If babies or children are part of your immediate or extended family, your Ready Kits and Family Emergency Plan should plan for their care. Pack materials and food they will need, and don’t forget to include items that will help comfort them. A weather or emergency situation can be very scary for young children.
For your Ready Kits, pack:
- Infant Nutrition: nursing supplies, formula, pre-packaged baby food, bottles and nipples, powdered milk
- Medical Needs: infant/child fever reducer, rash ointment, any necessary medications
- Comfort Items: stuffed animal, doll, pacifier, blanket
- Personal Hygiene: baby wipes, diapers, nursing pads
- Children’s Activities: books, puzzles, games
- Medical Records: A medical condition or special need can be difficult to manage during a hazard. Get copies of and maintain electronic and printed versions of all health records. Health and Human Services has an online tool to help locate and access electronic health records from a variety of sources. Visit: healthit.gov/bluebutton.
For your Family Communications Plan, include:
- Family meet-up location: Pick a safe spot to meet, if separated, such as a local school or library
- Day care and school plans: Determine how to handle reuniting, if children are in school or day care. Discuss emergency protocols with your school principal or day care provider, and program any important contact information into your mobile phone. Keep a printed copy of this contact list in your Ready Kit.
- Out-of-town contact: Determine a contact person who any family member could call in case of any emergency. Ideally, this person would be far enough away that they would not be affected by the pressing situation.
Most important, involve children who are old enough in the planning process. Answer their questions and allay their fears. Find online resources to support you in making emergency preparedness fun, such as the American Red Cross “Monsterguard” app or FEMA’s www.ready.gov/kids/games.
Keep copies of your Family Communication Plan in children’s binders, backpack, or lunchbox for easy retrieval. Let children know that if the unexpected does happen, stay calm and listen to directions from their teachers, emergency officials, or other adults who are in charge.
For additional resources on emergency planning for infants and children, visit:
- Emergency Preparedness Infant and Young Child Care and Feeding (California Dept of Public Health)
- www.ready.gov/kids (FEMA)
- www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/children (American Red Cross)