Disaster Preparedness for Children
If you have kids, you need to make some additional considerations when preparing for a disaster. From specialty food items, such as baby formula, to something for the kids to do while waiting for help or restoration of services, you need to be creative.
Here are some must-have baby care items:
- Baby formula – Even moms who are nursing should stash some baby formula, just in case they are not able to continue breastfeeding after an emergency or are separated from their babies.
- Baby feeding supplies – Baby food, small spoons or a manual baby food mill to grind up canned food are important.
- Diapers and wipes – Consider three-days’ worth of diapers or cloth diapers you can re-use, and a similar stash of wipes. For children who are not far past the toilet training stage, consider diapers even if you think they are trained. Disasters can cause regression.
- Something to do – While you aren’t going to pack the entire toy room, you should consider some games, coloring books or other small playthings to keep the kids occupied.
- Something to eat – While it’s true that most kids will eat anything rather than starve, you don’t want your child languishing because he’s refusing to eat canned beans. Try to get creative and find some food items that your child would be willing to eat.
- Special stuffed animal or other comfort item – Do you have a spare of your child’s favorite comfort item? Put it in the emergency box, just in case.
Disaster Preparedness for Seniors or Disabled Individuals
Senior adults and those with disabilities have unique considerations in an emergency. Lack of mobility, for instance, can make getting to help difficult. Also, these individuals may have more medications and medical needs than others in your family. Here’s what you need to consider when packing for them:
- Extra doses of all prescription drugs, with details about how and when to take them.
- Extra water
- Mobility assistance devices (like a cane or walker)
- Batteries for hearing aids or other assistance devices
- Incontinence pads
- Special food to fit any dietary considerations
- List of needs, limitations and capabilities for the individual
Disaster Preparedness for Pets
Finally, when packing for your family, don’t forget your pets. They are just as much part of the family as you are. That’s why the Humane Society recommends you plan for their disaster kit as well as your own. Here’s what it should have:
- A recent photograph to help get your lost pet back
- Pet food and water for three days minimum
- Medical records
- Sturdy carriers, harnesses or leashes
- Cat litter supplies
- Garbage bags for collecting waste
- A safe bed