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How to prepare your family for natural disasters

This post is a partnership with The Clorox Company as a part of the Clorox Influencer program. However, all opinions are 100% my own!

Natural Disasters can hit at any time & without warning. As a parent our priority is always the safety of our family. Check out how my family prepares for natural disasters with the help of @Clorox and visit my new blog post at https://mammabearsays.com/2019/09/cloroxdisasterkit/?utm_source=KarenMartinez&utm_medium=Pinterest&utm_campaign=DisasterPreparednessMonth to learn more about how you can be prepared. #ad #RedCrossReady

Dear Friends,

One of the scary parts of being a parent is feeling unprepared, am I right? This Summer Southern California was rocked a few times with earthquakes and the East Coast was hit with a hurricane! These types of disasters and emergencies can serve as a scary reminder that there is only so much in our control. As you all know, my husband and I recently welcomed two baby boys into our lives, making us now responsible for 4 little humans!

When the earthquakes hit one of the first thoughts was how unprepared we were in case of an emergency. We both felt the need to create an emergency kit filled with anything we could need during an emergency. Did you know September is National Preparedness Month? This year’s theme is “Prepared, Not Scared.” We have partnered up with Clorox and with the help of their, partnership with the Red Cross we are here to encourage you all to be “Red Cross Ready” and follow three steps in case of a natural disaster: Prepare a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Informed.

Prepare a Kit

An emergency kit is something I remember putting together in elementary school. You remember- the plastic baggy with some snacks, water, and a note from our parents in case an emergency hit while we were at school. As a parent, our emergency kit is now one of ways we can prepare for an emergency. It is our turn to take care of our kids. With the help of Clorox and the Red Cross we put together a kit with emergency essentials!

  • Water is such an important component of any emergency kit. I make sure to not only keep some in our emergency kit but also have access to some in our cars a well. The Red Cross recommends you have one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
  • Food: For us this means two things; stocking up on non-perishable, easy-to-prepare meals as well as making sure we have at least a 3 week supply of baby formula & bottles as well as napkins & paper plates, utensils, cups, etc.
  • BLEACH: We stocked up on Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach. During an emergency water may not be safe to drink, especially in case of natural disasters. All you need is a few drops of Disinfecting Bleach to make water potable to drink in emergency situations and clean mold and fungi off surfaces after natural disasters. Clorox Disinfecting Bleach kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria including E. Coli in places where floodwater was present . Alongside killing bacteria, you can also prevent mosquito breeding areas, which can bring along a whole other array of diseases with them. Having 4 children it is so important to try to prevent disease and also be able to provide them with clean water, for drinking as well as keeping them clean. For more information, visit https://rdcrss.org/2ltrZwW

Here are some specific usage measurements to make water safe to drink:

  • All water of uncertain quality should be treated before it is used for drinking, food preparation, or hygiene:
  • Remove suspended particles by filtering or letting particles settle to the bottom. 
  • Pour off clear water into a clean container.
  • Add 8 drops (or 1/8 teaspoon) of Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach to one gallon of water, or add 1/8 teaspoon of the product to 1.5 gallons of water. Allow the treated water to stand for 30 minutes. Properly treated water will have a slight chlorine odor. If not, repeat dosage and allow the water to stand an additional 15 minutes. The treated water can then be made palatable by pouring it between clean containers several times. 

For cloudy water, use 16 drops per 1 gallon of water, or add 1/4 teaspoon of this product per 1.5 gallons of water (3 drops to 1 quart). If no chlorine odor is apparent after 30 minutes, repeat dosage and wait an additional 15 minutes.

  • Flashlight: A flashlight will help you make your way through the dark if the power goes out. Don’t forget to pack extra batteries as well!
  • First Aid Kit: First aid supplies are EXTREMELY important to keep us all healthy and safe  in case of emergencies. We decided to make our own to include some items for our kids as well as other elements that may not come in standard kits. We included; bandages, antibiotic creams, gauze, band-aids, over the counter medications for us and our kids such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, instant cold packs, a thermometer, surgical masks, hydrogen peroxide, cotton swabs, latex gloves, cough medicine for adults and children, and hydrocortisone cream
  • Diapers & Baby Wipes: We made sure to stock up on 2-weeks’ worth of diapers and a few packs of baby wipes for everyone.
  • Multi-purpose tool: Multi-purpose Tool: We found a multi-purpose tool with various attachments to help us in case we need to cut items or open items.
  • Personal hygiene items: Besides keeping Clorox Disinfecting Bleach on hand I made sure to include menstrual pads, towelettes, garbage bags, hair ties, hair brush, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, and deodorant wipes.
  • Important Documents: Include copies of important documents at hand. These include but are not limited to medical insurance card, driver’s license, birth certificates, marriage licenses, passports, medical instructions, court documents, etc.
  • Battery Pack: I made sure to purchase a large battery pack and a few different types of charging cables to help us charge up.
  • Emergency Contact Information: I made a list with a few emergency contact numbers such as local fire and police departments, our local hospital and our physicians information, as well as family members to contact in case of an emergency.
  • Extra Cash: In case of an emergency access to a bank may not be possible. We stored away some extra cash just in case!
  • Blankets: With a family of 6 I made sure to include a few different throw blankets for each of us.
  • Extra Clothing: I packed 3 full outfits for each of us and a sweater as well. The outfits included; underwear, socks, bottoms, t-shirts (onesies for the babies), and a jacket for each of us along with a beanie in case an emergency hits in cold months.
  • Sentimental Objects: In case of an emergency I can only imagine wanting to keep my kids safe and comforted. To help give them some comfort I purchased a duplicate of Lia, Lincoln, & Lucas’ loveys and a stuffed animal for Zoey. I also made sure to include a USB full of family photos as well for my husband and I.
  • Maps of the Area: So many of us rely on our phones to know what is around us. We printed out some maps of our city and made sure to include markings to important places such as highways and emergency buildings as well. In case of needing to get to our local hospital, we mapped out some possible routes!

We cannot predict emergencies, but we can sure prepare for them! With natural disasters we often get stuck in what to do during the event, but what about what to do after? For us in Southern California we need to prepare not just for earthquakes, but also for after shocks. Those aftershocks can happen for weeks to come and although you may think they are always smaller in magnitude that is not always true. This past summer we were hit with two earthquakes back to back. The first a 6.4 and the second a 7.1, making the first a foreshock to the larger earthquake.

We need to make sure to prepare not just for the main event, but for what happens next. After the initial earthquakes I almost forgot about aftershocks within a few hours. We went about our normal days and failed to prepare right away only to be shaken the next day. We need to be prepared. After creating our kit and stocking up on Clorox Bleach, we made sure to create an emergency plan and share it with our kids. Although, only Zoey is old enough to understand we tried to explain to Lia and practice with them both. Now, we feel much more ready in case of an emergency!

Surrounding National Disaster Preparedness Month in September, Clorox will support Red Cross initiatives with PR and Social Activations (Be Red Cross Ready and App Downloads)

The Clorox Company is helping people affected by disasters like storms and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

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