Do Your Kids Suffer From NDD?

Back in 2005, an American author named Richard Louv created the term Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD) in his book Last Child in the Woods. The hypothesis is that many of the problems children face today, such as obesity and attention deficit disorder, are linked to a lack of time spent outdoors.

I don’t think much of an argument can be made against the idea that kids today spend far less time out in the woods and in backyards compared to generations past. Children in America today are generally much less physically active than even their parents were, let alone going further back in time.

Louv believes part of this stems from parents becoming ever more protective of their children. Due to things like “stranger danger,” parents are more and more inclined to keep their children indoors, where they can keep a close eye on them. This is coupled with a steady decline in wilderness areas even available to children. When kids are taken or allowed to visit a place like a National Park, the first thing we tell them is they can look but don’t touch.

Now granted, times have changed but back when I was a kid, which wasn’t all that long ago, I spent endless hours in the forests near my home. It was not at all uncommon in the summer for me to be up with the sun and out in the woods as soon as I could get dressed. The neighbor kids and I built countless forts, played Army, and tracked animals all day long. We’d stop briefly for a quick lunch, and be back home again at dinner.

While NDD isn’t a recognized disorder, I think there is some merit to the theory. My children, fortunately, love to play outside. Seems like there is always a football game going in the backyard. My two younger sons particularly like finding toads and such, making little habitats for them. We go in spurts with teaching them outdoor skills too, like building snow shelters in winter or getting a fire going without matches or a lighter.

Encourage your children to get off the computer, put down the cell phone, and just get outside for a bit each day. Go for walks in forests or parks near your home. Show them how to listen to nature and decipher what it is telling them. Sure, they’ll complain about it now but they’ll thank you later.

Four More Years

Well, the dust has (mostly) settled and we have Obama in the White House for another four years.

Naturally, Facebook and other social media sites are abuzz with folks griping, worrying, and outright panicking.

Here are my suggestions as to what to do about the election results.

1) Keep prepping.
2) Pay close attention to the world around you.
3) Do your own homework and make decisions based on facts, not rumors or conspiracy theories.

The thing is though, my advice would be the same no matter who had won yesterday’s Presidential election. The reality is, it doesn’t matter much who occupies the Oval Office when it comes to prepping. Natural disasters don’t check in with Washington D.C. before striking. Pandemics could happen on anyone’s watch. Terrorists hate America no matter who’s running the show.

Give yourself today, and today only, to vent any frustration you may be feeling. Go a round or two with a heavy bag. Yell, scream, holler. Stomp your feet and have a good, old fashioned tantrum if that is what it takes. Get it all out of your system.

Then, take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Do it again and then a third time. In with the good air, out with the bad air.

Come tomorrow morning, business as usual. Inspect your preps and start filling gaps. Make a list of skills you feel you need to learn and plan how you will learn them. If thus far you’ve only been prepping for the very short-term, such as a power outage, look to expand your planning, just in case.

Keep on keepin’ on. This isn’t the end of the world, though some folks feel you can see it from here.

72 Hours Isn’t Enough!

For quite some time, FEMA, Red Cross, and other agencies have advocated families to put together 72 hours worth of food and supplies in case of disaster.

Ok, we’re well past 72 hours since Hurricane Sandy made her appearance out on the East Coast. There are still millions of people without power, without food, without potable water. I’m hearing several reports of violence, looting, and people getting desperate.

Folks, 72 hours is nowhere near enough. If anything, that 72 hour guideline should be seen as nothing more than a good start. Aim for two weeks at a minimum. A two week supply should cover you for just about anything short of a major catastrophe. In the case of Hurricane Sandy, as well as past hurricanes like Katrina, even two weeks probably won’t suffice.

Remember to plan on satisfying all your basic needs:

–Potable water
–First aid and prescription meds
–Safety and defense
–Boredom relievers

For water, the rule of thumb is one gallon of water per person per day. So, a family of four will need 56 gallons of water for that two week period. That’s a lot of water to expect to gather up just before a disaster hits. Plan ahead and stock up. Don’t forget purification equipment in case you need to use rainwater or water from a questionable source.

With food, concentrate on things are ready-to-eat and require little or no prep. Canned goods are generally your first line of defense. Make sure you plan for a means to heat food in case you’re not able to use your stove top or microwave. Gas and charcoal grills are great, but don’t try to use them indoors of course.

Consider using this event as an educational tool as well. Talk to your family and friends about the importance of being prepared. Pull up photos from the East Coast showing people standing in those mile-long lines for just an MRE or a gallon of gas.

Sandy should hopefully serve as a wake up call to many people who have up until now disregarded any thoughts of disaster readiness.