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Don’t Bug Out: Some Essential Items to Survive an Emergency Disaster

For any parent, your children’s safety comes first in the case of a crisis or emergency. That’s why, in cases of disaster, it’s imperative to have the essential items for survival like an effective emergency survival bag that includes items for safety, recreation and sustenance. After making sure you have everything you need, prepare a smaller bag for your child.

Although you might have packed everything necessary for survival for the entire family, providing your child with their very own “bug-out bag” can instill a sense of tranquility in a crisis. Depending on your child’s age, you can place various items in the bag, but be sure to also include a source of comfort, no matter the age. In an emergency, comfort items and foods can do a lot to alleviate stress and anxiety.

If you’re not sure what specific items to include, get your child involved and ask them what kind of food, games and comfort items they would want when disaster strikes. This will give them the chance to communicate with you their concerns about such an emergency and will help them be better prepared. Here are some items to include in your child’s bug-out bag.

Safety and Basics

First, choose an emergency survival bag that fits your child well. Keep in mind, depending on your child’s age, they probably won’t be able to carry as heavy a load as you. If their bag is too heavy or bulky, it may be cumbersome for them to carry and slow them down in cases where they must quickly run away.

Include a first-aid kit and teach your child how to properly use the items inside. The more familiar they become with those items, the better they will be able to use them in case of a minor cut or even a more serious injury. In addition to a first-aid kit, include a surgical mask to protect them from breathing in airborne bacteria and viruses, as well as a(n):

  • Flashlight
  • Emergency whistle
  • Pre-paid cell phone
  • Jacket
  • Blanket
  • Underwear/socks
  • Hat or beanie
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Toilet paper.

Again, talk to your kids about each item in their bag and discuss the types of situations in which they would need to use them.


Food is crucial in an emergency situation, and while you’ll probably be the one carrying most of the food, it’s important to equip your child with some food as well in case they ever get separated from you. Be sure to include high-energy foods, like granola bars, canned tuna or chicken, a small jar of peanut butter and a small bottle of honey.

Prepare your child by including water purification tablets and a water canteen. Also include hard candy and gum, so they have a small treat on hand. You know your child best, so include a few of their favorite snacks. Having familiar foods during an emergency can calm your child’s nerves and provide comfort.


While food can be a source of comfort for your child, it’s likely they’ll find themselves bored after some time has passed and the urgency of the situation has settled down. That’s why it’s smart to prepare a few recreational items, like games, coloring books with crayons, a ball, deck of cards, puzzles, or a stuffed animal. These items will keep your child occupied and out of trouble. Modify the aforementioned list to your child’s age.

Last Reminders

Remember, rotate your supply of food and water every six months to keep your supply fresh. Make sure any clothes you include still fit your child comfortably. Use your best judgement and allow older children to carry a pocket knife or any fire-starting tools. Of course, talk through how to use these items beforehand.

If this emergency survival bag is for an infant, you should prepare a separate diaper bag to carry. And, if you are the type of parent wanting to feel prepared for an emergency, take your family on a hike and camp out with the survival bags to become more familiar with each item and determine what might be missing.