Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How To Prepare for a Tornado - The Toddler Edition

Sean thinks I go overboard during tornado season. We have the same conversation every time the warning sirens go off. I scuttle as fast as I can to the basement, and he stands in the kitchen and laughs at me. I'm sure part of it has to do with him being from the Midwest, and me being from southern New Mexico where tornadoes are unheard of.

But, I'm the mom, so I allow myself to do as much tornado prep as I feel necessary.

Two years ago, just days after we brought our quadruplets home from the NICU, we had a crazy storm with big tornadoes that found us all piled in the basement with monitors, oxygen tanks, home health nurses, and the mailman.

The first year taught me a lesson, so I wanted to be prepared the next year. Last year I wrote a post about  How to Prepare for Tornadoes with Multiples. Our kids were infants at the time, so our tornado box was full of bottles, formula, bibs, and other infant items.

This year, I have a bunch of toddlers, so I had to revamp the box a bit.
Box of items for toddlers in case of a tornado
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As I pack my box for the season, I try to think in terms of entertaining my two-year-old quadruplets in the basement for 30 minutes while the siren is going off, but also making sure they have enough diapers to last a couple of days if the house blows away. Obviously, if the worst case scenario happens, I'm hoping we can make it to a family member's house or a shelter that same day, but I really don't want my kids walking around in poopy diapers for hours on end if I can help it.
Toddler Items to put in your Tornado Preparation Kit
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Here are the contents of my Toddler Tornado Box this year:
  • Diaper Wipes
  • Daytime Diapers (2 days worth)
  • Nighttime Diapers (2 days worth)
  • Four Sweatshirts/Jackets (1 for each child)
  • Four Sets of Clothes (1 for each child)
  • Four Sets of Pajamas (1 for each child)
  • Flashlight
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Kleenex
  • Four Lightweight Blankets
  • Four Cups
  • Two 1/2 Gallons of Juice
  • Twenty-Four Water Bottles
  • Box of Dry Cereal
  • Box of Nutrigrain Bars
  • Bag of Goldfish Crackers
  • Bucket of Toys
  • Coloring Book and Crayons
  • Wiggles DVD
  • Lord of the Beans VeggieTales DVD
  • Books
I also have my list of items to grab once I get the kids safely in the basement. Of course, I would only grab these things if there was enough time. Using a laundry basket, I should be able to whip through the house and collect everything quickly since a lot of these items are in the same locations.
What to Grab if There is a Tornado
Is it overkill? Only until a tornado actually hits, and we need the stuff in my annual tornado box. Then it's not overkill anymore. And if we never need it? Well, then at least I got my exercise lugging all of this stuff downstairs.

Do you have a tornado plan in place? What do you do at your house to prepare for severe weather?

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  1. Thanks for sharing! It brings a smile to my face every time I read "and the mailman" :) I'm sad that he's not on your route anymore. Hopefully you can have a great relationship with your new letter carrier too! :) Plus, I don't think this is overkill. Good job momma!

    1. I know, right? I miss Fraiser the Mailman. He was a good sport! :)

    2. I’m the daughter of a retired Kansas City firefighter. Here are a few other things. I have a tote I keep in the basement and refresh every year. This way I have everything in it without running around collecting things when the sirens go off. Old shoes , if you have to hit the basement at night you might be barefoot and don’t want to walk on the rubble if your home is hit. Old towels, A whistle, rescue can hear it much better. Crowbar & hatchet just incase you need help getting out due to rubble. Keep a photo copy of those important documents in a gallon baggie in your emergency kit. Take the extra stress off and have your kit prepared. And yes, my husband gives me grief too but he’ll be thankful if we ever need it!

  2. I totally understand your preparations...I am from Southern California, where we take emergency preparedness to extreme levels! When I first moved to Kansas I would line the closets with milk jugs filled with water...just like we do in Cali. (You never know which room you might be caught in during an earthquake.)Now I still put my milk jugs in the basement, though I also include individual bottled water too! I may never have to use my Tornado kit either, but that is fine with me! Love the the post!

    1. Thanks, Maureen! It sounds like you take preparedness to the same level I do. Here's hoping neither of us ever have to use the items we've gathered!

  3. I also include a picture of each family member laminated on a keychain so that if one of us gets separated we can show them a picture. We also have overkill of water since you can't live more than 3 days without it. We also have a way to cook food and some food storage meals. Also, flashlights for everyone and cash for everyone. Also, I think I'm going to buy those tattoo stickers with contact information on them that you can put on your child. That way I can put them on them just in case......maybe you've found someone that can go overboard with you....lol

    P.S. My husband does the same thing! It drives me crazy!!!

    1. The pictures are an excellent idea. If anyone gets separated, no one is going to want to spend time looking for photos.

      Ha! I love that we can both go overboard together. Makes me feel better! ;)

    2. Just write the info on your childs arm and cover with new skin it will waterproof the ink and a bottle will last a good while. I also include child 1 family of 5

  4. As a native Kansan, I'm more of your husband's ilk. However, since having a baby I've been much more cautious. (It's one thing being dumb with my own life, but with my little man's? Never!) This looks like a great list.

    1. Thanks, Meryl! I think I've just come to terms with Sean laughing at me, but I feel the same way as you. Why take a chance when my kiddos are involved?

  5. When you mention vital records, what do you take besides birth/marriage certificates and/or pass ports?

    1. Vital records are the birth and marriage certificates and passports. Also, our social security cards and shot records. I'm hoping to someday have an emergency binder with copies of our insurance policies and important phone numbers, but I'm not there yet.


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