Hurricane preparation for parents: Since I have a hurricane baby (he was born during a hurricane, then we had another when he was 2 weeks old, then a few since then have come close to us), we’re pretty well used to preparing for storms with a little one. Always follow all the general advice, including:
- Keep a full gas tank, gas supplies may be low for several days afterward.
- Keep a few weeks worth of food and medicine and water in the house.
- Have a safe place in the house away from windows and outside walls.
- Keep a flashlight, batteries, blankets, cell phone, radio, and any other emergency items in a container in an easy-to-find place so you aren’t running around with no power trying to locate them.
The common advice to fill all available containers and tubs with water makes me very nervous with the little guy – please lock the bathroom door if you do this, little ones can be anywhere in a flash and it’s just not worth it. I usually fill up containers of water and freeze them, then fill up the teapot and things like that and keep them up high so I have the water, but don’t have to worry about him getting into it.
Here’s some other things to remember:
- Make sure you have at least 2 weeks worth of formula, bottled water, milk, or any other special beverage that your little one drinks. Lil’ Duck drinks only soy milk, so I have a stash of shelf-stable containers in the pantry (make sure you drink them before they expire though ).
- Also make sure to have clean water for washing and rinsing bottles/sippy cups, as you might not have a clean water supply afterwards.
- Diapers/wipes/teething medicine/etc – even if the storm is mild and you can get to the store soon afterward, the supplies may not be there because of the shipping disruption. This can take several days or even a few weeks to resolve, so it’s just easier to keep all the baby supplies (and regular food for that matter) stocked up a few weeks ahead.
- Charge your cell phones but keep a CORDED landline phone – even if you don’t have landline service, you can still use it to call 911 if necessary. Often even if the power and cable are out, the phone lines still work. Cell phones hardly ever work anytime during or after a storm, so don’t count on being able to use them.
If you might have to evacuate, keep a suitcase around and keep the important stuff in it as much as possible. Don’t forget the fun stuff – being stuck in the house, probably without power, for a few days is going to drive everyone crazy unless you plan ahead. If you leave your home for a safer place, bring favorite toys, familiar blankets, loveys, and plenty of snacks & drinks!