If you are in Wellington or the upper South Island at the moment, it feels a bit like living on a boat, moored in a rocky port. We are weathering a storm, an unpredictable force of nature. Our thoughts turn to emergency supplies.
I’ve noticed a few helpful articles circulating about how to reassure young children, about keeping things as calm as possible and continuing with normal routines. As I did a stock-take on our emergency supplies last night – our torch, radio and blankets, I asked around and compiled this list of less obvious essentials. Here’s 5 things you should think about having in your emergency stash:
That’s right. Moola! New Zealanders are well known for using debit cards to buy a packet of chewing gum. Well, when the power goes down and you need milk for a young child, using your debit card won’t be easy!
After a severe earthquake there will be lots of broken glass. Especially in downtown. Enough said.
3. First aid booklet
We’ve all joked about, and consulted Dr Google, from time to time. You probably have a first-aid kit in your emergency supplies, but what about the medical guidance?
A comprehensive first aid guide, such as a copy of this St John’s first-aid library, will not go amiss.
4. A solar powered phone charger
Or a spare battery pack for your phone. The official advice after natural disasters has been to text not phone. Smart phones might be clever but small devices doing great things use a lot of battery power! Solar powered phone chargers will work in cloudy weather. And we’ve got Pokémon-go to thank for the availability of affordable hand held battery packs that plug into smart phones, doubling your battery life.
A car charger is another option, though driving around damaged roads is not recommended.
5. Remember unique needs for each age and stage
Of course this means nappies and infant milk formula when applicable. Don’t forget prescription medicines, contact lens solution and denture supplies if needed.
And finally… your precious moments
Not essential for survival, and a little bit old school in days of ‘the cloud” however, we keep a hard drive with a back-up of all our photos and videos on it, in a small locked metal cabinet. Yes we only update it about twice a year, but I figure that it’s better than nothing
To all those affected by the shaking (and now today’s flooding), be kind to yourselves and to each other. Try to stay dry and stay safe. I can recommend hot drinks and chocolate – it’s working for us here in the Wellington office!
If you work in an early childhood education service, here is a great resource for talking to children about earthquakes, including how to “make a turtle” and be safe!
Online Resources for Emergencies
There’s loads of online advice about what to have in your emergency kit, including kits for schools.
EQNZ have many resources on their website, including this great article about supporting children through after-shocks
Skylight is a New Zealand, based not for profit trust designed to help children and families in times of trauma, loss and grief. They have collated a great list of resources on their website. Check it out here
If you are an Educa customer, we hope you have found communicating updates to parents in your early childhood centre super easy using the Educa dashboard! Here’s some handy hints on how to use your dashboard.