I am a bit of an ‘over planner’. I write lists and I think of every possible scenario. When I watch disaster films I often think ‘what would our plan be?’. For this reason I always have an emergency box ready.
As the cold weather is coming there’s the risk of what could happen such as frozen pipes, loss of electric etc. With young children this could be potentially dangerous. So I made a box that is kept in an easy to reach space in my kitchen so I can be prepared with at least a few essentials.
Here’s a list of what’s in my home emergency kit:
- Bottled water: great for if pipes freeze or water cut off for whatever reason. Also helpful for first aid scenarios (plus if my gas is still on then I can boil water on the gas bobs so can make bottles, cook some food etc…also means I can help flush the toilet so it doesn’t get as clogged or smelly).
- Wind up torch: this means we always have a source of light. I don’t have to worry about batteries running out.
- Candles and matches: incase of power outage we have more light sources. Also the matches can be used to light the gas hobs if the electric is off.
- Medicines: Calpol sachets, piriton, paracetamol and my migraine tablets. There’s also pack of tissues…just because it’s always handy (haha)! Now is time to check your medicine supply and order any bits that you really can’t do without.
Emergency Box for the car
I also have a box in my car for emergencies. This is much smaller and for situations such as road closures or stuck in traffic jams, if car is off road and waiting for help etc.
- Spare nappies and wipes.
- Travel potty (well used and very handy!)
- Small first aid kit.
- Little toys to keep children amused if we’re stuck.
- Blanket and spare coat.
- Bottle of water.
- Spare phone charger (the one with USB…although I am going to get a ‘charging cell’ for in case the car can’t be used to changer phone).
When the colder weather hits I will also stock up on:
- Prescription formula (due to allergies) and medications
- Freezer foods (if power goes, don’t open freezer. If you keep it shut you’re less likely to lose all the food that’s in there).
- Toilet rolls, toothpaste, nappies etc
I’m also going to get basic food that can be cooked without the oven/microwave as it’s more likely the electric will go rather than the gas so I will be grabbing noodles, tinned foods, pasta etc to put away for ‘just in case’. My friend has a little camping stove that she has for emergencies so this might be worth looking into if you live somewhere where power cuts are likely.
Additional bits for child with additional needs:
- Symbol cards for different situations. J is very routine and relies on visuals. If we have to do something different or something unexpected happens then I need to make sure I have the symbol cards to help settle J.
- ‘Special foods’: there’s certain foods that J eats everyday. He’s so particular over textures and what he eats for breakfast (and where we eat makes a difference). I’ll make sure I stock up incase cold weather stops deliveries to shops, roads or illness prevents us getting to shops etc.
- Batteries: J needs his sensory lights to help him fall asleep and help with regulation. Even if we find ourselves with no power or having to sleep elsewhere then we cannot run out of batteries.
- Get on the priority list. Most gas/electric companies will have a priority list for vulernable families. This is so you can made aware of any planned maintenance and power outages (and plan for them), and support if they’re unplanned. You may also be given electric heaters if you find that your gas has gone so it’s handy to find out what’s available through your gas and electric companies.
Other cold weather tips:
- You can use sand or cat litter (clean) to spread on your path as ‘grit’.
- Get your boiler checked – now is not the time for your heating to fail.
- Top up your car with anti freeze.
- Check co2 monitors and fire alarms (more risk in the cold as people light fireplaces, have heating on more and candles for dark nights).
- Check water pipes for leaks – especially outdoor tops as frozen water expands.
- Use blankets or curtains to cover front door and windows to keep heat in (our front door leads straight to the living room so we get a draft).
It may sound like I’m expecting the worst but I do think it’s important to prepare for bad weather. I haven’t reached the stage where I build a bunker or get my own generator but I am covering the basics.
What’s on your essentials list? Is there anything I’ve missed?