Emergency planning for split families

I briefly touched upon this topic about 15 months ago but wanted to revisit and expand on it a bit. I recently learned that an old buddy of mine is getting a divorce. The ugly details aren’t really relevant here, but I will say he’s an awesome dad and has always been faithful to his soon-to-be ex.

His pending split got me thinking again about split families and disaster planning. The thing is, I think very few of these families have given thought as to who will handle what if there comes to pass a major disaster. Now, I fully realize she may very well be a raging sack of crazy and he probably is just as much of an asshat as you think. But the fact remains that if you have any sort of shared custody arrangement with the kids, you’ll both need to work together on this.

For example, if there’s a big emergency, who picks up the kids from school? Whose house do they go to? Are there supplies, such as bug out bags, in place at each residence? What if it is a bug out situation and the kids are at your ex’s? Can or should the ex come along?

Communication is the key here. I understand that there may be readers out there for whom the split was at least partially because of an “obsession” with what the ex calls “doom and gloom.” In those cases, this discussion probably will be harder than for others. But, it still needs to happen.

Sit down with your ex, as well as with the kids, and talk about a few different “what if” scenarios. Make the decisions now, rather than in the heat of the moment during an emergency. Keep calm and rational and actually listen to any concerns that are brought up.

Remember, just because you don’t like your ex in a romantic sense anymore, they are still part of your child’s life. Plan accordingly.

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Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for SurvivalWeekly.com. He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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