When we have a child with food allergies (or we ourselves have food allergies) we often think we’ve covered our bases if we have a simple emergency kit packed up and ready to take with us. This typically includes a set of epi pens, an antihistamine such as Benadryl and likely a doctor-provided Food Allergy Action Plan. Those that are really prepared will have several other things as well (such as their insurance card, an emergency contact sheet, etc). Shameless plug: there are quite a few other items I’ve found to be a must in our emergency kit that I’d be happy to share, contact me to find out more:)
Now back to our focal topic. Disaster planning. We live in the great state of Kansas (I know what you’re thinking but it’s actually way cooler than people realize)! Growing up in Kansas you are trained on tornado preparation and safety. Lots of us have basements, and quite a few even stock things such as canned/packaged foods, radio access for weather updates, flashlights and the like in case a tornado strikes and we have to take cover. So awhile back, this got me thinking:
WHAT IF YOU REQUIRE A LIFESAVING MEDICATION AND THERE’S A NATURAL DISASTER?
Let’s say a tornado were to hit our home. In a natural disaster scenario, I won’t always have time to grab all of the things I want to have with us in the basement. I may only have time to grab my loved ones and run downstairs. Not only would I need to have all of the aforementioned items at the ready in our basement, but I’d also need to be prepared for a FOOD ALLERGY emergency.
For our family, I like to ensure our basement is always stocked with the following: an extra set of epi pens, Benadryl, approximately a week’s worth of safe canned/packaged foods and bottled water. That way I have food accessible that I know is safe for my daughter, AND I have an extra set of her medications ready without having to think about grabbing them. Please note: not everyone will have a basement, but it’s important to designate your “safe place” for natural disaster scenarios.
I read an article this summer written by Kids with Food Allergies (KFA) titled Preparing for Natural Disasters When Your Family Has Food Allergies. The article can be found here and provides some great insight and ideas.
I hope this topic has got you thinking about where your “safe place” may be and what you can include to ensure your family is protected during these unplanned scenarios. I think the Girl Scouts put it best when they said "be prepared".
Until next time,