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Disaster Preparedness
May 25, 2011 12:20 am | by

Since the world didn’t end Saturday night, for today’s Real Mom Talk, we’re talking about disaster preparedness. If you follow Jenn Labit’s Facebook page, you may have joined in on a conversation about disaster preparedness recently. Cotton Babies is located in St. Louis, MO. In the last several years, our area has experienced tornadoes, small earthquakes, snow and ice storms that have left our families without power for hours or days. In April, Cotton Babies staff had some disaster preparedness training so that in this type of event, we could be secure in knowing our families were safe and taken care of.

Having lived in Missouri my entire life, I’m the type of girl who would be a storm chaser if I could. When the clouds roll in and the wind whips up, I’m one of the first to run to the nearest window or door to check it out. Since becoming a mother, I’ve had to learn how to control those feelings and seriously consider how to take care of my family when severe weather strikes. With the recent tornado in Joplin, MO, not far from where I was raised, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how my family would survive without electricity, water or phone lines for a day or more.
Where do you being with disaster preparedness? Here are some of the Cotton Babies staff’s favorite tips:
  • Start with a disaster preparedness site like or the American Red Cross. Both of these resources have lists and suggestions for to get you started on your family’s personalized plan and kit.
  • Make it local – depending on where you live, you may experience different weather or natural disaster situations. Check with your local state, county and municipality for recommendations specific to where you live.
  • Make it age appropriate – if your children are old enough to speak, make sure they know their full name and your full name. With the Joplin, MO tornado affecting the local hospital, we’ve read reports of children being sent to hospitals miles away, which can make it difficult for the children to be identified and families to reconnect. For more age appropriate tips for young children, check out Sesame Street’s Let’s Get Ready page.
  • For cloth diapering mamas, Dirty Diaper Laundry is hosting a Flats Challenge this week. The idea of the challenge is to gain information and experience on how to cloth diaper without the normal luxuries of pocket diapers and washing machines. This is great information that could be added to your tool kit in case of emergency, when stores may not be open or have disposable diapers available.
  • Make an point of contact that your family members will be able to reach in the event of emergency. We’ve learned from recent disasters that local phone lines can be overwhelmed during emergencies. It’s helpful to have an out of town contact person to call or text that lives in an area that is likely unaffected. Another alternative is to send a send a simple text message to like “I’m OK” or “All Safe” to your closest family members. Although it make take a while, text messages will make it through the system eventually, even if phone lines are down.
There are a lot of great resources out there, but these are just a start. Does your family have a plan in case of natural or other disaster? What resources did you use to create your family’s plan? What is important to have in a disaster preparedness kit?

About the Author

Heather is mom to four, born within 40 months (single, twins, single). She writes transparently about her chaotic household to encourage others through the twists and turns of parenting.


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