*September 20th, 2002*
On September 20th, 2002 my son turned 7 years old. He went to school just like any other day and took a huge tray of cupcakes and a whole bunch of kool-aid pouches to share with his class. But what happened that afternoon was what he considered the best birthday present ever! Most people considered it a disaster.
Early that afternoon the clouds got thick and dark. The weather predictions include heavy rain and severe storms. While looking out the back window of our shop the rain started pouring and then the tornado alarms went off. My son’s class was herded to the basement and as they walked past the cubbies the little fart thought to grab his backpack. Down to the basement they go and when the power failed he just dug around in his pack until he found his flashlight and instantly became the most popular kid in the class!
It was a couple of hours before I could get out to the school to pick him up and in the meantime I had tried calling the school several times with no luck (all the lines were down). I was a little bit concerned, but I knew that the school staff was wonderful and that my son was prepared for just such an event . . . if he could get to his backpack! When I finally got there I was relieved to see the school still standing minus part of the roof and my son waiting for me, munching on peanut butter crackers and drinking from his water bottle. He keeps a few essentials in his backpack at all times and this was why!
He calmly got in the truck and started telling me how this was the coolest birthday ever! Since then we’ve added a few more emergency essentials to his backpack that he carries to school every day. At the very minimum a kid should have available a flashlight, bottle of water and snack. But since the events of my son’s birthday we’ve added a first aid kit and a rain poncho. When he gets older we’ll add more, but at least he’s good until Mom gets there, even if it takes a while. He also understands now why being prepared is so important. We’ve also put together his very own bug out bag consisting of all the above mentioned things and much more.
Teaching our children to cope with whatever life hands us is probably the most important thing we ever teach them, so teach them well. Kids are smart and they understand what ever we bother to explain to them so take the time to play the "what if" game and get them prepared for whatever might happen . . . because someday it may!
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