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Be prepared

Baby with vegetables

Pregnant women and parents of infants and small children have special needs during an emergency or disaster.

Planning an Emergency Kit

During and after catastrophic emergencies, expectant and new mothers can be more vulnerable than other family members. While every family should have an overall emergency response plan and go-kit, pregnant women and mothers with infants and small children need to be prepared for their own unique needs.

If you’re pregnant: The first step is to make a list of local or regional health care facilities that can provide prenatal care and obstetric services during and immediately following a disaster.

Next, put together a mother’s disaster preparedness kit with supplies for at least 72 hours. Use this checklist provided by California Department of Public Health:

Emergency kit for expectant mothers:

  • 10 blue disposable waterproof underpads
  • 6 packs of sterile lubricant
  • 2 plastic newborn cord clamps
  • Sterilized scissors
  • 12 alcohol prep pads, individually wrapped 
  • 1 plastic peri-bottle for post-partum cleansing
  • 1 or two hats for the newborn
  • 2 baby blankets
  • 1 dozen sanitary pads
  • 1 dozen sterile gauze pads
  • 1 bottle of peroxide
  • A neonatal thermometer
  • Prenatal vitamins plus any prescriptions for expectant mothers

Expectant mothers and mothers with infants and/or small children:

  • Nursing supplies, baby bottles, pre-mixed instant formula, prepared baby food, juice pouches, powdered milk, canned food and prepackaged age-appropriate snacks.
  • Purified drinking water
  • Cooling/thermal food bag to either warm up or cool down breast milk or baby formula
  • Diapers - at least 20 disposables plus 3 cloth ones that can be washed, dried and reused
  • A container of wet wipes and at least 10 small regular washcloths
  • Hand sanitizer
  • At least two pacifiers
  • Comfort items such as a stuffed animal, doll or blanket(s).
  • One change of clothing per person, including pajamas, socks and a jacket or coat
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medications and/or infant/child fever reducer
  • Diaper rash ointment
  • Bulb nose syringe and saline
  • Re-sealable plastic bags
  • Cell phone w/charger
  • Flashlight
  • Copies of birth certificate for yourself and each child
  • Other important papers and identification

Infant Nutrition in a Disater

For more information visit: Breast Feeding and Other Options from the American Academy of Pediatrics - "Dedicated to the Health of All Children"

Talk to Children in ways they understand

For information about communicating with young children about emergencies, see Talk to Children about Crisis events

Other emergency preparedness resources:

Local resources:

Local Health Services
WIC Local Agency Information
Local Health Officer Directory

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