Natural Disaster Prep for Toddlers: Are You Ready?


toddler disaster preparednessAs we've all watched the earthquake and tsunami destruction in Japan, it's normal to take stock of your own surroundings and hope and/or pray it never happens to you. But the fact of the matter is, no matter where you live, a natural disaster is a very real possibility. While we've only got water stockpiled (after all, we're in California where earthquakes are a reality), this disaster has made me not only want to do some more survival shopping, but also made me realize how different my toddler's survival needs are from the rest of us.

So I looked back on Survival Mom's site to get some guidance on preparing for disaster when you've got a toddler in your home. (She also gives you advice on getting through childbirth unassisted in case of an emergency -- yikes!) Interestingly, a lot of "natural" moms are already doing things that will come in handy in an emergency.

Here's some of her best advice:

Even if you use disposable diapers, have 15-20 cloth diapers and 4-5 covers on hand. Also homemade wipes that you can create with ripped up cloth. She also suggests stockpiling disposable wipes. (See list below.)

Have a baby carrier on hand, even if you don't use it every day. Strollers may not be practical.

Even if you breastfeed, SM points out that stress could cause you to have trouble with milk production, and you could get separated from your baby. So always have formula in a "go" bag for emergencies. Assuming none of the above occurs, extended nursers will have an advantage with a toddler during an emergency.

A portable bed for the little ones that is easy to carry and transport is a must.

While Survival Mom put together a list of must-haves in a 72-hour baby bug out bag, you can knock a few things off of her list and have a bag packed with the following:

  • A pack of disposable diapers. Rotate these out with larger sized diapers as your child grows.
  • A pack of fragrance-free baby wipes.
  • Hand-sanitizing wipes.
  • A plastic garbage bag for throwing these things away in.
  • 4-6 outfit changes. If you have a diaper blowout, or baby unexpectedly erupts, you’ll be glad to have extra clothing on hand. Try to have clothes with crotch snaps so you don’t have to undress baby to change a diaper. Again, rotate these out for seasons and as baby grows. Don’t forget socks, onesies, and winter accessories if it’s cold; and a hat to protect baby from the sun in hot weather.
  • A bag to put soiled clothes in.
  • 2-3 warm baby blankets.
  • Pacifier -- if your baby (toddler) needs one.
  • Formula and bottle; or baby food and spoon.
  • Sippy cup and little bottles of Gerber juice (if age appropriate).
  • Water -- for mixing formula and drinking.
  • A wipeable bib -- not cloth.
  • Vaseline -- travel size; for protecting cheeks from the cold, and for baby’s bottom.
  • First-aid kit.
  • ID tags/tattoos.
  • A couple of toys.
  • Baby/toddler toothpaste (though you could just use a wet rag to wipe teeth).

Do you have an emergency bag ready for your toddler?


Image via Seattle Municipal Archives/Flickr

gear, nutrition, safety


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emmas... emmasmama2007

I had never put thought into this before. This is pretty scary to think about. I'll definitely need to pack one of these survival bags. Better safe than sorry.

Pnukey Pnukey

Wow, never thought about it before. We'd be SOL in a real disaster.


I sure didn't when my son was a toddler. This is a good idea!

elfis... elfishpirat

Formula is a horrible idea in an emergency if you are breastfeeding. If there is no access to clean water, what are you going to mix it with? The better option would be just to breastfeed on demand.

IF you are formula-feeding, make sure you have ready-to-feed formula handy.

tyrel... tyrelsmom

@elfishpirat it would still be a good idea to have formula in the "go bag". What if you were killed in the disaster and your SO had to take care of your baby. And if you didn't need it, I can almost guarantee you'd run into an unprepared formula feeding mom, and you could help her out.

Saman... Samanthamommy

I've spoken to my son about earthquakes. He doesn't quite understand but we've talked about it.

rebec... rebeccagrace11

Although this is a great list and I certainly plan on being prepared when I have a toddler, one item on the list has me confused. ID tags/tattoos???, for the baby? That can't be right, can it? 

eusta... eustacejessica

Great information! I have just recently started getting a surival kit put together!

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