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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Kid’s “SCHOOL” Bug In Bags


With school about to go back into session for this upcoming school year, I’d like to share what I put in my kid’s BIBs for their lockers and see if others are doing the same.

I made Bug In Bags for my kids so they felt in prepared if something should happen during the school day. They are there for 8-9 hours every day during the school year and if an incident happened after the lunch break for them- they are on their own as the schools here do not house more than that day’s meal (enough to feed the whole student more than one meal is out of the question). Well my kids carry their lunch everyday due to allergies so the school food supply would be off limits anyway, but you get the picture- 400 hungry kids waiting for hours for the powers that be to decide how to get everyone home after a disaster (Our school’s buses are kept at a central location miles away instead of at the school they deliver to and from and it isn’t close to the school my kids attend!)

We all hope for the best case scenario but need to equip our kids for other possibilities. I didn’t scare my kids with these ideas, I merely opened the conversation by saying “Remember how you do Fire Drills and Tornado Drills at school? Well I want you to have something in your locker if there were to be an EMP, Nuclear or Earthquake Disaster as well.” - They understand not to touch the bag unless something MAJOR happens and they’ll know because the signal for that is having to hunker down at school instead of getting right home as usual. They were told NOT to tell the teacher what the contents were when asking to retrieve the bag out of their locker and to just be discrete in how they used the contents (not enough to go around if you catch my drift but to share in compassionate circumstances when possible).

Here’s what I did and you have to remember some common rules for many schools are NO WEAPONS of any type, No Cell Phones, No medications that are not held in the school nurse’s office and so on. KNOW YOUR RULES before you send a bag for your kid’s locker! This bag could and might be searched one day by school officials according to our School policy handbook.

Buy a generic soft-sided lunchbox with the zipper compartment on the bottom for a sandwich box. Once filled it can hang off a hook in the top of most standard school lockers. When the locker is open by the kiddos – it just looks like lunchbox hanging there. No other kid in the all the years has ever asked mine – “Hey what’s that?” – My kids understood that their bag and contents were “Vault Information” which is code around here in this house for – Keep in these four walls! Don’t broadcast you’re a prepper .

The bag has two sections: Top and Bottom – I put “gear” in the bottom half and Food items in the top

Bottom Portion: (remove the original sandwich box – You need the space not the box)
Picture of their sibling – Asking have you seen this person to someone that doesn’t know is easier if you have a picture –
Note from Mom – “I know you’re probably scared right now but I love you and you can do this….” Picture of Family (mom, dad, siblings, pet) is printed on that Mom note above.
Credit card size laminated list of contact info: Out of state contact (Aunt, Uncle, Grandparents etc) CELL PHONES WILL NOT WORK after an EMP – Cell phone towers fall during a quake- sometimes kids forget to charge their phone and without batteries the Address Book within is useless!
Travel size handy wipes pkg 10 count (Walmart travel-size section)
1 pkg of 2 wisp brushes (no, I don’t expect my kids to brush after every meal – these are for mouth freshening if/after someone gets sick to their stomach)
Carmex
Mini First Aid kit (First Aid Booklet – Bigger Bandaids, Neosporin - Our nurse splits her time between two schools- blisters walking home?) ( I confess I did slip an extra asthma inhaler in one bag as JustInCase)
Surgical style Asthma Face Mask (the flat kind that loops over the ears when worn)
Bandana (with slip of paper containing 30 uses for a Bandana)
Emergency blanket (camping supplies at Wally world)
AM/FM transistor radio with earbuds (about the size of a deck of cards) (Won’t work if EMP but still…)
Extra Batteries (works with either radio or flashlight below)
Pen style flashlight (3 bucks at walmart)
Glowstick – (Camping section of Walmart – 2 stix to a pkg)
Boredom Busters – Notepad, pen, sharpie, Florescent index cards, Deck of cards, Kiddie notebook game of hangman, dots etc. – kids are told to write down name of other kids with them so there’s a record later on of what went on like a diary game of sorts) Leave index card with plans if they leave that location – etc.

