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My Paranoia: Do You Have An Emergency Preparedness Plan?

By Naomi Odes |

Baby disaster preparedness kit

Do you have a plan?

Ever since the Japan earthquake/tsunami/nuclear fallout last week I’ve been riddled with anxiety. I do live in Los Angeles, California, the earthquake capital of the United States. Ok, perhaps it’s a battle with San Francisco, but whatever. We’re both in (the fault) line for “The Big One.”

When I moved to L.A. I used to wake up in the middle of the night, thinking an earthquake could just happen. At the time I was single and living alone on the second floor of a rickety apartment building in Hollywood. My disaster preparedness plan consisted of going into a doorway. I might’ve had some bottled water and a flashlight. Somewhere.

When I had one baby, I experienced a couple of pretty substantial earthquakes that went on long enough for me to be thoroughly freaked out. I went through a phase where I stocked up on a few items in case of a disaster, but I haven’t renewed that stash or checked on it in a long time.

Really, we’ve never actually discussed our actual ‘plan’ for what we’d do in case of an emergency. The other night, I looked at T and presented a scenario: What would we do in the event of an earthquake now that we have two small children?

The best we could come up with was to grab the kids and duck under the dining room table.. Actually T’s dillusion is that we’d pile everyone onto his motorcycle and get outta dodge: Shnook would go on the gas tank and Fuzz would be in a backpack on me.

Sound like a plan?

I figured it was time to do a little research.

First of all, I’m going to take a C.E.R.T. training class. C.E.R.T. stands for Community Emergency Response Team. This should help me feel more secure in my disaster preparedness. However, until that class starts, I’ve downloaded this lengthy PDF about how to prepare for an earthquake and its aftermath. Looking through it is making me a little more anxious, especially with visions of family members catching on fire, etc. However, I feel in this case the ‘ignorance is bliss’ theory is kind of null and void, don’t you agree? It’s not just about me anymore.

Additionally, there are disaster kits you can purchase online for babies and families, like the one pictured above. These kits might make the planning a little easier.

Whether you live in earthquake country, a frequent hurricane path or a tornado zone–Are you prepared for an emergency in your house?

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About Naomi Odes


Naomi Odes

Naomi Odes Aytur is a blogger who's contributed on the parenting channel of Babble. She chronicles her experiences of being a new mom on her personal website, I Am Still Awake. Read bio and latest posts → Read Naomi's latest posts →

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7 thoughts on “My Paranoia: Do You Have An Emergency Preparedness Plan?

  1. Alicia says:

    Actually, I went through this a few years ago when I was struck by fears of a flu pandemic. After shopping online and reading about it, I became overwhelmed by the impossibility of finding any place in my house with space to store enough water (it’s a LOT) and food (it’s a LOT…) unless I bought a hugely expensive cache of freeze-dried, powdery stuff. Eventually the flu fears subsided and I pushed it to the back of my mind. Living in the D.C. area, we have actually discussed what we’d do if a biological or nuclear attack happened in the city while my husband was there at work and I was at home in the suburbs and we lost communication (we chose a remote meeting point). I was in lower Manhattan on 9/11 and we lost the ability to call people on the phone, so this was uppermost in my mind. Beyond that…I’m helpless. Hoping for no new fault lines in Virginia!

  2. Lauren says:

    Yes! We have 72 hour kits in backpacks, although they need to be updated, but they have water bottles, food, flashlights, copies of important documents, etc.

    We also recently purchased about six-months worth (for our family of five) of canned food (wheat, rice and beans, dried fruit and milk, etc.) from Costco, in addition to the extra rice, beans, tuna, pasta, and canned goods I keep on hand.

    We still need to work on a large supply of water at home. We have a 14-day supply but nothing beyond that.

    The Red Cross has some great resources. I hope everyone will learn from these natural disasters and be prepared.

  3. Sarah says:

    We set up earthquake kits about a year and a half ago with go-bag backpacks for each of us, plus a larger stay-in-the-house kit in case we’re trapped for several days, BUT we haven’t maintained any of them. In fact, “re-visit Spencer’s earthquake kit” has been on my to do list for months seeing as how none of the extra clothes, food, formula is appropriate any more. I must get on this. Thanks for the inspiration.

    P.S. “Make a fire escape plan” has similarly been on the to do list for months. As Morgan says planning for these things is either the very most important thing on our to do list or the least important, the problem is we don’t know which.

  4. Danielle says:

    Make sure you have enough canned food and water to get through 3-5 days. A tent in case you have to sleep in the backyard. Flashlights and candles. Toilet paper.

    By the way, not to freak you out, but I did read that the next “big one” in California is projected to be on the San Andreas fault in So Cal in the next 30 years (me and my family live on the San Andreas fault in Nor Cal). The good news…incapable of being as big as the Japan earthquake, and no tsunami threat. The nuclear power plants down there will withstand it. But, there might be interrupted water supply for months. So, maybe a road trip to some other part of the country might also be in your plan.

    1. Naomi says:

      These are all great suggestions! Thanks guys!

      @Danielle, I can only hope that we will conveniently be in our East Coast locale (summertime) when the big one hits.

  5. Haley says:

    I have an infant I need to make a kit for. But I don’t want to pack away a ton of formula in it. I keep quite a bit on hand in our pantry. But in worst case, what if we run out of it, can i put something else in her kit, such as ingredients to make it? I’ve heard you can make formula with canned milk? Anyone know anything about this?

  6. Anoosh says:

    Glad you posted this, Naomi. I am meaning to get on it, and just haven’t done it! Thanks for the resources.

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