Hurricanes and other natural disasters are frightening enough on their own, but you may find your fear factor amped up if you’re pregnant or have small children. Although it may feel different, preparing for a hurricane while pregnant or when caring for small children is essentially the same as preparing for a hurricane when you aren’t pregnant or live alone. However, there are a few things you’ll need to do differently to keep your unborn baby and other children safe. In this article, we’ll provide you with some proven strategies that will enable you to plan ahead and not panic if and when you and your family members face a hurricane.

Protect Your Home

It’s always important to do what you can to protect your home from hurricane damage, but starting a family can make this feel like even more of a priority.

To prepare for a hurricane, install hurricane straps on your roof and reinforce your garage door. Install hurricane shutters and consider upgrading to hurricane impact windows with the help of East Coast Windows and Doors. Remove trees or branches that might fall on the home during a storm and always carry flood insurance. The less damage you have to deal with, the more quickly your family can get back to normal life after the storm.

Have a Backup Plan

If your due date and a hurricane are approaching at the same time, talk to your doctor about a backup plan. Know where you will evacuate if it becomes necessary and discuss nearby alternative hospitals and clinics that can deliver your baby if your planned birthing center must close. Hopefully you won’t need the information, but ask your doctor what you need to know and do if your labor begins during the storm. If your prenatal care clinic remains closed after the hurricane passes, find another one rather than skipping appointments.

Emergency Kit Additions

If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you should already have and maintain an emergency kit you can grab during an evacuation, but if you’re expecting or have young child, you’ll need to add a few more essentials to the kit. In addition to packing bottled water, vitamins, medications, nutritious snacks for you and your children (nuts, protein bars, and granola), you’ll also need to bring an emergency birthing kit. This kit should include clean sanitary pads, scissors, towels, gloves, sheets, syringe, white shoelaces, blankets, etc.

Next, invest in a portable crib so the baby has a safe place to sleep and grab some extra blankets. You’ll need enough clothing and diapers to last three days as well as a three-day supply of any medications the baby needs. Pack some extra formula too, but make sure it’s the ready-to-feed type in case you lack access to clean water and can’t mix powdered formula safely. Stash a baby sling or carrier in your emergency kit too. Strollers may prove worthless if you’re in a very crowded shelter or navigating post-hurricane debris.

In conclusion, preparing for a hurricane is important to staying safe. Just as it was before you had children, preparation is the key to getting through a hurricane. If you have what you need and know what to do, you can act swiftly and decisively during a hurricane rather than scrambling to react to it. As a result, your entire family will be safer and calmer during the storm.

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