A while back, my children and I were reading scriptures and came to a part where a group of people had to leave their homes. My children and I discussed what we would take with us, if we had to leave our home the next day. I was a little disappointed at the selfish nature of the items and the “every man for himself” attitude some of my children displayed. I pointed out how much better we would be if we worked together and helped each other on the journey.
We took the discussion a little further on the way to school, when I asked them what 10 things they would take if they had to leave home tomorrow. They did listen to my earlier counsel and their family was on each one of their lists. While they took an adequate supply of toys, they did think of the necessities like food and bedding. After the first child finished their list, I complemented the thoughtfulness of the items included – then asked how cold it would get without clothes. A quick change was made so the list included an ample supply of clothing!
I love how children build off of each other’s ideas and how they remind each other to not repeat mistakes. So the next child had clothes as number four on the list, but switched food for a soccer ball when prompted. The second list had some additional, well thought out items – like a flashlight, first aid kit, money and a bike.
By the time my turn came around, they were getting into creative ways to combine items to get the most bang for their buck! Instead of taking a flashlight and a first aid kit, I took a 72 hour kit. Our 72 hour kit is a collection of backpacks (one for each family member) that contains supplies we would need for the first three days of an emergency. They contain a change of clothes, some food and water, a flashlight, a first aid kit, and even some cash. I liked the idea of having transportation, so I traded out the bike idea for my car! I also included scripture, scrapbooks and important documents.
Our family has discussed many times what we would take with us in case of an emergency and I know we would be pretty well prepared if the time came. This discussion was much more about learning what my children value and encouraging them to think, and think creatively. This is a great discussion for a long car trip or a quiet night at home, either as a practical exercise or a creative exploration.