How to Stock Comfort For Your Child’s Emergency Bag

How to Stock Comfort For Your Child’s Emergency Bag
The comfort pocket of the LadyBugOut emergency bag is designed to give children the opportunity to identify unique items that bring them comfort an important part of ensuring their psychological safety in addition to their physical safety. It’s also meant to encourage interaction and conversations about emergencies between parent and child, which brings additional comfort.

But here’s the thing about the comfort section of the LBO bag: It’s pretty much empty. It differs from the other sections of the bag and from a typical adult bug out bag in that it is intended to be highly customized by you and your child in order to meet their unique needs, interests, and skills.

When it comes to stocking the comfort section of the bag, the first thing to consider is your child’s developmental age. Emergency situations are stressful, and your child’s levels of stress can be lowered not only with comfort items, but with play items as well. Consider the activities your child currently finds comforting and fun. What do they hold on to or need when they are scared? What occupies their time when they’re having fun? Do they like to build or play with toys? Do they prefer to play games or draw? Add these “fun” items accordingly.

In addition to toys, games, and activities, the comfort pocket should also include photos and letters as part of your child’s LadyBugOut Get Started workbook, as well as any other items that remind them of home or of you. Keep in mind that these items may look very different for each child; therefore, getting his or her input in packing the comfort pocket is incredibly important. Allowing your child to participate in the process provides an important opportunity for them to feel involved. Additionally, it addresses children’s psychological needs for efficacy, an important building block you can draw upon in the event there is a disaster.

Here are some ideas of things to include in your child’s bug out bag:
  • A letter to your child reminding them of your family’s natural disaster plan, completed in their workbook
  • Family photos
  • Markers, pens, paper (keep in mind that crayons melt so pens or colored pencils are better if you’ll be storing their bag somewhere hot)
  • Search-and-find workbooks
  • Stress balls, playdough, slime
  • Card deck or other travel-sized games
  • Cultural/family artifacts
By discussing the LadyBugOut bag with your child and explaining that together, you are going to add items that make them feel happy and safe, you will successfully achieve three important goals: First, your child will have had previous interactions with the items in their bag so that when it comes time to use them, they are comfortable doing so. Second, your child will have access to items that remind them of their family and of their home, which can be a tremendous source of comfort. And third, activities and toys can distract them in a time of high stress and uncertainty.

While parents remain a key provider of psychological safety, in the event of a separation or particularly challenging circumstances, having tangible objects of comfort, reminders of home, and activities to keep children occupied can make a significant difference in how well your child is able to cope during an emergency situation.