Caring For Self & Newborn During a Disaster

Follow local or state evacuation instructions. Decide where you will go, tell your doctors and let them know how to contact you.

  • Make a list of important phone numbers and write them on paper as well as your phone in case your battery runs low.
  • Bring copies of medical records for your entire family, including a list of medicines and vaccinations.
  • Keep your baby warm and close for extra protection.
  • Pregnant women/new moms should eat regular nutritious meals and stay hydrated. Think protein bars, nuts, dried fruit, and granola.
  • Get enough rest.
  • Pack a baby disaster bag with:
    • A safe place for your baby to sleep, such as a portable crib.
    • Prescription medications (refill in advance if possible), and other medications such as infant liquid pain reliever *(ibuprofen or acetaminophen).
    • Prenatal or over-the-counter vitamins.
    • A baby carrier or sling for getting around (strollers may not be of use).
    • Extra diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream to last 7 days.
    • A thermometer.
    • Antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer.
    • Dish soap.
    • Two baby blankets, extra baby clothes and shoes for older infants.

Food for Infants

  • Breastfeeding: Breast milk is the best food for your baby as it’s naturally clean and helps protect your infant from illnesses. If you rely on pumped milk, bring a breast pump, charger and extra batteries.
  • Formula: If you don’t have sterile water, use ready-to-feed formula. Do not use water treated with iodine or chlorine tablets. Unused formula cannot be refrigerated during a power outage, so use small ready-to-use formula in single servings. Bring enough food to last 7 days. If needed, you can use a disposable feeding spoon or cup to feed your baby.

Safe Sleep

Have your baby share your room…but NOT your bed.

  • Your baby should NOT sleep on an adult bed, cot, air mattress, or sofa at all.
  • Keep soft objects such as pillows, loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area.
  • Always place your baby on its back.
  • Sleep on a firm surface designed for babies such as a firm mattress in a portable crib covered by a tight fitting sheet.
  • If you are going to a shelter, or location without a portable crib, speak with our social workers to connect you with resources for a safe sleep setting.

If your baby uses medical equipment:

  • Charge all equipment and have backup energy sources such as batteries.
  • Notify the local fire department or EMS and power company that you have a baby dependent on medical equipment.
  • Consider evacuating to a location with stable or emergency backup power.

Unsafe Food and Water

  • Don’t eat spoiled food or food you think may be spoiled.
  • If you’re worried that water is not safe to drink, use bottled water. Follow official instructions about how to boil for cooking, cleaning and bathing.
  • Don’t use water treated with iodine or chlorine to prepare formula for your baby.
  • Flood water may contain harmful bacteria. Protect yourself with rubber gloves and boots, and don’t let your baby near the water. Use soap and clean water to wash. If you/your baby swallow flood water and get sick, call the doctor immediately.

Home Damages

  • Your body needs recovery, so don’t do hard, physical work, like lifting and carrying heavy items.
  • Be careful of falling on stairs or when stepping over debris.
  • Stay away from exposed electrical wires.
  • Stay away from bacteria and mold on walls, floors, furniture and carpet.


  • Physical stress: Rest as much as you can, don’t get overheated, and eat healthy meals.
  • Emotional stress: Share your worries and concerns with a friend, family member or health care provider.
  • Abuse: It’s not OK to be hit, kicked or pushed, or for someone to yell at you, scare you or call you names. If you’re being abused, tell someone or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE (7233).
  • Baby blues and postpartum depression (PPD): Baby blues are feelings of sadness that usually go away about 10 days after your baby’s birth. PPD is strong feelings of sadness or worry that last a long time. These conditions can affect how you feel and act, and disaster recovery can make your feelings worse. Talk to your doctor and if you’re worried that you may hurt yourself or your baby, call 911.