Sounds like a lot but it all fits in that bottom portion where a sandwich box usually goes (I just tossed the box itself) Now for the TOP section:

Top Section of the LunchBox
Four ½ pint water bottles (smaller than the regular standard 16 ounce water bottles but the smaller ones fit and the kids know to ration) Earthquake breaks water mains and those nifty water fountains don’t put out anything anymore – too close to Nuclear means huddle down for 3 days right?
Kool Aid singles (to add to water – warm water is yucky anyway!)
Granola Bar (2) Power bar (2)
Peanut Butter Crackers (2 pkg)
Single Serving bag of Almonds
Skittles, Starburst, Fruit Certs, Tic Tacs,
Light Up Sucker (USA Drug sells these in 3 flavors)
4 Jolly Rancher suckers (kids favorites)
Germ X travel size

The top bulges a little when zipped but it all fits if I tuck and lay things sideways and what not.
I loop a baseball cap through the outside handle too since hats are not allowed by dress code on a daily basis but would come in handy on a long walk home.

And you know it’s not really the gear so much as it is the survival/preparedness attitude that might make the difference in how they handle any given situation. They feel empowered to face disaster no matter what it is. – That’s a life lesson worth it’s weight in gold.


Shoot me some ideas and I’ll tweak this year’s bag before school starts in a few weeks.
Thanks,
1:7
 

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Interesting. I like the thought process. However, I wonder if students would actually be allowed to go to their locker in the event of an emergency. Most school's emergency response plans seem very focused on "lockdown".

I'm also thinking that larger, stronger students might decide to help themselves to your kids' supplies if students were allowed to go to their lockers and your children were found digging into their BIB. In a worst-case scenario, your kids could be mobbed for their supplies by dozens of other panicky, hungry students.

I'm not trying to throw water on the idea. I like the concept. I'm just thinking out loud about the execution.
 

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Patient Zero of WWZ
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Great Idea!

Wrap that radio in thick plastic then in aluminum foil. That will increase it's chance of surviving an EMP.

I wonder about the possibility of adding one of those small CB radios. That would allow communication with mom during lockdown. I bet it's not specifically forbidden, but they would gripe if they found it.
 

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Survivalist
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Just a heads up don't even think about slipping a pocket knife in there, schools are so paranoid about that you'd be lucky if they don't consider your child a domestic terrorist if they were to find one in your kids locker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just a heads up don't even think about slipping a pocket knife in there, schools are so paranoid about that you'd be lucky if they don't consider your child a domestic terrorist if they were to find one in your kids locker.
ABSOLUTELY NOT--- That's why I tried to emphasize the SCHOOL RULES part of this...

and speaking to the part of the thread that addresses "Lock Down" circumstances - That's what started the whole talk years ago.
We get the fact that under some scenarios they are held in classrooms but in the event school officials are just waiting for logistics of busing ALL kids home (in the event that they don't know if parents could reach the school - Many parents in rural areas work in larger cities more than 15/20+ miles from Mom/Dad's offices to the School they drop their kids off at in the morning and pick them up from in the afternoon) I would hope they would let the kids gather their belongings from their lockers (backpacks, books, etc).

and to Mudinyeri - we hadn't worried so much about kids taking supplies as much so as we were concerned that an adult might commandeer something from the bag because they were unprepared - :xeye: i.e. hey kid, give me that flashlight - or food etc. (Coaches can be very persuasive and demanding at times! ;))

Good news is.. in all these years, they've never had to use it for an emergency!-- they've hit the treat candy because Teacher brought treats for the rest of the class and there wasn't anything safe for my kids (allergies) and they've used the quick cash if they decided to leave after school to go home with someone else on the spur of the moment with approval from mom.

Thanks for the replies ya'll!
 

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Great thoughts...

what are the 30 uses for a bandana?

Do kids commonly carry a lunchbox in your area? Around here, that would be reason enough to get beat over the head with it. but that should be easy enough to modify to an 'over the shoulder' backpack

If there is a locker search... how will you (they) explain this kit? has that been planned out already? "going camping on the weekend... wanted to show off my stuff" or "going for a sleepover"?

