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Preparing for an emergency with a baby

Once upon a time, when we were responsible for nobody but ourselves, when a disaster, like a cyclone struck, it was a case of stock up on beer, grab the phone charger and call it good.

Once a small person arrives in your life and depends on you to keep them safe, things change and planning for challenges such as pandemics and cyclones becomes a more thought out affair.

So what do you, and your baby, actually need in case of an emergency?


Babies are much like big people, in that they need food, fluid and shelter. Add some clothes for warmth and you pretty much have it covered, but anyone who has left the building with a 4 kg nappy bag knows that little people seem to need a lot of stuff for a single outing, and with an emergency situation, planning can become a very big event.


If you start by assuming that you won’t be popping down to the shop for a minimum of three days, and, when you get there, the shelves will be bare, that’s a good place to start. Anyone who has been through a cyclone and tried to get dog food, or more recently tried to find a N95 face mask, knows that stock goes off the shelves in a hurry when people panic, so it’s good to have a supply of essentials before the panic strikes the community.


If your baby is bottle fed, that means at least one full can of formula and formula making equipment. This should include enough water for making formula in case water supplies are interrupted or contaminated. If your baby is in disposable nappies, count the number of nappies you go through in one day and times that by three. Also include bags to dispose of dirty nappies, wipes for, well, wiping and hand sanitizer for after you change a nappy. If your wee one needs medications, those need to go in the bag too along with any dummies, comfort toys or a replica of the toy they can’t live without.


If your small person has started solids, three days of food needs to be in the stash- that’s three days of breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner in whatever flavors are the current rage, along with something for baby to travel in, such as a sling or pouch.

This list is not exhaustive by any means, and there are a number of great resources available which you can download for free.

Start with the Mackay Council Emergency Action Guide https://www.mackay.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/232496/2018_-_2020_Emergency_Action_Guide_-_WEB.pdf

or the Queensland Government 3 steps to get ready guide https://www.getready.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-10/50042%20QRA%20%203%20steps%20to%20get%20ready%20fact%20sheet%203_V5.pdf.


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