(8/24/12) Added a few more notes due to some comments like this: “No offense, but I think cloth diapering my baby would be the least of my worries during a hurricane!”
This week there was an Earthquake in the East and now Hurricane Irene is heading towards the East Coast as well. Living in Florida for the past 6 years I’m familiar with hurricane preparations – you know the last minute trips to the store to stock up on batteries, bottled water, and canned food. However, I’ve never given much thought to preparing my emergency kit for a baby. Sure I have a baby but I’m really not a planner. I will probably been the person on the news crying because we don’t even have fresh water – unlike my best friend who could probably live for six months on her supplies.
How to Prepare an Emergency Kit When You Cloth Diaper
Whatever natural disaster you are planning for you need to assume that you may be without power, water, and other modern conveniences for 1-5 days.
Items to purchase or have on hand:
- Plastic storage bin or tub to keep your supplies dry and clean
- Camp style washer or other hand washing basin (a 5 gallon bucket w/lid and a plunger work great)
- Flat cloth diapers (12 or more per child)
- Simple diaper covers (6 or more per child)
- Detergent (cloth diaper safe like Rockin’ Green Soap)
- Wet bag for storing your dirty diapers
- A small back up stash of disposable inserts or disposable diapers (like the Flip or GroVia disposable inserts)
- Several jugs of water that are designated for washing only – be sure to keep them separate from your drinking water supply.
- Roll of quarters – in the event that you have to evacuate and have access to a laundry mat.
Emergency prevention tips:
- Wash all of your dirty cloth diapers before the storm hits.
- If you only lose power but still have clean water available you can hand wash your diapers. Even without hot water your diapers will be clean enough to use until power is restored. Directions on using a camp style washer or on hand washing.
- If you lose water you have a few options: use bottled water that you designated for washing, use disposable inserts/diapers, or hope that water is restored before you need to wash! Added: Before the storm hits fill up a tub with clean water and use it to wash your diapers if you lose water.
- If you have to evacuate these items are all small enough to pack inside a small storage tub or inside the camp style washer/tub.
Note about disposables: Some parents who use cloth diapers don’t have ANY disposables in their home. A small percentage of babies are actually allergic or sensitive to disposables and cannot use them under any situation. There are eco-friendly (and healthier) disposable diapers available but you may not be able to find them locally. Also, since babies change sizes pretty regularly the pack of disposables that you purchased 1-2 years ago may not fit your baby today if you needed them. The question was asked; “Couldn’t you just go to the store and buy some if you ran out?” It really depends on how bad the storm was. Consider parents in New Orleans when Katrina hit. There were no stores open and if there were they may not take credit cards (for parents like me who NEVER carry cash). Just be prepared for the worst, regardless of if you decide to continue to use cloth diapers or disposables.
Do you have an emergency kit prepared for natural disasters? Have you ever been in a natural disaster with your baby? Feel free to share your tips in the comments section.
Whether you regularly use cloth diapers or disposable diapers you may want to consider adding cloth diapers to your emergency kit. You never know when a disaster may strike your family and you’ll be left using any and all available resources. To learn more about the Diaper Debate visit this great article from Healthy Child, Healthy World.
Do you also breastfeed? Do you have a stash of frozen breastmilk? Here are some tips for weathering in the storm while preserving your stash. Blog: Human Milk News.
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