Ready or Not #45: Back to School

A lot of you are probably gearing up to send your children back to school – I’m not! This will be my first year that I do NOT have children in public school and I have never felt so calm and serene. No shopping for pencils and paper, no backpacks or markers – none of that. HOWEVER…I still want my kids to be prepared. They might not be in public school, but when they go off to college, jobs, or whatever, they should still have a preparedness kit.

I have talked about making an emergency school kit before, but I cannot stress how important it really is to help our children be prepared when we are not there physically to take care of them in a disaster. When you are out shopping for school supplies, add these items to make your children not only ready to start school, but also prepared in case of an emergency away from home.

School Emergency Kit
* Inexpensive backpack, small duffel bag, or even a large Ziploc bag
* 2-sealed bottles of water
* 1 or 2 Energy Bars/Candy Bars (Keep in mind that chocolate will melt and make a mess)
* Hard tack candy and/or gum
* Tennis shoes or boat shoes
* 2 pairs of cotton socks
* A pair of sweats (or change of comfortable clothes)
* Flashlight that doesn’t need batteries
* Poncho and/or umbrella
* Small first aid kit
* Whistle
* Toilet Paper – 1 roll
* Small bottle of hand sanitizer (PureWorks antibacterial foam is really good stuff), or Purell and/or small packet of wet wipes
* Money – You decide on the amount, but make sure that you have small change in coin as well as paper bills.
* Pictures, on a lanyard or necklace of some sort, of each member of your family. Mount the pictures on some cardstock and on the back write, the name of the person in the photo, the address, contact names and phone numbers. It is best to have individual pictures instead of a group photo because the person is more recognizable. It would also be a good idea to have the pictures laminated. Each person in the family will need a set of every person in their family. These will need to be updated every year. The best time to do this is when you get school pictures because they are usually taken at the beginning of the year. Better yet, get your digital camera, print out everybody’s picture, and get the cards made up before school starts.
* You can also put any medical instructions for problems such as allergies, asthma, diabetes, etc., on the back of the pictures before you laminate them.
* You should also include a letter from you, their parents, with instructions of what to do in case of an emergency at school and what to expect from you. Also, include a letter of assurance that all will be well and that you will be together again as a family.

Putting this kit together is very important and will give your children a sense of security and control that is priceless – whether they are in kindergarten, high school or college.

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