Monday, August 28, 2017

Survival Strategy #16: A Bug Out Bag in the Philippines for Kids

Today is a very special day! Could you believe it, we're making the most exciting homework ever! I started this blog back in 2010 to chronicle my journey of preparedness. My little girl is now 8 and will be 9 in a few months. She was less than a year old when this was but a spark in my mind. All of these activities, the skills, prepping, equipment, training, blogging, its all for her.

And now WE BUILD A BUG OUT BAG TOGETHER. Major parenting win here folks!

So the task was to build an Emergency Plan and her very own B.O.B. And get this: their school calls it a "Z-Bag", playing on the name "emergen-zee". As far as I'm concerned, we all know what the Z really stands for! How cool is that??

My little survivalist will present two days from now these things in a show & tell format for Science. That happens to be one of my favorite subjects. Don't give me that look.

I. The Emergency Plan

In case she is ever caught in a calamity in school or at home all by herself. We constructed a few simple rules for her to follow to ensure safety.

We have safe-zones for her to stay in case of an earthquake, typhoon, flood, or riots & civil disturbances.

Listed down were the locations of where she will evacuate to if she is forced to leave these safe zones and where to find our supplies. Snazzy.

As you could see, many elements of the Emergency Plan came from our previous articles, particularly the Home Defense Analysis. It was really cool to revisit to find that my files from 2011 were still there.  Awesome!

II. The Z-Bag

The contents were expertly constructed by her mom. Mrs. Zombie Hunter sorted and zip-locked the contents for easy access. The mission was to be okay for two days. Stay warm & dry, hydrated, light her path, fix minor boo-boos, fill her stomach, and handle obstacles such as smoke, rain, and general confusion.

A key element for building a bug out bag for kids is being mindful of the overall weight. Mobility and having enough supplies are opposed to each other. Having "enough" is always subject to harsh debate.

Mrs. Z and I are never a few miles away from our daughter even while at work so being separated from each other by even the harshest of calamities will never go beyond two days of walking. Even if a massive earthquake, tsunami, zombie attack, or whatever happens, either of us can reach her in 24 hours.

Armed with this, we have outfitted our daughter to handle 48 hours for her pack.

A liter of water per day, 
she also asked for a few favorite snacks and canned goods...

III. Evacuation Drill & Area Reconnisance

We took a little tour of the neighborhood. We've been here for 10 years but this is the first time my daughter had a look around the place keeping in mind how things could be like during a disaster.

Lets go for a walk...

It was a lovely day. A few light showers didn't bother us, we had rain gear in case it got stronger. It didn't.

Its not exactly a long-range patrol, but it was good to have look around for possibly trouble areas like bottle-necks, flood-prone areas, dead-ends, points of ambush, hiding spots, and other points of interest.

I'm hoping to develop in her mind the technique of looking at her surroundings in this manner at all times. If it becomes second-nature, then she'll become increasingly self-reliant.

"how many neighborhoods surround us?"

"where does that creek lead to? is the water good or bad?"

"that street is a dead-end, but it has a good hiding spot"

"how many trees have edibles?"

"is that house really haunted?"

"where will daddy come and find me?

This way of thinking trains her mind. Looking at the world through a scout's eye will give her a tremendous advantage.

It was also the perfect time for her to evaluate our neighborhood to find good reception for communicating with home base. For a child like her born in this decade surrounded by Samsung Galaxy 8s, micro-drones, and other gadgets, the concept of handheld radios and UHF/VHF is a novel experience. Too many houses blocked line of sight. We did however find a few spots that gave clear signal and decent coverage.

At last we arrived at the safe zone. Its the club house where sports and parties are typically held. Its common practice to make this an assembly point for calamities as its a large building that has two basketball courts, 3 tennis courts, a bowling alley, and two large ballrooms. Its also got a few decent restrooms for a fairly large capacity. Its sturdily built and it can take a lot of punishment. I'm perfectly fine with her staying at this place if ever our home is compromised.

She made it!

IV. Lessons Learned

Most of her education regarding preparedness came from the classroom and this was the first time that we did this as a family. Mrs. Z was amused by all this saying that this blog has been waiting for the little girl all ths time.

As a parent, I'm swelling with pride because she's reached a point where all of these concepts of safety and self-reliance are finally within her understanding.

I was too accustomed to how I'd treat her like when she was younger.  I keep saying it to myself every year: don't underestimate her.

She had a good day. Her adrenaline was up till late night too. I'm so pumped, I wrote all of this in a single go. Before she slept, we talked about doing more practice runs like this, I'm so thrilled. Look out world, player three has entered the game. :-)

Stay vigilant!


  1. Such a great homework. It is a really interesting subject. I believe this should be an example for all the other parents. Making a plan for a possible emergency is neat! Using a floor plans software for this matter is a smart idea. There are many tools available online these days. But it's important to pick a tool that is free and meets with your expectations. Rearranging venue floor plans for a safer environment can be helpful.

    1. thank you! this was an enjoyable experience for the family as everybody was involved. Floorplanner is mostly free and really easy to use. There are also other handy prepper tools out there like the LDS Prepper's Handbook and checklist. they wrote the book on prepping so to speak. happy new year!