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Hurricane Preparedness: What Moms Need To Pack In "Go Bag"

By Danielle Sullivan |

hurricane preparedness, hurricane preparedness kit, hurricane irene, hurricane irene path, hurricane irene track, weather

Katrina hit peak strength on August 28, 2005, and now Irene is set reach NYC the very same date, 6 years later.

As if the earthquake on Tuesday wasn’t enough to shake up stoic New Yorkers, the impending hurricane is doing its best to rattle some nerves. Summer 2011 has surely been interesting in the city, I can assure you. Now we are being told to batten down the hatches and brace ourselves for possible evacuation this weekend because Irene is on the way.

Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and New Jersey have already been declared states of emergency. New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s press conference this morning urging city residents to know what evacuation zone they are in and how to find their evacuation site didn’t help soothe fear, but it did highlight some important information we all should know.

For example, I didn’t even know I should have a “go bag”, let alone what should go in one. The items are mostly common sense (see below). I’d add some additional things for moms that while certainly not life and death items would help make an evacuation more bearable for the kids, such as a fully charged Nintendo DS and some games, a deck of cards, crayons and a small pad, not to mention a bunch of granola bars and fruit snacks. I also plan to charge every cell phone and laptop in the house to their fullest capacity.

And please, please make provisions for your pets. During Hurricane Katrina, hundreds of pets were lost, killed and left behind because they were not allowed to go with their owners to evacuation centers. Many owners stayed at home simply because they would not leave their pets. That’s something I relate to because I can’t fathom leaving my pets behind.

Here is the official list of what items we should have in light of Irene making her way to NYC and the eastern coast:

Emergency Supply Kit
Keep enough supplies in your home to survive on your own, or shelter in place, for at least three days. If possible, keep these materials in an easily accessible, separate container or special cupboard. You should indicate to your household members that these supplies are for emergencies only. Check expiration dates of food and update your kits when you change your clock during daylight-saving times.

One gallon of drinking water per person per day
Non-perishable, ready-to-eat canned foods and manual can opener
First aid kit
Flashlight*
Battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries (you can also buy wind-up radios that do not require batteries)
Whistle
Iodine tablets or one quart of unscented bleach (for disinfecting water ONLY if directed to do so by health officials) and eyedropper (for adding bleach to water)
Personal hygiene items: soap, feminine hygiene products, toothbrush and toothpaste, etc.
Phone that does not rely on electricity
Child care supplies or other special care items

 

Go Bag
Every household should pack a Go Bag – a collection of items you may need in the event of an evacuation. A Go Bag should be packed in a sturdy, easy-to-carry container such as a backpack or suitcase on wheels. A Go Bag should be easily accessible if you have to leave your home in a hurry. Make sure it is ready to go at all times of the year.

Copies of your important documents in a waterproof and portable container (insurance cards, photo IDs, proof of address, etc.)
Extra set of car and house keys
Credit and ATM cards and cash, especially in small denominations. We recommend you keep at least $50-$100 on hand.
Bottled water and non-perishable food such as energy or granola bars
Flashlight (Note: Traditional flashlight bulbs have limited lifespans. Light Emitting Diode (LED) flashlights, however, are more durable and last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs.)
Battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries
Keep a list of the medications each member of your household takes, why they take them, and their dosages. Medication information and other essential personal items. If you store extra medication in your Go Bag, be sure to refill it before it expires.
First-aid kit
Contact and meeting place information for your household, and a small regional map
Child care supplies or other special care items

Image: Wikipedia

Read more about preparing an emergency kit for your newborn

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About Danielle Sullivan

danielle-sullivan

Danielle Sullivan

Danielle Sullivan writes for Babble Pets. She is also an award-winning parenting writer, who authors a monthly column for NY Parenting and ASPCA Parents blog. You can read more of her work at her blog,Some Puppy To Love. Read bio and latest posts → Read Danielle's latest posts →

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