As I was glancing around at our emergency kit this morning I noticed something. It is *very* different than the kit we had when our children were small. Gone are the coloring books and crayons. Instead there are prescription bottles and spare eye glasses. Here are a few things to consider during various life stages.
Single people: This is probably the easiest stage to create a kit for. You know what you do and don’t like to eat, how much water you typically drink in a day and so forth. Don’t forget the standards…food, water, medicines, space blanket and so on. A single person can probably get away with a backpacker’s first aid kit.
Pregnant women: This is a little trickier. It’s best to be prepared for the full pregnancy…which means diapers, baby clothes and so on. Keep an extra bottle of prenatal vitamins in your kit as well. Talk to your OB about any special needs you might have.
Young families: This is what we were in the Northridge earthquake. Our children were six and eight years old. Along with the necessities, young families should consider the children. Add a few treats to the food segment of the kit and also put in things for the children to do. They don’t have to take up a lot of space. Crayons and coloring books are good. If you have access to a generator, children’s movies are also a good choice.
Families with teens: You’re going to need a lot of food. This is primary growth periods for both boys and girls. It’s also more difficult to find ways of entertaining them. Once the batteries on the smart phones and other devices are dead, they are going to be bored, and that’s only if they can keep the devices with them at the time. Extra chargers, and where available, batteries are good things to have in the kit.
Empty Nesters: As we get older, we tend to need medications and eye glasses more and more. If they’re not in the kit we may not have access. Disasters cause enough stress…make sure those two needs are met. We’ll also need something to do. Put a few paperbacks in the kit so that boredom doesn’t increase problems.
The Elderly: Like empty nesters, glasses and medications are a must. It might be wise to store some walking devices in the kit. There are canes that fold up, and some walkers do as well. If the elder is a dementia patient, a disaster is definitely going to be a problem. Talk to the geriatrician about medications and how to use redirection and/or validation therapy to help them cope. They will depend on us.
This advice is extra stuff for emergency kits. There are lists on-line that can give detailed information about generic kits and a few that will have suggestions for the various stages of life. Disasters can come at any time and being ready for your family and/or stage of life is important.