Protecting Those Who Can’t Protect Themselves, Part I: Hurricane Safety for Babies

Our babies, our loved ones with health conditions, our furry friends—they depend on us to get them through hard times, and even supply their daily needs. When storms arise, you may wonder how best to protect those in your household that can’t protect themselves. This series of posts is for you.

We’ll start with the youngest members of the family, infants. Firstly, if you have any concern for your baby’s safety during an approaching storm, consider evacuating. Even if evacuation orders are not issued, if you feel your home wouldn’t be safe for your baby during the storm, trust your instincts. However, it’s wise to be prepared for anything, so we’ve compiled some tips to help you keep your little one safe in the storm.

 

Emergency Kit

Your infant’s emergency kit will be similar to your own in that it should include enough “survival items” to last at least three days. If possible, it should be packed in the same waterproof rolling container/suitcase as your own. This will prevent you from having to carry the kit as well as the baby should you need to evacuate. Your infant emergency kit should include:

  • Clothes and blankets
  • Copies of important documents, such as birth certificate, immunization records, doctors’ contact info
  • Large ziplock bags
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Diapers and wipes (lots!)
  • Diaper cream
  • Teething tabs/gel
  • Fever reducer
  • Pedialyte
  • Formula (powdered only!) if bottle-feeding, or baby food
  • Bottles—the more the better so you don’t have to worry about washing and sterilizing if unable
  • Water—at least 32oz per day, more if you know you’ll be sterilizing bottles

You know your baby better than anyone. If you feel there are items your little one would need in an emergency, add them to your list.

 

Useful Supplies

In addition to the above items in your infant emergency kit, there are a few things that, though not necessary for survival, can make the difficulty of a hurricane less stressful for you and your baby. These might include:

  • Battery-operated fan—To help your little one sleep if you are without air conditioning.
  • Baby wrap carrier—Not only can this keep baby close to you, hands free, it can also be extremely calming, as infants like to be close, especially in stressful situations.
  • Pacifier—even if you prefer not to use pacifiers for your baby, you may want to keep one on hand as sucking can be a means of comfort for an infant during times of stress.
  • Toys that double as teethers—if your infant is of teething age, throw a few chewable toys into the emergency kit as well.
  • Mosquito net—if you are without power after the storm, and thus without AC, you may need to sleep with open windows. If you don’t have screens, or if they’ve been damaged, a mosquito net may come in handy for your baby’s crib.

 

Special Instructions

As always, plan ahead. If you are pregnant, pack an infant emergency kit before your baby arrives, not after.  Also, be sure to keep your kit up-to-date; check it regularly to make sure baby’s clothes are not too small and all food and medicines are not expired. And finally, trust your instincts regarding your baby’s needs and safety. The above may be useful to you, but ultimately you know what’s best for your baby.