by Donna Bucciarelli, RN, Beaumont trauma prevention coordinator, Safety City U.S.A.
The events in Oklahoma have demonstrated how important it is to have a plan for your family in the event of an emergency, weather or otherwise.
To get you started, here is a list of essentials to pack for your child(ren) in case you and your family need to leave your home in a hurry:
- 2-week supply of prescription medication and OTC supplements
- toothbrush and toothpaste
- soap, wipes and hand sanitizer
- toilet paper and tissues
- band-aids and antibiotic ointment
- change of socks, underwear, t-shirts (2 each)
- bottled water or Gatorade-type drinks
- radio or MP3 player (preferably crank/self-chargeable type)
- small flashlight (preferably crank/self-chargeable type)
- deck of playing cards, travel games, a book
- notebook/pad of paper
- snacks (non-perishable, high energy foods like nuts, granola bars, fruit snacks, trail mix, peanut butter crackers, animal crackers)
Young children may not comprehend or may be worried about the need to plan or pack for an unexpected emergency, so try your best to calm their fears and explain that this is being done only as a precaution.
Make your planning and packing a family project. Go to a store that carries travel-size items which are the perfect size for this kit. Remember to rotate out perishable items every 3 months (especially medications, snack items, check for expiration dates on drinks and batteries).
In the event of a disaster, your family may not be together, so including a list of names and phone numbers of family and friends (local and out-of-town) is an important item to pack as well.
FEMA has provided a lot of additional details for dealing with and planning for a variety of natural disasters.