Women, women with small children, and especially pregnant women are more vulnerable during a disaster. Be prepared. If you are pregnant, seek prenatal care, even if it’s not with your regular provider. This is very important!
Be Prepared: Pregnant women and families with small children need to take additional precautions during disaster. Create a family communication plan! Make sure everyone in your immediate family knows what your plan is.
Download this form: Pregnancy Disaster Card
and discuss it with your provider.
- Family Communication Plan – Fill in this information and keep a copy in a safe place. Keep it up to date!
- Let’s Get Ready! – Sesame Workshop that provides tips, activities, and other easy tools to help the whole family prepare for emergencies!
- Be a Hero – Kids can help make a plan, build a kit, and get involved with planning.
Be Prepared: If you are pregnant during disaster, it’s very important to understand that you may deliver at an alternate hospital or birthing facility. Think about where you would deliver at in the event of road closures or in the event that you are instructed to evacuate, especially if you’re close to your delivery date.
- Have a copy of your most up-to-date prenatal records. This is crucial, as access to your medical records may be unavailable.
- Keep a copy of your immunizations, and the immunization records of your children with you.
- Have the names and numbers of providers or hospitals at your planned evacuation location.
- Stay hydrated by drinking clean water. This is especially important if you are pregnant, as dehydration can trigger preterm labor.
- Recognize the signs and symptoms of preterm labor and seek medical attention.
- Only go to the hospital if directed by your provider, if you believe you’re in labor, or if you think something is wrong with your or your baby. Other reasons to seek medical attention while pregnant would be if your water breaks, if you do not feel adequate fetal movement, or if begin to have vaginal bleeding.
- Be prepared for an emergency birth. Remember, you may not be able to get to a hospital or birthing facility.
- If you have a chronic condition such as high blood pressure or diabetes, it is very important that you pay attention to signs and symptoms of complications. If you monitor your blood pressure or blood sugars at home, make sure you have a monitor that runs on batteries, in the event that electricity is unavailable. Continue to take medications prescribed by your provider.
Be Prepared: During and after disaster, you may need supplies to keep your family safe and healthy. Remember that disaster could cut off your power and water supply. You also may not be able to drive because of damage to your car. Roads may be flooded or blocked.
- Make sure you have enough medications for 2-3 weeks. Continue to take your medications as prescribed by your provider.
- If you have recently had a cesarean delivery, make sure you keep your incision clean and dry. Wash your hands before and after touching your incision.
- If you have recently had a vaginal delivery, make sure you are changing your pads frequently. Wash your hands before and after changing your pad.
- During a disaster, there are many additional benefits of breastfeeding.
- If you formula feed, ready-made formula is preferable, as you do not need sterilized water to mix it.
- If you do not have ready-made formula, make sure you are using sterilized water to mix the formula. Do not dilute formula to make it last longer.
- If you have given birth within the last 6 months, it may be possible to relactate.
- Know how to hand-express
- Steps to Safeguard Frozen Milk during a Power Outage
Infant Nutrition During a Disaster:
Download: Infant Nutrition During a Disaster
The safest food for an infant is breastmilk. There may not be clean drinking water.
- It may be impossible to ensure sterilization of feeding utensils.
- Breastmilk is readily available.
- Breastmilk protects against infections diseases, especially diarrhea and respiratory illnesses.
Disadvantages of formula use during a disaster
- It may not be available.
- It may be contaminated.
- There may not be a method to sterilize the bottles or nipples
After a disaster, letting your family and friends know that you are safe and well can bring your loved ones great peace of mind. This website is designed to help make that communication easier.
Register Yourself as “Safe and Well” with the American Red Cross Click on the “List Myself as Safe and Well” button to register yourself on the site.
Search for Loved Ones Concerned family and friends can search the list of those who have registered themselves as “safe and well” by clicking on the “Search Registrants” button. The results of a successful search will display a loved one’s first name, last name and a brief message.
Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, year-round crisis counseling and support.
For More Information: