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  • Checklist: Essentials to Pack in Your Go Bag if You Have a Baby or a Toddler

    These essentials will help keep your little ones safe in case of a disaster.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Checklist: Essentials to Pack in Your Go Bag if You Have a Baby or a Toddler
PHOTO BY iStock
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • A magnitude 6.1 earthquake rocked parts of Luzon yesterday, April 22, 2019, with up to 4 and 5 intensity levels felt in different cities in Metro Manila, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs). The center of the quake was registered in Castillejos, Zambales, and at least 11 people have been reported dead, mainly from a collapsed four-story supermarket in Porac, Pampanga, and landslides in Zambales, according to ABS-CBN News.

    In Metro Manila, news outlets reported residents and employees fleeing tall buildings in a panic.

    “This earthquake is not a major earthquake, but it’s a strong earthquake,” said Phivolcs undersecretary Renato Solidum in an interview with dzMM Teleradyo. “This is already far from Metro Manila but a little bit shallow so we can feel it.”

    Talks of the “Big One” or the West Valley Fault earthquake resurfaced with this recent incident. It’s a reminder that parents and their children should jumpstart the discussion on emergency preparedness. The best way to start is by having a "Go bag" that you can easily grab in case of an emergency.

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    What’s a Go bag?

    A Go bag is a portable kit that contains basic supplies that will help you survive for at least 72 hours or three days when evacuated from a disaster. Some personal items may vary depending on the family’s (or individual’s) unique needs, but everyone should have at least two emergency kits — one for the home and one for each family member, which is accessible at all times.

    What to pack in your Go bag?

     The Philippine Red Cross has a list of recommended items that you need to pack in your “Lifeline Kit” or Go bag. It includes:

    1. Water

    One gallon of water per person for at least three days for drinking and sanitation

    2. Food

    Opt for non-perishable food good for three days. If you can, store easy-to-open canned goods.

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    3. Emergency gear

    • Whistle
    • Flashlight with extra batteries
    • Multi-purpose knife
    • Matches or lighter, plus candles
    • Glowsticks
    • AM radio with extra batteries
    • Plastic sheeting or garbage bag
    • Heating blankets
    • Multi-purpose rope (avoid nylon)
    • Sleeping bag
    • Maps with an indication of evacuation sites and routes
    • List of emergency numbers to call (like Red Cross chapters, fire stations, and hospitals)

    4. Personal effects and hygiene kit

    • Extra clothing
    • Underwear
    • Antibacterial soap
    • Toothbrush and toothpaste
    • Alcohol
    • Hand towels
    • Comb
    • Sanitary Napkin

    5. Important documents and money

    • List of important information like SSS and tax identification numbers, driver’s license, passport number, bank account details, and insurance policies
    • Passport
    • Important legal documents like birth certificates, marriage contracts, insurance certificates, and land titles
    • Vaccination and medical records

    Remember to keep important documents in a plastic envelope. Money should be in the form of cash and loose change in case banks and ATMs are inaccessible.

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    6. Emergency medication

    • Acetaminophen
    • Ibuprofen
    • Anti-diarrhea
    • Cough and cold medicine
    • Prescription medication (good for three days)

    7. First-aid kit

    • Adhesive strips
    • Medical Tape
    • Conforming bandage
    • Triangular bandage
    • Wound dressing
    • Antiseptic swabs
    • Metal tweezers
    • Scissors
    • Safety pins
    • Resealable plastic bags
    • Gloves

    Parents should also pack power banks and cables for their gadgets. If you can, buy a solar power bank in case your area loses electricity. Walkie talkies are also good communication backups.

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    What to pack in your Go bag for babies and toddlers

    Mom Karen Pacia, who blogs at The Project Mommyger, shares three types of Go bags you can pack, especially if you have babies and toddlers.

    “I decided to research and conduct a survey among parents to create these infographics listing the supplies that must be in the Grab N’ Go Bags for babies, toddlers, and parents,” she writes in her blog.

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    emergency go bag
    When making a Go bag for your baby, make sure the supplies are good enough for 72 hours.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of The Project Mommyger

    If you have babies, make sure to pack water, food pouches, feeding bottles, and formula — yes, even if you’re breastfeeding. The formula milk will ensure she is fed in the event you get separated from your baby. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends stocking at least 48 scoops worth of powdered formula.

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    Don't forget to pack your baby's medication. You can also pack a saline spray or nasal aspirator, a thermometer, a mosquito repellent, and anti-bacterial cream.

    Clothing for three days include onesies, long pants, socks, swaddle blankets, washcloths, and a mask for babies. You may also include teethers and pacifiers if needed.

    Pacia also also said to pack diapers (at least 25 pieces), baby wipes, hand sanitizer and baby wash. You can use these to clean your baby as needed. You may also include a diaper rash cream and a moisturizing cream.

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    emergency go bag
    If possible, have a separate Go bag for your toddler and baby and put back-ups in the family Go bag.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of The Project Mommyger
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    For families with toddlers, you may add sippy cups and cereals for sustenance in your go bag. Around 15-20 pieces of diapers may be sufficient for three days, and don’t forget to pack toothbrush and toothpaste for your child.

    Include extra clothes for three days, and add a jacket, socks, blanket, and sturdy shoes to the bag. You may also include your child’s favorite toy or book for comfort.

    Karen also suggests including a plastic-laminated ID card of your child with emergency contacts, details of allergies, and special medications. But it is advisable to have one for every family member especially if they have any conditions or illnesses. Children who can't speak must wear their ID at all times so their parents can be contacted in case they are separated.

    Remember to keep your Go bag in a place where you can easily get it, for example, near the main door of your house or where you usually spend most of your time at home (like your bedroom). And when disaster strikes, keep calm and remember to follow emergency procedures. Stay safe!

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