How to use the emergency plan cardI've kept the template simple and fairly free-form so you can customize it to suit your own plan. Simply cut it out and fold down the middle to create a small business card-sized booklet. The front page should contain your out-of-town contact telephone numbers and meeting place locations. The back can contain special notes about the plan itself. There will be a blank space for the middle pages where you put anything you want, such as reminders, procedures or other important telephone numbers.
A digital emergency plan card for iOS devices
- A minimum of 20 nappies/diapers or enough to last 3 days. These should be kept in a resealable plastic bag to prevent them from getting dirty or wet.
- Nappy wipes. This is essential for when there is not enough water to wash with. It's better to save clean water for drinking.
- Small changing mat
- At least 3 sets of baby clothes, preferably ones that are small, light and suited for hot Manila weather like sandos (vests). A blanket can be used when the weather becomes cooler (see below).
- 1 or 2 soft towels/blankets to keep warm in cooler weather, and which are also useful for baby to sleep on
- 1 small, wide-brimmed cloth hat to protect baby from harsh sunlight
- 1 baby grooming kit with nail scissors or nail cutters, nail file, thermometer
- 1 small bottle of ethyl or isoprophyl alcohol
- 1 foldable travel umbrella to protect against rain or sun
- Oral rehydration salts, which can be purchased at your local drugstore
- Large clean plastic bags which can be used to lay down as a hygienic sheet, to carry things, and to protect important belongings from dirt and moisture.
- Bottles and dry formula milk for bottle fed babies
- Baby's favourite toy or security blanket. This will help to amuse and lift baby's spirits, which can also provide a much-needed mood boost for us parents.
- Any special medications or creams your baby may need
Simple ways to safeguard your familyThere's no reason why your family should suffer from an outbreak of diarrhea.
- Stock up on Oral Rehydration Salts. These are available from Watsons and Mercury Drug for around Php10 to Php15 per sachet.
- Stock up on antidiarrheal medications like Diatabs (Loperamide) which are less than Php30 for four capsules.
- Make sure you have access to clean water for drinking and washing.
- Eat cooked food or food washed well in clean water.
- As much as possible, continue with your usual sanitation habits.
Household alternativesIf you don't have any commercially produced ORS at home, rehydrate.org suggests the following alternatives:
- Gruels (diluted mixtures of cooked cereals and water)
- Carrot Soup
- Rice water (congee)
- Fresh fruit juice
- Weak tea
- Green coconut water (buko juice)
- A home-made solution of salt, sugar and if possible, orange juice or mashed banana (see link for recipe and instructions)
- CDC Guidelines for the Management of Acute Diarrhea After a Disaster
- Treat your child's diarrhea at home from rehydrate.org (document download)
- Home made Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) Recipe from rehydrate.org
- An Efficient, Inexpensive, Clean Delivery System from rehydrate.org (document download)
- Preventing Waterborne Illness
What I learned
- Don't wait until the emergency itself to buy your kit. This is so obvious but judging from the crowd in SM Makati's Ace Hardware, many people did just that. Like them, you'll most likely end up scrambling after a dwindling supply.
- By far the most useful technology combination for area lighting turned out to be LED lights with plug-in rechargeable power source. (In the picture, these are the white box-shaped lamps made by Akari and Omni). They were labelled to last between 20 to 120 hours on a single charge and they kept going throughout the three-day power cut.
- For spot lighting, an LED flashlight with CRE123 battery turned out to be the most convenient. (This is the small black flashlight in the picture, a Fenix PD30.) It provided a very bright light with long running time in a tiny package.
- The CFL lights were pretty much useless for anything more than a short-term brown-out; although they cast the most pleasant ambient light, they only lasted a few hours before giving up.
- I didn't bother with the hand-crank light at all. Perhaps it would have been useful in the most desperate case when all other lighting options were exhausted. In this case, I had many other better options.
- The cellphone charge feature on one unit turned out to be very useful.
- The incandescent bulb lamps were far outclassed by all other LED units. With the low price and ready availability of LEDs, I don't think there's any compelling reason to buy an incandescent bulb flashlight or lamp.
Note: be sure to store as much of your water as possible at floor level. If stored high up, such as on shelving, movement during an earthquake could cause them to fall. This not only risks injuring someone but also means you lose some of your water reserves. Continue Reading