Guest Blog from Jen Miller and Zach Miller (Co-Founder of Redfora)
Six years ago, my then boyfriend Zach and I experienced a relatively mild earthquake living in San Francisco. Despite it not being a major quake, it was a big awakening for both of us. We realized we didn’t have everything we needed in case of disaster and many of our friends didn’t either. That experience was the inspiration to found The Earthquake Bag and Redfora and with research, planning, and testing we were feeling confident we had everything we needed.
But when I became pregnant with our first child, we discovered being ready for anything as a family with small children requires something different. I wasn’t even sure where to start, our emergency supplies would help, but most were not appropriate for an infant. After a lot of research and iteration, I came up with a great system that has worked for our family which has now grown to 4.
Have no fear, most moms have almost all of the items necessary for an infant emergency kit, most can be found in your diaper bag. The key is to have a separate bag where you know there is dedicated emergency supplies. This will prevent you from being caught with an empty bag that has been picked through.
What to Include
Food: Even if you are breastfeeding, have backup formula in your kit. No one wants to think about it, but there is a chance you may be separated from your infant and they will need to eat. There are ready to use formula bottles or you can add dry formula powder, you just need to make sure you have water ready to go as well! You also want to make sure you have a bottle ready to go for whatever route you take.
If you end up separated and you are breastfeeding – make sure you add a portable breast pump to your emergency kit or your infant kit. A small silicon manual pump will be a huge help in a pinch.
Diapers, Wipes, changing pad: Have more than you think you should have. A baby can be in day-old clothing, but they cannot stay in a day-old diaper! Pro tip: don’t forget to have a waste bag of some sort or make sure your family’s emergency kit includes waste bags so you can dispose of used diapers appropriately.
Clothing: Make sure you have at least one change of clothing ready to go, and don’t be afraid to get one size up. Kids grow like weeds so you don’t want to be caught off guard with clothing that is too small.
Comfort Items/Toys: Buy a backup favorite toy. After an emergency, it could be the tiny things that help us cope and get through tough situations. Having a backup favorite toy, blanket or book could make a big difference for kids in an emergency.
Baby Carrier/Sling: You may be in a situation where you need to leave your home quickly and you may not be able to take your car. Have a carrier or sling handy so you can walk and stay comfortable.
As mentioned above, kids grow very quickly so their needs will change. Set a monthly calendar reminder to check your kit. This will help to ensure food has not expired, clothing & diapers still fit, and the bag itself has not been picked through.
Where to Store?
Long story short, store the bag with your family’s emergency kit. Ideally this is a place where the bag can be grabbed at a moment's notice as you are leaving your home. Under a bench near the front door is where we store our Emergency Kits.
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