Bringing Comfort in Times of Tragedy Means Being Prepared

September is Emergency Preparedness Month

With so many natural disasters happening around the world right now or at any given time, making sure my family is ready for a possible evacuation or disaster has been hitting closer to home. What can I do or grab in 10 minutes? What if I have even less time?

Being prepared for the unexpected is so important to me.

Allow me share why…

Two weeks before I turned eight, I made my bed, placed my favorite stuffed animal on my pillow, got dressed, and headed out the door with my little brother to go to a friend’s house for the day. That afternoon our mom picked us up and we went to our church where she would be teaching a class. Our dad was working late. When the class ended we drove home and I remember initially thinking it was cool to see all the fire trucks and police cars down our country dirt road. I soon realized they were lined up along our 1/2 mile driveway, blocking our entrance. Smoke filled the air, extending above the trees. Then it hit me…OUR HOUSE WAS ON FIRE!

Later that evening, my siblings and I were sent to stay with a family friend while my parents waited until it was safe to walk to the house. We had nothing except the few things we had taken with us that morning. I “slept” in a friend’s clothes, on a friend’s bed, in a friend’s blanket. The next day, I woke up to find my clothes clean and folded from the day before. Everything was a fog, I felt cold and lost. At some point that same day our parents came and took us to the house to see what happened and what was left. I remember walking to the back of the house where my room was and looking in…

My bed, gone. My stuffed animal, gone. My dresser, gone.

As a mother myself now, I don’t want my children to ever feel like I did that night. I want them to have some comfort and to feel like they have something of their own, even if tragedy strikes. So my husband and I have made up bags for each member of our family. We store them by our front door along with a 24-hour essentials bag, two cases of water, and two wool blankets. essential bags on a shelf, emergency preparedness

Click the tabs below to see what we put in our bags as a way to inspire you to make one of your own for your family if you haven’t already done so. It’s not something I ever want to use, but it provides some peace of mind in case you ever find yourself scrambling.

[vc_tta_tabs][vc_tta_section title=”Kids Comfort Bags” tab_id=”1600362634760-617e345e-8aac”]

Clothing: pajamas, one set of day clothes, hat, gloves, sweater, socks, underwear/diapers

Toiletries: shampoo, body wash, toothbrush/toothpaste, lotion, tissues, wipes

Comfort Items by Age: coloring/activity book, crayons, stuffed animal, blanket, book, toy

[/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Parent Comfort Bags” tab_id=”1600362634784-94896623-836e”]

Clothing: pajamas, one set of day clothes, hat, gloves, sweater, socks, undergarments

Toiletries: shampoo, soap, toothbrush/toothpaste, lotion, tissues, wipes, deodorant, razor, feminine products 

Comfort Items: journal, pen, copies of important documents, blanket, scriptures, deck of playing cards, family photo album

[/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”24-Hour Essentials Bag” tab_id=”1600362887801-205c5fae-fd84″]

Quick Grab Outside Pockets: fire gloves, chapstick, water purification tablets, tissues, band-aids, baby wipes 

Small Pockets: compass, flashlight, pocket knife, whistle, map, travel size scriptures, survival reference guide, first aid reference book, paper/pencil

Large Pocket:

  • First Aid Kit – gloves, tape, Band-Aids, scissors, triangular bandage, gauze, nail clippers, alcohol wipes, iodine, hand sanitizer, tweezers, travel size essential oils, medications for kids and adults {Benadryl, Tylenol, ZzzQuil/melatonin, smelling salt, bug bite ointment, etc.}
  • Survival Kit – matches, lighter, fire starter, solar blanket, ponchos, hand warmers, glow sticks
  • Food Kit – 24-hours of non-perishable food, MRE’s, crackers, granola bars, peanut butter, dehydrated camping meals

What do you have in your emergency bags? Where do you keep them? Please share your own thoughts and ideas below so other families can be better prepared for the unexpected.

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Magann grew up in the Holly, Brandon, and Grand Blanc school areas. Magann was married to her husband Nathan in 2011 and has 3 energetic boys and 1 little girl. After graduating from Utah Valley University and having her oldest son, Magann decided to become a stay at home mom. They moved back to Michigan from Utah 6 years ago. Magann loves to be busy. She is active in her church and church youth program, a PTO board member, as well as, being involved in a couple of book clubs and kids playgroups. She enjoys making connections with others and enriching their lives. For fun, Magann loves to be outside with friends and family, photography, traveling, planning events, reading a good book or doing something crafty/DIY. Check out her work and projects on Instagram or her website.