Monday, March 31, 2014

Earthquake Safe!

Are you earthquake safe?  If you live in sunny southern california you may be asking yourself that exact question, given the string of small to medium earthquakes in the past few weeks.  The largest to hit the area was Saturday's 5.1 centered in La Habra (good old Orange County).

While I personally didn't feel any of them (nope, not a one despite being awake for all of them), it's a good reminder to get yourself squared away in case of an emergency.

The Red Cross has a fairly comprehensive list of items you should have in your emergency kit.  And while this list is a good starting point, there are some special things to consider when getting together your emergency kit for you and your kids.

1.  Security Items:  You know what these are.  For EG (my little Linus) it's her knit blanket or two.  Whenever she feels unhappy, unwell, or generally afraid it's her blanket that she reaches for.  Add to that her friend 'Ms. Monkey' and we can be a happy camper, even in the worst of circumstances.  When you plan for your emergency kit, I recommend getting an extra of whatever item it is your child may want (paci, blanket, toy, etc.) and putting one in the kit.

2. Clothing:  When you have children in diapers, I suggest you also pack extra clothing.  They suggest that you have enough food for 2-weeks, and I suggest that you split that in half and have enough clothing for your little one for at least a week.  As you pack these items, you want to think long term and layers.  For a newborn, pack 3 month outfits, and a 6 month coat.  For EG I'll be putting in 24 month and 2T items (since those will last her until she grows quite a bit!). That way you don't have to be constantly changing out items.

3. Food:  Those emergency rations may seem great when you are thinking about shelf-life and ease of transport.  But to your picky toddler who already only wants Pizza for dinner, they aren't going to make a dent in their dietary needs.  While it's possible to rationalize with a 5 year-old about how they need to eat something, it's not quite as easy with a 2 or 3 year old.  Think about getting some canned ravioli, etc.  While you might not serve it during a regular week, things like that can make a big difference for a child.  I also recommend shelf-stable milk.  I know it seems odd, but you can even buy organic...

4. Medications:  While I'm sure you've thought about antibacterial spray and lotion, the most important thing I think you need is Tylenol.  Even the 'deluxe family first aid kit' from the Red Cross only includes Asprin.  Asprin can cause Reye's syndrome.  So, stock up on children's tylenol.  It has a shorter shelf life than the pill form, but when push comes to shove for your toddler, Tylenol is the way to go.  Don't forget your handy dopper/measurement tool too!

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