Do you ever wonder if preparing for an uncertain future is really worth it?
If someone spends a lot of time purchasing and stockpiling emergency supplies but never needs them, they might think it’s not.
But two young girls – and their families – will never have those thoughts go through their heads.
Recently a 5-year-old girl and her 8-year-old sister were lost in the California woods for 44 hours. But because they’d had survival training, they knew what to do. And what not to do. They were able to stay alive until found.
4-H training helped them survive
William Honsal is with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. Here’s what he said about the girls’ ordeal.
“One point four miles away from their house and this was rugged territory,” he said. “This is an extreme environment, and how they were out there for 44 hours is pretty amazing.”
According to local police, the outdoor survival training they had received from their 4-H club may have helped them survive.
The girls, who lost their voices yelling for help, survived by taking cover in a huckleberry bush and drinking water from its leaves. They understood that accessing water was more important than trying to gather food.
Boot prints and granola bar wrappers
The girls’ parents said it is common for the girls to play unsupervised on their 80-acre property in a rural town about 200 miles north of San Francisco. This time, though, the girls wandered too far away and ended up in unfamiliar territory.
The terrified parents spent nearly two full days looking for their children. Along with some 250 volunteers.
Rescuers who saw a trail of boot prints and granola bar wrappers found the girls cold and dehydrated. And greatly relieved to be discovered. The girls were immediately provided with warm clothes and water.
“They saved each other,” their mom said. “I’m the proudest mom. I raised superheroes.”
Wilderness training program
4-H is a national youth organization that provides educational programs for kids. Including a wilderness training program that teaches children how to survive in extreme elements.
Its outdoors adventure initiative instructs kids on how to prepare meals while camping. And which items to take with you while hiking.
Among the activities children learn before completing the program are what to do when lost. And how to recognize weather patterns.
Once they finish the program, they are in a much better position to survive – and help others survive – than they were before.
One father whose kids are in a 4-H club said this. “The more we can educate our kids for those scary situations, hopefully the more it becomes just second nature to know how to respond to those scary situations.”
Preparing equals peace of mind
Preparing for an uncertain future is never a waste of time or money.
First of all, most if not all of us will have to deal with at least one emergency in our lives. And being prepared for it can make a huge difference.
But even if we have the good fortune of never needing our survival food, water and other supplies, we can rest easier knowing we have them ready.
And you can’t put a price on that kind of peace of mind.