If you have a new baby in the house you are likely consumed with late nights, feedings, diaper changes, gurgles, coos and all of the joys a new baby brings. Simply leaving the house can seem to take forever, since you now need to make sure you have all your supplies for baby, even if you are just going out for a few hours. What if you had to leave home quickly in an emergency? Would you have everything you needed for baby?
You might already have a Grab’and’Go Survival Kit
for your home, but babies and toddler have unique needs when it comes to a survival situation, so packing a baby kit to add to your Survival Kit is essential. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money, and most things you probably already have at home. Many things can be picked up at a dollar store or in the travel/samples size section of the drugstore. You can even think of it as an extended diaper bag. Here are some suggestions for a stand-alone baby survival kit for evacuations or to toss in the car when you’re going somewhere where you might unexpectedly get stuck spending the night (just remember that if you do use the supplies, replace them as soon as you get home so it’s ready for a real emergency):
- Clothing: socks, hat, 2 sleepers, a onesie and a sweater (you can layer all of these if necessary). You can pack the clothes in a large Ziploc bag or vacuum pack them with a vacuum-seal bag to make the packages smaller. You’ll need to change the clothes frequently at first (every 3 months) and then less frequently thereafter.
- Diapers: Lots of diapers – I have a week’s supply, so you might want to vacuum pack these so they take up less space! Like clothes, you’ll need to change this stash every 3-6 months as well. Even if you cloth diaper baby, put disposables in your emergency kit in case you are without water for washing. I also keep 3 basic prefold cloth diapers and a one-size cover with a bit of washing powder in my kit, in case I run out of disposable diapers.
- Baby care & cleaning: travel baby soap, lotion, wipes, a few washcloths, small bottle of hand sanitizer, packet of tissue
- First aid items: sunblock, mini first aid kit, instant cold compress, infant ibuprofen, scratch mitts, hand warmers
- Feeding: bottles, bowls with lids, spoons, a washable bib. You’ll want to add your favorite infant formula and as the baby gets to solids, add a box of baby cereal and/or some dehydrated (you can make it yourself!) baby food along with your formula. Put formula in the kit even if you are nursing–What if dad is the one home with baby when they need to evacuate and you can’t meet up until a day or two later? Baby still needs to eat.
- Comfort items: a few small toys and a couple of blankets (also ziplocked). I keep one cotton blanket and one fleece blanket (dries quickly) in my kit.
- Water: add a few bottles of water to mix the baby formula (you need something to re-constitute the formula and dry baby food
- Plastic bags: for dirty diapers, wet clothes, etc.
- Name Tag & Photo: Put your name and phone number on the tag as well as any allergies. Also include a photo of baby to show in case you are separated.
Be sure to keep your baby’s kit with your Grab and Go Bag, and keep a carrier or sling with the kit. In an emergency you want to have your hands free to carry anything else (in our case, holding hands with a preschooler and a dog on a leash!) In our house, we keep our kit and Ergo Carrier all together in the front hall closet. Happy preparing!
Emergency Preparedness Week 2012 marks the 17th annual event. Here are some interesting facts to mark 17 years of getting better prepared for emergencies.
- Roughly 5,000 earthquakes are recorded in Canada every year.
- Canada gets more tornadoes than any other country except the U.S., averaging about 50 tornadoes per year.
- The worldwide cost of natural disasters has skyrocketed from $2 billion in the 1980s, to $27 billion over the past decade.
- Canada's first billion dollar disaster, the Saguenay flood of 1996, triggered a surge of water, rocks, trees and mud that forced 12,000 residents to evacuate their homes.
- Some hailstones are the size of peas while others can be as big as baseballs.
- Approximately 85% of Canadians agree that having an emergency kit is important in ensuring their and their family's safety, yet only four in ten have prepared or bought an emergency kit. However, you can buy a Beesafe kit or find out how to make your own.
- In 2011, flooding in Manitoba and Saskatchewan featured the highest water levels and flows in modern history. Over 11,000 residents were displaced from their homes.
- Ice, branches or power lines can continue to break and fall for several hours after the end of an ice storm.
- The deadliest heat wave in Canadian history produced temperatures exceeding 44ºC in Manitoba and Ontario in 1936. Rail lines and bridge girders twisted, sidewalks buckled, crops wilted and fruit baked on trees.
- In 2007, the Prairies experienced 410 severe weather events including tornadoes, heavy rain, wind and hail, nearly double the yearly average of 221 events.
- The coldest temperature reached in North America was –63ºC, recorded in 1947 in Snag, Yukon.
- The largest landslide in Canada involved 185 million m3 of material and created a 40m deep scar that covered the size of 80 city blocks in 1894 at Saint-Alban, Quebec.
- Hurricanes are bigger and cause more widespread damage than tornadoes (a very large system can be up to 1,000 kilometres wide).
- 85% of Canadians agree that having an emergency plan is important in ensuring their and their family's safety, yet on only 40% have prepared one. Complete yours online at www.GetPrepared.ca.
- One of the most destructive and disruptive storms in Canadian history was the 1998 ice storm in Eastern Canada causing hardship for 4 million people and costing $3 billion. Power outages lasted for up to 4 weeks.
- The June 23, 2010 earthquake in Val-des-Bois, Quebec produced the strongest shaking ever experienced in Ottawa and was felt as far away as Kentucky in the United States.
- Using non-voice communication technology like text messaging, email, or social media instead of telephones takes up less bandwidth and helps reduce network congestion after an emergency.
Mark your calendars for 10:20 a.m. on October 20, 2011, when British Columbians will "Drop, Cover, and Hold On
" in The Great British Columbia ShakeOut,
the largest earthquake drill in Canadian history! Register
to participate and be counted!
Earlier this year, more than 470,000 people participated in the first BC ShakeOut. The drill will be on the third Thursday of October annually. (Why October?
I didn't feel the earthquake that struck off the coast of Vancouver Island this afternoon
, but some of you who live in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island sure did! Thankfully no injuries or significant damage have been reported, but it does remind us all that now is as good a time as any to sit down with our families, review our emergency plans (what? no emergency plan? We know it feels hard, but it's not - get one here
:) and make sure we are as prepared as possible. How do you prepare? Check out some of our useful links and tips
and make sure you have supplies or a 72 Hour Kit