As an adult you have the right to make choices for yourself. That means you can even bury your head in the sand and pretend that disasters will not affect you personally. Once you become a parent things change. Now you have a little bundle of joy to look out for. All of a sudden those disasters you’ve been ignoring seem real – and more likely to occur.
Let me assure you, the first step to overcoming overwhelm is preparedness. New moms prepare for disasters long before they happen. When the disaster strikes (and it surely will), these 5 tips will help you have confidence with an infant in a disaster.
This post is part of the National Preparedness Month Challenge. Be sure and check out the links below. #30DaysofPrep
It’s that simple. I know I say this a lot, but you can’t prepare for a disaster if you don’t know what you’re facing. You have got to understand how the chemicals in the industrial park half a mile away will affect your family if there is a fire in the warehouse. You need to know if there are any hazardous materials being transported on the train that passes through town, and you need to know if you live in hurricane, earthquake, or wildfire country. See 9 Steps to Finding Your Local Disasters for a checklist to use.
Make a Plan.
I don’t know about you, but for me planning brings calm into my life. While it may not be possible to plan for every disaster, you sure can get a good jump on it. Winging it is not an emergency plan!
Your plan for surviving a disaster with an infant will include these strategies:
- // An emergency kit for everyone in the house. Including the baby (see below)
- // A communication plan so you can check in with loved ones during and after a disaster.
- // An evacuation plan from your home. Where will you meet if there is a fire? Talk about who will get baby if there’s a fire and include that in your fire escape plan.
- // Plans for meeting up with your family if you are separated when the disaster hits. What will you do if the older kids are at school, your husband is at work, you are out shopping and there is an earthquake or tornado? Who gets baby from daycare or who’s coming to help you?
- // Share your plans with everyone; helper, spouse, grandparents, daycare and school. Each needs to be in the loop and have a printed copy along with out of state contact information.
Find a disaster buddy.
You need someone who can help you evacuate, especially if you have other small children. Look for someone close by that can stay with you for moral and emotional support after a disaster. Neighbor or close by family? It’s great to think hubby will be there, but if he’s at work, that could be difficult for him to do. Form your alliances now!
Make a simple emergency kit for your infant.
Dont be afraid to start small. Even this small kit will give you one up in an emergency. The minimum that you decide to pack will depend on your climate and personal preference, but consider these ideas:
- // Disposable Diapers – enough for 5 days, just to be safe
- // Baby wipes
- // 96 ounces of bottled water and powdered formula
- // OR ready made formula
- // Bottles and nipples
- // Extra change of clothing
- // Emergency blanket
- // Receiving blanket
- // Baby carrier so you can be hands free
- // Pacifier
If you are breastfeeding, make sure you have enough water to be properly hydrated. You also need to have extra protein in your personal emergency kit. Consider almonds or other good for you protein bars. You will have covered the basic necessities with this minimalist kit – food, water, cleanliness, and warmth. All these items can be stored in your own emergency kit until you are ready to put together a bigger kit.
Remember to rotate this infant kit more frequently than a regular kit. Babies grow fast and the clothing you packed today will be outgrown in a few months.
Take Baby Steps on the rest.
I’m a big proponent of putting your kits together frugally. The other items listed in the infant 72-hour kit post are good to have and will certainly make surviving a disaster with a baby easier. These should be added as you have the time, energy, and budget. You may want to add them gradually to your own kit or make another one just for baby.
Remember you only have two arms, so plan now for how you will carry baby, your kit and the infant kit. Maybe a roller suitcase is a good fit?
September is National Preparedness Month and I’m participating in the #Prep4Moms twitter chat that is scheduled for September 3rd from 1-2pm Eastern Time. It’s sponsored by PHE.gov*. I hope you’ll join us and find some other ways that new moms can prepare for disasters.
The topics we’ll be discussing include:
- How can I keep my baby and I safe and healthy during a disaster?
- How do I know if something is wrong while pregnant and I need a doctor? What risks increase during a disaster?
- How can I plan to feed my baby safely during a disaster? Does breastfeeding make a difference?
- How can I best plan to cope with a chronic condition, pregnancy complications or the special needs of my child in a disaster?
- Disasters can be particularly stressful for pregnant women and new moms. How can they cope?
Please come and share your ideas to help moms prepare for a disaster with infants. If you find this post after the event is finished, I will post a link to the ideas we discussed here.
*PHE.gov provides information on public health emergency preparedness, response & recovery.
September is National Preparedness Month and The Prepared Bloggers are at it again!
It’s safe to say that our ultimate goal is to help you have an emergency kit, a family plan, and the knowledge to garden, preserve your harvest and use useful herbs every day – without spending a ton of money to do it. Luckily that’s obtainable for every family and a journey we would love to help you with.
This year we have posts about food storage, 72-hour Kits & Bug Out Bags, and every aspect of preparedness, from water storage to cooking off grid. You’ll also find many ideas to help you be more self-reliant. Look for information on the big giveaway we’ve put together for later in the month.
Be sure to visit our sites and learn as much as you can about being prepared. We’ll be using the hashtag #30DaysOfPrep for these and many other ideas throughout the month of September, so join in the conversation and make 2015 the year you become prepared.