:thumb:
 

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The Cat's Pajamas
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I think it would be great for the kid just to know that their parent(s) care enough about their safety to think to prepare something like this for them. Great peace of mind. Hopefully they won't need it. If they do and can get to it, great. Better than if they could get to the locker and there was nothing there. Best part is talking to them in a non-threatening way about these kinds of situations. My kids are stillin preschool and elementary school. I need to get creative about helping prepare them in some way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great thoughts...

what are the 30 uses for a bandana?

Do kids commonly carry a lunchbox in your area? Around here, that would be reason enough to get beat over the head with it. but that should be easy enough to modify to an 'over the shoulder' backpack

If there is a locker search... how will you (they) explain this kit? has that been planned out already? "going camping on the weekend... wanted to show off my stuff" or "going for a sleepover"?

:thumb:
We told kids if asked they could explain it was an earthquake kit. New Madrid could go off at any moment and there is nothing against school rules in there (with the exception of that asthma inhaler I slipped into that kids bag)

:xeye: Unfortunately my kids do have to take their lunches to school every single day due to severe life threatening food allergies. But on a positive note, many of the "tray" kids always want to trade for goodies in my kid's bags. LOL! so something must be right.

Here's the list I had found on the net a long time ago. I'm not the originator, I just cut and pasted onto a word document (size 9 font in outlined blocks let's you print (6) to a page). I safety pinned a list to each one's bandana when I folded them up.

30 Uses for a Bandana
Dust Mask (in Urban Survival)
Signal for help by waving
Pre-water Filter (like Coffee Filters)
Neck Gaiter for Cold Weather
Wet and Wear for Hot Weather
Ear Muffs
Sun block for neck draped under hat
Sweatband
Sling (first-aid)
Sling (as in David and Goliath)
Sling (for a staff )
Weapon (with rock tied in it)
Cordage (strips or as is)
Bind a stone and toss a line over a limb
Mark a Trail
Washcloth/Towel/Dish Rag
Napkin or Placemat
Pot Holder
Waist pack/pouch
Hobo Pack
Collecting Wild Edibles
Bullet Patches for Muzzleloader
Cleaning Patches/Wipe for Firearm (with oil)
Clean Glasses and other lens
Sneezing
Eye patch
Padding a hotspot
Magic Tricks
Tourniquet
Toilet Paper


:D:
 

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Desert Rat
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I would assume "lock-down" measures are only enforced when there is a definite risk to the school, eg. weapon, bomb threat. In the event of an EMP, the power would go out. In my school, they just say that if the power goes out for a determined amount of time, like 45 minutes, then they let school out. I see no reason why they wouldn't let the kids out as soon as possible after that. For the kids who take the bus, and assuming the bus isn't operable. They would stay at the school until either parents come and get them or they arrange transportation. I think the more important thing would be to have a plan like having a place for kids to go if the parents work far away, eg(grandparents, family friend nearby the school)
 

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Fantastic idea! I admit the thought crossed my mind about them getting their butts kicked by others and I would be concerned about the kids being let out to go to their lockers for this bag when the school is on lockdown. If your schools have interior hallways then they may be able to. If all classrooms open to the outside, they won't be let out until no more lockdown.

I agree it's rather empowering for the kids to have this and know they're prepared. It's worth it for that alone! Have you considered nuts/small bags of trail mix that you can get in the checkout stands at walmart? They're $1.48 here.

If there was no contact with the outside world and no one really knew what was going on I don't know that they'd let the kids go at first. I would think they'd hang on to them to see who shows up to get them maybe? I would hope so at least.
 

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Just a heads up don't even think about slipping a pocket knife in there, schools are so paranoid about that you'd be lucky if they don't consider your child a domestic terrorist if they were to find one in your kids locker.
Yeah, pretty sad isn't it? I'm old enough to remember we ALL had a pocket knife in school, even brought my ruger 10/22 once when I had a sleepover!!!!

But.........then again we also had catachism(sp?) class every week and NO one ever thought about shooting up the place either.

Of course we didn't have "diversity" training class or "multicultural" studies or "gender modification" instruction or any other of the wonderful curriculum that the libs have foisted on our kids.
 

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Great idea, as a classroom teacher I have been thinking about putting together an emergency bug in bag for my class. Last May, just a few days after the Joplin tornado we took cover in anticipation of a severe storm going tornadic. The storm indeed dropped a tornado just a couple of miles from us. To make a long story short, we were in "lock down" mode for over two hours. One grade level did not get lunch and we were about 45 minutes late on dismissal.

