Here is an excellent post from Another Prepper about getting the whole family involved in preparedness.
Being Prepared: Getting the Kids Involved
When it comes to being prepared, it is a natural thing that adults do a lot of the heavy-lifting--after all, it is our responsibility to make sure that our loved ones are taken care of in terms of food, shelter and security issues. However, getting the children involved in emergency preparation as early as possible might not be just a smart thing to do, it may make a vital difference when a crisis actually occurs.
There are many different ways that we may find ourselves in need of emergency supplies, but the basic necessities remain the same. For example, we all need to have food to eat. One way that we can help children learn basic skills that can help provide such food is to teach them how and allow them to work in the garden. They may not be able to prepare the soil for planting, but there are many ways that they can help out, and some benefits and ideas for making their gardening experience successful are outlined in this article (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/07/01/DDD718DQFN.DTL). We may even be able to avoid an emergency altogether if we have a source of food that we know is uncontaminated, and even if we don’t end up needing the produce from our garden for an actual emergency, there will still be the lessons learned from the gardening experience, some of which are outlined in the linked article.
Including the children in emergency planning goes beyond the food issue. One such case would be avoiding catching the H1N1 virus. As mentioned in this article, (http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/swineflu/news/jun3009personprep-pp.html) the number of cases of this flu are going up, and it has already been declared a pandemic. I recommend reading the entire article, but some basics are covered as to preventative and planning measures that should be taken that can involve the entire family. What seems basic to us (washing hands, avoiding those who are sick) may not be so clear to our children, but if we teach them, we better our chances of avoiding the illness altogether.
Preparing our children mentally by explaining likely scenarios and involving them in the emergency planning could make a big difference in how an actual emergency plays out. Having a family plan about how to deal with an emergency that requires gathering the family from different locations will help now because children don’t have to worry as much about the "what ifs" of a situation. It will help when there is an actual emergency because everyone will know what to do. A great example of such planning can be found in this post (http://mymoderncountryhome.blogspot.com/2008/12/bok-bug-out-for-kids.html) at My Modern Country Home (http://mymoderncountryhome.blogspot.com/). The children in that family know what to do in the case of an emergency, and such a plan, obviously with different details, can be made in each family so that there is less stress and crisis in an emergency. If children know what to do, the effects of an emergency can be decreased, as evidenced by what happened in this post (http://newmexicopreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/06/remembering-why-we-prepflooding-on-farm.html) over at New Mexico Preppers Network (http://newmexicopreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/). I was particularly impressed by the preparation that had taken place, and that the result was: "Our teens know what to do and listen the first time." Getting the kids involved can make a big difference.
These are only a few ideas on how to prepare children for emergencies--I would love to hear additional ideas, because the more we know, the more we can do. Preparing children is done on an individual basis--one may be at the stage where there responsibility is to know where a working flashlight is, while another may have jurisdiction over an entire section of the garden. Whatever their level, involving the children in emergency preparation will benefit the entire family.
Thanks for another excellent post Another Prepper! And to everyone else - make sure to stop in and check out Another Prepper's blog Live on Your Feet!