Snacks (e.g., energy bars or granola bars)
  • At least one full water bottle
  • Water filtration bottle
  • Weather appropriate clothing (e.g., snow gear, a light hoodie and gloves)
  • Comfortable and weather-appropriate footwear like sneakers or winter boots
  • Extra socks
  • Firestarting flint
  • Mylar/space blanket
  • Basic first aid kit with Band-Aids

When prepping your child’s BOB, avoid including items that their school might consider dangerous, like matches, multi-tools or self-defense items.

If your child is too young to follow a school bug-out plan, ensure that they at least have the presence of mind to obey their teachers during a practice drill at school.

For kids who are old or mature enough, help them practice their school bug-out routine so they can follow instructions from teaching staff. Alternatively, give them guidelines to follow if their school is unsafe so you can meet them at a safe location when SHTF.

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