My thought is to put together a duffle bag with drinks, snacks, games and phone numbers. Not to hijack the thread but any additional ideas along these lines would be appreciated.

Nahum: One thought I had was this: In a lockdown or evacuation it may not feasible for a student to go to their locker. I would suggest a pencil bag filled with similar items you mentioned. The pencil bag could then go in their binder (I am assuming their binder is always with them), then they could just grab and go. In my seventeen years teaching we have evacuated the building and had to relocate offsite(three times), multiple tornado events and one intruder lockdown. The note you included is a great idea; these situations are scary even for the adults.:thumb:
 

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30 Uses for a Bandana
Dust Mask (in Urban Survival)
Signal for help by waving
Pre-water Filter (like Coffee Filters)
Neck Gaiter for Cold Weather
Wet and Wear for Hot Weather
Ear Muffs
Sun block for neck draped under hat
Sweatband
Sling (first-aid)
Sling (as in David and Goliath)
Sling (for a staff )
Weapon (with rock tied in it) might want to remove that from the list
Cordage (strips or as is)
Bind a stone and toss a line over a limb
Mark a Trail
Washcloth/Towel/Dish Rag
Napkin or Placemat
Pot Holder
Waist pack/pouch
Hobo Pack
Collecting Wild Edibles
Bullet Patches for Muzzleloader remove this to
Cleaning Patches/Wipe for Firearm (with oil) and lastly this
Clean Glasses and other lens
Sneezing
Eye patch
Padding a hotspot
Magic Tricks
Tourniquet
Toilet Paper


I'm just saying remove these, so if Teacher's ever somehow get a hold of the bag and its contents they don't see things like that. :D:
 

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In some situations, there will be no cell reception, but landlines usually do work; tuck in a few quarters for the pay-phone in the foyer.
 

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TEXAS!!!
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Interesting. I like the thought process. However, I wonder if students would actually be allowed to go to their locker in the event of an emergency. Most school's emergency response plans seem very focused on "lockdown".

I'm also thinking that larger, stronger students might decide to help themselves to your kids' supplies if students were allowed to go to their lockers and your children were found digging into their BIB. In a worst-case scenario, your kids could be mobbed for their supplies by dozens of other panicky, hungry students.

I'm not trying to throw water on the idea. I like the concept. I'm just thinking out loud about the execution.
I agree with your assessment. My 16 yr old is homeschooled and not a problem. My 13 yr old has been trained in evasion and is taught to leave the campus in an emergency by any means neccessary. Her school is close enough to home for her to get there on her own. hers may be too young for that, I don't know.
 

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TEXAS!!!
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Great idea, as a classroom teacher I have been thinking about putting together an emergency bug in bag for my class. Last May, just a few days after the Joplin tornado we took cover in anticipation of a severe storm going tornadic. The storm indeed dropped a tornado just a couple of miles from us. To make a long story short, we were in "lock down" mode for over two hours. One grade level did not get lunch and we were about 45 minutes late on dismissal.

My thought is to put together a duffle bag with drinks, snacks, games and phone numbers. Not to hijack the thread but any additional ideas along these lines would be appreciated.

Nahum: One thought I had was this: In a lockdown or evacuation it may not feasible for a student to go to their locker. I would suggest a pencil bag filled with similar items you mentioned. The pencil bag could then go in their binder (I am assuming their binder is always with them), then they could just grab and go. In my seventeen years teaching we have evacuated the building and had to relocate offsite(three times), multiple tornado events and one intruder lockdown. The note you included is a great idea; these situations are scary even for the adults.:thumb:
If my kids were younger, I would've liked for them to have you as a teacher. :)
 

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If my kids were younger, I would've liked for them to have you as a teacher. :)
Thanks Dragunov,

So far I have packed 30 of the following: nutrition bars, Capri sun pouches, mints, sticks of gum, cheese and cracker packs. Also an assortment of card games and magazines and a list of all parent cell and landline phone numbers.

Our administration is very supportive of this idea and is trying to find funding to put together a "bag" for each homeroom.
 
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