Let’s face it. Natural disasters are now bigger and more common than ever. As that trend continues, parents are becoming more aware and looking for ways to keep their families safe. The problem? Until now, there’s been no solution for the most vulnerable family members — the kids. That’s why we created LadyBugOut, to guide families to feel safer together.
LadyBugOut was founded by a team of experts in disaster planning, emergency preparedness, child psychology, medicine, nutrition, and education.
Linda’s dual career as a medical officer in the Air Force Reserves, and civilian job as a biotech strategist, have collided in founding LadyBugOut. Linda has deep expertise in disaster preparedness, and believes that communities become resilient when individuals take responsibility for preparing their families. When she’s not improving her own preparedness with advanced certificates in global health and genomics, swimming across the San Francisco bay to escape Alcatraz, and raising her 4-year old daughter, Linda can be found trotting the globe to teach disaster response courses for the Defense Institute of Medical Operations (DIMO). She is a member of Los Angeles Kids in Disaster Working Group, holds many FEMA certifications, and is a member of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Follow @LindaManzso
Anna Berzins Forkner
Having the hardest job of all, Anna is a stay-at-home mom to three young boys. In her prior life, she studied environmental policy, sustainable development, and conservation. She subsequently worked with high school students as the Director of International Travel Programs for the Brighton Foundation when she was able to make travel abroad a staple in her life. Anna will be taking the LadyBugOut mission out to the community, talking directly to schools and families about the importance and complexity of disaster preparedness for kids.
Lt. Gen (Ret) Paul K. Carlton Jr., MD
Paul K. Carlton, one of our esteemed advisors, is the Director to the Office of Innovations and Preparedness for The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center and previously served as the Surgeon General of the Air Force. He conceptualized and implemented the first flying ambulance for the Air Force and commanded the 1702nd Air Refueling Wing Contingency Hospital during Desert Storm. His vision for medical care in the combat zone had directly led to our current best survival in the history of warfare. Now, the General will apply his deep Military medical response expertise towards the safety and survival of children and families with us at LadyBugOut.
"Contemplating what we fear most is not natural or comfortable for any of us. Catastrophic events are occurring with increasing frequency so unfortunately, we can’t ignore it. LadyBugOut is easing these fears and preparing families in a meaningful way.”
Susan Ko, PhD
Susan’s extensive experience as a psychologist spans two decades of work with children, young adults, and parents both in clinical and educational settings. As the Co-Managing Director of the National Center for Child Trauma Stress for 13 years, Susan was a leader in improving access to trauma-focused assessment through services, products, and systems of change. For Susan, working with children and families has been at the heart of her professional life for her entire career. She has repeatedly encountered parents who want to be the best parents they can be, but who do not know how or are afraid to have “those” conversations with their children—about sex, drugs, and danger of all sorts. Susan is integral to developing LadyBugOut products and communication strategies to guide parents in keeping their children physically and emotionally safe.
"A product for disaster preparedness that is kid-focused is an essential step towards empowering kids with knowledge, plans, and strategies. Clearly, in today’s world, there is no doubt that there is a need.”
Dr. Maria Hart, DO
Maria is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician and US Air Force veteran, with training in disaster response and mass casualty situations. She was a Flight Surgeon at Shaw AFB, Kunsan AFB, and was deployed to Bagram AB and Afghanistan with the 79th FS. She is a member of American College of Emergency Physicians, American Medical Association, and American Osteopathic Association. Spending her career saving lives in the ER and out in field missions has trained her to anticipate and prepare for the worst possible scenarios. This, of course, has translated to her parenting making safety and readiness a priority in her household, even for the smallest cuts and bruises. Maria brings her professional and mom experiences to LadyBugOut’s products and education to prepare families for disasters small and large.
Dr. Holly Hunter
Holly is a clinical psychologist with an emphasis in health psychology. As a leader in the Air Force outpatient mental health team, she is trained in trauma, resilience, and disaster management. When she was deployed to Baghdad and Iraq, she served as a team chief for disaster mental health, focusing on psychological interventions to soldiers at FOB Stryker. In addition to her work with soldiers and future operators, Holly is a mother to two daughters and two sons. Holly brings soft and hard skills to for managing with stress and building grit and mental resilience in both children and adults.
“We need to raise capable kids. Empowering our children brings strength and resiliency to families.”
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
Grace, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, has worked in nutrition for over 15 years in clinical, outpatient, civilian and military services. Grace’s specialties are disordered eating, autoimmune diseases, research and functional nutrition. A military vet, Grace is currently a Nutritional Medicine Officer for the United States Air Force Reserve in Arizona. Grace’s brings her expertise to ensure LadyBugOut products are the top quality and follow recommended dietary guidelines tailored for each family members’ needs.
Kristin’s 25 years as an Air Force Medical Service Corps officer to include being commander and 16 years as a Physical Education teacher inform how she sees emergency preparedness, but being a new mom makes everything more personal. She is a teacher through and through and believes knowledge empowers, especially in emergency situations when safety and security is at stake. Kristin is key to designing the LadyBugOut curriculum and drills to ensure our families are prepared during crisis.
“People don’t know what they don’t know. LadyBugOut is ripping off the blinders and increasing the safety and security of our families.”
Beth is the director of a preschool that encourages resilience in children, and provides an environment for them to think, act, and create on their own terms. Beth takes her job in caring for children seriously, which is why she approached LadyBugOut about disaster planning for her school. She brings the perspective of attending to the psychological and physical needs of groups of children in unexpected situations, especially when kids’ preferred security supply – their parents – isn’t with them.
“The more people of all ages are prepared for unexpected and difficult challenges in life, the more we are all empowered to keep ourselves and others safe and happy.”
As a new mother with an extensive background in disaster planning LadyBugOut founder, Linda Mansolillo, searched the market for something to give her little girl for disaster planning with no success. Everything she found lacked comfort or focus on her daughter’s specific needs and discounted her emotional needs by being either too utilitarian or too scary.
Because of this experience, Linda founded LadyBugOut to deliver disaster solutions focused on the needs of children. She brought together a team of experts who are mothers, and like Linda, trained in disaster planning for the military. Our team has intimate experience in disaster planning, child psychology, medicine, nutrition, and education. Together we have created a program, products, and resources to guide parents through disaster planning in a holistic way.
LadyBugOut helps families conquer the scary stuff together.