Must-Have Emergency Supplies for Babies and Young Children
Being Prepared for Emergencies With Kids
More and more, we are seeing natural and manmade disasters destroying the lives of families in the world. It is said that from 2017 and on, more of these events are to occur. Seeing and hearing about it so much, you would think everyone would be absolutely prepared if disaster were to strike. Yet, statistics say that very few people are truly prepared.
Are you prepared for a disaster? It is vital to have emergency supplies on hand for your family! Here are some ideas of what to have ready for young children or babies.
National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month in the U.S. is in September. It's also the best time to stock up on essentials since there are many sales for back to school/college. Find great deals on all sorts of necessities!
Emergency Kit Supplies
FEMA, on their site Ready.gov, has prepared a list of items a family should have in a kit in case of emergency. Those items include the basics: 3 gallons of water per person, non-perishable food, first aid kit, flashlight and other ‘recommended’ items like disposable cups, bowls or spoons (for the full list, check out Ready.gov). All well and good, but I have two children under the age of three at the moment, so I’d like to be extra prepared for their nutritional and sanitary needs.
Under their list of additional items to consider, FEMA includes the following in regards to children: infant formula and diapers, and books, games, or other activities for children. That’s it. As a mom, I can tell you that should not be it!
Buying Emergency Supplies
Shopping Tip: Each time you go shopping for your regular essentials, choose one thing off of the list to buy. Look for coupons or deals for each item. That way, you are not spending a lot of money in just one shopping trip and you are stocking up on the things you really need.
Emergency Water Supply
Every time you go grocery shopping, buy a gallon of water. One gallon is approximately $0.50-$1.00, so it's not a huge expensive as opposed to buying all of your essential water at the same time.
If you make 1 grocery trip a week, you will have 4 gallons of water in a month. In one year, you will have 52 gallons of water. If in an emergency every person needs 3 gallons of water to survive, each person in a family of four would have 13 gallons of water, which is more than four times the recommended amount.
Emergency Supply Lists
Thinking of a typical day with my children, I thought of all the items I would need to keep them healthy, safe and happy. Here’s a list for babies, toddlers, and young children:
1. Formula—powdered or premixed. I would store the premixed since it wouldn’t require extra water to mix it and it would lessen the chance of contamination/illness since it would be a one-time use item. Many of the formula brands have the smaller premixed bottles or containers that you simply open and put on a one-time use nipple on it. It would be a tad on the expensive side, but it doesn’t have to be bought all at once. (If you were/are able to breastfeed, this shouldn’t be an issue for you. Some, unfortunately, are unable to do so.)
2. Purified infant water. This can be used if powdered formula is used and for mixing with baby cereal and juice.
3. Baby cereal/food. This can be the standard cereal in the box or I recently came across freeze-dried baby food by NurturMe. NurturMe comes in small, environmentally friendly packets, so it is easy to store and is single use. You just mix it with water, formula or breast milk.
4. Maintenance fluids. I would say having a bottle or two of maintenance fluids, like Pedialyte, probably wouldn’t be a bad thing. If my children somehow had a stomach virus or became ill during a disaster, I’d like to be able to keep them hydrated. Water isn’t always recommended for babies since it could negatively affect their systems if given too much, but a tiny amount of Pedialyte would help balance their systems.The company even sells it powdered in small packets so it could be mixed with the purified water and not take up that much space.
5. Bottles, nipples, and sippy cups. These are necessary for fluid nourishment. If they need to be cleaned, they can be boiled for a few minutes in a small amount of water.
6. Diapers. These you can get in bulk and keep in a dry space. Keeping them in a plastic airtight container might be a good idea as well (Pampers sells some of theirs in plastic storage bins now…). Cloth diapers may not be such a good idea in a disaster since you may not have the ability to clean them as well, but it wouldn't hurt to have some of those on hand as well.
7. Diaper cream. I would not want to be dealing with diaper rash in the middle of a crisis. A tube or tub of the stuff would suffice.
8. Hand sanitizer. And plenty of it! Unless you’re in a shelter with a full sized stocked bathroom with soap and water, you might want to have some sanitizer with you. Think of the diapers you’ll be changing…
9. Thermometer. This might already be in a first aid kit, but it wouldn’t hurt to have one in case your little one feels warm.
10. Medicines, prescriptions or like a fever reducer. I know some parents may not agree, but I’ddefinitely want to have a fever reducer with me. Ear infections, teething, or other such maladies could cause children to have fevers. While the fever reducer won’t necessarily cure the illness, it would definitely help keep the children comfortable.
11. Extra clothes than recommended. FEMA recommends having a set or two extra of clothes, but I’d store more than that. Think of all the outfit changes you go through in just one day, and not because of the style! Diaper blowouts (ew, I know…), spit up—all the fun stuff that would cause a parent to changean outfit. Again, unless you have access to a laundry room, you won’t exactly be able to just wash the clothes you have. And don’t forget the outfits needed for the seasons! Hats, coats, shoes/boots…and the list goes on.
Extra Emergency Supplies
There are some items I wouldn’t necessarily store but have on hand or know where they are in case of emergency. Some parents might not even own some of these items, but if you do, you could consider:
1. Play yard. I have a dirt basement, and if that’s where I’ll be retreating in case of emergency, I don’t exactly want my children to sleep on the dirty, damp floor. Most models fold up easily (mine is currently in my living room for the baby) and don’t take up that much space.
2. Baby carrier/backpack. Again, a relatively easy to grab and use item. If for whatever reason my family had to travel by foot to a shelter or other such place, I’d like to have my baby backpack with me. It’d keep baby close and warm while freeing up my hands to carry other necessities.
3. Small, lightweight umbrella stroller. If in the event we need to travel by foot, having an umbrella stroller would be handy. If not used to transport the children, it can be used to transport other necessities.
4. Backpack/rolling suitcase. These can be used to store and transport items easily.
Be Prepared for a Disaster
- Have a basic family emergency kit
- Store items necessary for babies and young children to keep them nourished, healthy and safe
- Consider some useful extra baby/kid items
- Be prepared!
What Do You Have in Your Emergency Kit?
I might have missed some things. If you can think of anything else to add , let me know! Thanks :)
Do You Have an Emergency Kit?
Do you have an emergency supply kit ready to go?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Marissa