Emergencies happen every day which is why planning for them is crucial. At the beginning of 2014 when the ice storm hit Atlanta, we were all unprepared and a state of emergency was declared. After 9 hours to go 9 miles, my family and I made it home safely but this wasn’t everyone’s testimony.
I remember reading reports of babies being hungry because they didn’t have enough food or formula for them and people losing touch with loved ones because phones had died and people being stranded sleeping on hotel floors. While the storm wasn’t nearly the worst I’d been in–I’m a New Yorker after all–the lack of preparedness of the state left all of us in the state of emergency.
I was early in my pregnancy when this happened and honestly, I was nervous about everything that was happening. We had to leave our car on the side of the road and walk 2.5 miles in the ice and snow in fashion–not snow–boots. What if I slipped and fell? What if we didn’t make it to mini in time? I could “what if” until the cows came home (it’s safe for them here, we’re vegans) but instead of doing that, we got prepared.
Creating Your Emergency Bag
After almost being stranded with no food or water and my very pregnant self, we decided to create some emergency bags to keep in the trunks of our cars. Depending on your family construct the items in there will differ. Some standard things to include are:
Obvious but how many of us have this in our cars? And not the leftover bottles that are under your chairs half used. My personal preference is a case of bottled water that I snagged on sale since I don’t like sharing water–kids have no control on their backwash.
Yeah, you read right. The creepers loooooove to show their true colors during times of need so make sure both you and your family are protected.
No cans for us since what’s inside them are super messy and typically don’t taste good unless heated but some good snacks to keep in the car are peanut butter crackers, cereal bars, granola bars, dried fruit, and roasted nuts. There should be at least a 3-day supply.
The worst thing in the world is running out of battery on your phone and having no way of charging it. Or damaging your phone to the point of it not being usable–which has recently happened to me. Though we’ve done it for centuries, being without my phone and having 2 kids is one of the scariest things to me. Luckily I had the AT&T Go Phone when I lost use of my phone so that I could keep in touch with my husband as I did my running around with the kids. The best part about this phone was there was no difference in quality from when I used my regular phone. Quick tip: be sure to take it out of the packaging before being in an emergency or you’ll have a greater problem!
Swiss Army Knife
Who still has these right? Well I do! Mine also has a corkscrew because, well, priorities. But these are really useful a la Macgyver-style. While you may not be able to build a chair out of gum, you will be able to get out of some serious pickles.
Extra Sets of Clothes
For everyone because accidents do happen.
Stuff For Kids
While most of us travel with diaper bags and wipes, it’s best to have enough for about 3 days just in case. And fun things to occupy them because if the state of emergency doesn’t drive you crazy, their cabin fever surely will! Be sure to have the following in the car if you have littles:
First Aid Kit
Included with this you should have dust masks for everyone. Make sure that the first-aid kit is consistently stocked–you would hate to need a band-aid and not have one!
Sanitation… Need I say more?
While I’m hoping that this year we don’t experience any emergencies, if we do, we’ll be ready.
Here’s a handy dandy checklist to help make sure your emergency bag is packed: