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Busy Mom’s Guide to Building Your Family Emergency Kit in 6 Simple Steps

Busy Mom’s Guide to Building Your Family Emergency Kit in 6 Simple Steps

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As you know, my Mom lives on Kauai and experienced the false missile crisis. When she got the text about the imminent missile heading her way, she knew just what to do. She grabbed her phone and computer, her big tub of emergency supplies (that she keeps fairly updated and within easy reach) and headed to her bathroom. She knew that her bathtub was the safest place in her condo and that her emergency kit would fit inside

While she was telling me her story, I kept thinking about how I would have no idea what to do in an emergency at home. In work or school situations, there are concrete plans in place and people who know what to do.

As a kid, we’re always taught to find an adult. At home, that person is me. And that is scary!

It's easy to start your emergency kit by getting this disaster kit from Ready America online.

I’m all about the one-click Amazon shopping, so I love that this Ready America emergency kit has the basics to get you started. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Is Your Family Prepared if Disaster Strikes?

Mine was most definitely NOT. I mean, I created an emergency kit for my son’s preschool because it was required. If something were to happen at his school, he’d have everything he needed.

In hindsight, I should have created a similar kit for our home at the same time. But, Fall is a busy time of year and I was more concerned about getting my son ready for school.

Several of my friends created their own emergency kits last year after seeing all the natural disasters on the news. A few made kits to leave with babysitters or grandparents.

They included everything from food rations to medical supplies to extra clothing to diapers and wipes. I figured I’d do the same. You know, at some point. But then I got distracted with Mom life and never got around to it.

So, here are some simple ways you can get started. Contains affiliate links.

6 Easy Ways You Can Prepare for an Emergency

1. Teach Your Kids What to Do in an Emergency

While you are driving in the car, turn down the music and talk to your kids about what to do in the case of an emergency.

Explain to them WHAT constitutes and emergency (i.e. “I stubbed my toe” vs. “My Mom is bleeding and won’t wake up.”)

Then, talk to them about what they should do if there’s an emergency. Make sure they know how to call 9-1-1 from your phone (but emphasize that they should only dial if there’s a real emergency.)

And come up with a game plan for them. My son knows to go across the street and ask for help.

Our initial conversation lasted 5 minutes. I touch base with him every week or two quizzing him on what to do. He thinks it’s a game to get all the answers right. I think it’s a smart way to use a few minutes.

Once you assemble your emergency kit, make sure your kids know where it’s located.

2. Order an Emergency Kit from Ready America

Let’s face it, you probably have lofty goals of assembling your own emergency kit for your home. It’s probably not going to happen.

Thankfully, you can just order one online. This is the EASIEST thing you can do.

I have this Ready America Essentials Emergency Kit 4 Person 3 Day Backpack that will keep us going for 72 hours. This kit includes food and water (with a 5-year shelf life), first aid supplies, emergency ponchos, survival blankets and more.

They also have this Shelter-In-Place/Lockdown Kit for 5-Person for larger families.

Ready America emergency kit has items that will last 5 years.

I like that the items in this Ready America emergency kit backpack will last 5 years. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

I like that these kits are contained in a red backpack, making it easy to spot and grab. I’m able to carry the backpack fairly easily. And they are compact, so they fit in a closet or the trunk of a car.

3. Add Personal Items for Your Family

After you get your emergency kit, it’s time to add in items specific to your family. Gather extra eyeglasses, medications, epi-pens, formula, wipes, diapers, and anything else that you need.

If you have pets, don’t forget about their needs!

And have an envelope of cash. With power outages, businesses may not be able to run credit or debit cards. I’d also suggest adding in some pens and paper. I know I’m always scrambling to find a pen.

You don’t even need to search your house (that just adds something else to your never-ending to do list.) Just grab extras on Amazon.

Small toys can keep kids occupied during a crisis situation.

I know these small vehicles will keep my young boys occupied for hours if there is an emergency. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

And you might think about ways to keep your kids occupied while you are dealing with a disaster.

I’m adding in a few travel toy items like these Reusable Sticker Pads, World of Disney Eye Found It Card Game, and Wikki Stix. You could also add in a deck of cards.

And you can always grab items you normally pack in your carry on bag.

4. Write Down Phone Numbers

How many phone numbers do you know by heart? Truth be told, I only know my own cell number and my husband’s cell number. I wouldn’t even be able to call my parents if the battery in my phone died.

So, take 5 minutes now and write any number you might need to call in an emergency. This would include family members, daycare, school, and work numbers.

5. Pick a Meeting Spot

Where can you go if disaster strikes your city? Can you go to a grandparent’s home a few hours away? Choose a spot that would most likely not be affected.

Then, print off directions that use back roads. Chances are, freeways and highways will be packed, and your GPS might not work.

6. Mark Your Calendar to Re-Check Supplies

I’m a total space cadet most days and I rely on my Google calendar for EVERYTHING. That’s why I marked my calendar to check our emergency supplies every 6 months. That way, I make sure our food and water aren’t expired.

Plus, I can add things to it as our life changes. It’s also a good time to make sure you’ve accounted for new babies or pets! It takes 1 minute to add in a calendar reminder and set it to repeat every 6 months.

Personalize your emergency kit to include items for each family member, babies, toddlers, and kids of all ages and medications.

Personalization is key. I know I’ll need ear plugs if we’re sleeping on the go. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

And if you are really ambitious, try coordinating a neighborhood emergency prep event.

We live in a new neighborhood and we’re planning a day where neighbors can get together and assemble emergency kits. It will be a good opportunity to meet our neighbors, pool resources, and talk to CERT specialists.

I feel safest when I know my neighbors.

Thank you to Ready America for providing me with products for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Busy Mom's guide to creating an emegency kit in 5-minute steps

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Evelyn, PathofPresence

Tuesday 13th of February 2018

Marcie, I grew up in earthquake country so very familiar with emergency packs! Really appreciate your tip about adding personal items ?? That is great foresight and total genius!! Mahalo a nui ❤️?

marciecheung

Tuesday 13th of February 2018

Yes, adding personal items is key!

Rosana

Saturday 10th of February 2018

You are a true Wonderwoman!

marciecheung

Sunday 11th of February 2018

Not even close, but I do like my Amazon Prime :)

Amber

Wednesday 7th of February 2018

We dont have any sort of plan for emergencies. I know CPR at least and we have a cubby downstairs in case of a tornado but no backpack full of things we may need. better get on that....

marciecheung

Thursday 8th of February 2018

Keeping up on CPR is really helpful! I've been trained a few times, but I think I'd panic in a real situation. I might need a refresher course.

Lisa

Wednesday 7th of February 2018

An absolutely good and MUST have guide! My son is a cub and has learned all about emergencies and has made his own little emergency kit which is wonderful. We have a family one too and it is such a valuable must-have item for any household! I really hope a lot of families read this blog post for guidance on how to create a first aid kit!

marciecheung

Wednesday 7th of February 2018

First aid kits are super important! I used to run all over the house looking for our Neosporin!

Echo

Wednesday 7th of February 2018

This is such a great post! I have been seriously working on getting a list together for a target run. I really need to add a first aid kit to each of the cars, our house, and a small one for the diaper bag.

marciecheung

Wednesday 7th of February 2018

Yes, it's amazing how often I'm scrambling to find first aid stuff!

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