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spring cleaning and preparing, part two

We love that tulips are so popular in New England spring.

Welcome to the May 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Emergency Preparedness
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their plans to keep their families safe. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

Last spring I wrote a post about how we created and maintain a bin of emergency supplies. Today I’ll cover the another important part of emergency planning, creating a family communication plan. has a family communications website with some ideas, and I’ve broken those tips down for you.

Creating an emergency communication plan:

  1. Identify an out-of-state contact. In the recent Boston bombing, we had intermittent cell phone service within the city, so if we had been at the Marathon, we wouldn’t have been able to reach each other. However, if you designate a person out-of-town that everyone will call, you can get updates through that intermediary. Be sure to tell that person of your communication plan.
  2. Teach your child a contact number, either your cell phone or the designated contact person’s. Children ages five and up are able to memorize 10-digit phone numbers. There are some great ideas out there for how to go about helping them memorize it.
  3. Make sure your child knows how to use the phone in your home. In our house, we only have cell phones, and mine automatically locks, so I had to train Genevieve how to unlock it herself and call 911, then I had to do it again this week when I got a new iPhone.
  4. Distribute your plan to your local emergency contact, a neighbor you trust, and your child’s school, along with a letter to your child in case of an emergency. 

If you’ve made a bin of supplies and created a communications plan, consider learning additional ways to keep your home and family safe and finding escape routes. You can also make your stockpile larger in a frugal way by preserving your own food. We are trying not to eat canned food as much as possible due to concerns over BPA, so I’ve been storing lots of fruit jams and pickled veggies that can be canned using a boiling water bath. Get started with my round-up of canning resources
Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon May 14 with all the carnival links.)

  • Be Prepared for Emergencies — Becky at Crafty Garden Mama is reviewing Angela England’s new ebook, The Untrained Housewife’s Guide to Getting Prepared. See what measures she is learning to adopt in her family.
  • Prepare to Expect a Safe and Beautiful Natural Birth — What do you need to have prepared so that you can have a nice and relaxing birth at home? Lisa at The Squishable Baby shares her list in a guest post at Natural Parents Network
  • Fire Boxes for Emergency Preparedness — Jana of Jananas tells why she bought a fire box to store important documents and what is stored in the box.
  • Firefighter Training Homeschool Curriculum — Kellie at Our Mindful Life helped her homeschooled kids prepare for emergencies through a Firefighter Training unit.
  • 3 Secrets to a Royal Emergency — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep tells the secret to living like kings during a storm-induced power outage.
  • Is Your Family Prepared for an Emergency? — Chrystal at Happy Mothering shares an overview of what her family has done to become more prepared for emergencies.
  • What to Do in an Earthquake — Julia at A Little Bit of All of It gives instructions for staying safe in the event of an earthquake as well as tips for teaching your children to keep safe and where to find information online after an earthquake.
  • Spring Cleaning & Preparing, Part 2 — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger organizes and replenishes her emergency supply every spring and is learning to add to the food stockpile by preserving year-round.
  • 15 Must-Haves For The Natural Minded Family When Disaster or Emergency Strikes — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she prepares for disaster or an emergency as a natural minded mama. Learn what 15 natural items you should consider having on hand!
  • Emergency Preparedness: Cosleeping, Cheezits, Chocolate — Kristine at All the Things in the World was happy to have cosleeping in her emergency tool kit during Hurricane Sandy.
  • Being Prepared For Personal Disasters — Luschka at Diary of a First Child draws on her own recent experiences and considers five things every parent should have in place to ease the burden when sudden disaster strikes.
  • The Natural Emergency Kit That I Always Carry in My Diaper Bag — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares the four green and natural items in her emergency kit that she can’t do without when she’s out and about with her little ones.
  • Prepared… or not? — Is it dangerous to not prepare? Jorje of Momma Jorje shares whether her family prepares…or not.
  • Pack a car safety kit: 25 must-have items for emergencies — Whether you’re out for a leisurely drive or fleeing a disaster, Lauren at Hobo Mama offers tips on stocking your car with emergency supplies that will tide you over if you’re stranded.
  • Teaching My Children About Tornados — Destany at They Are All of Me writes about preparing her children for tornado season.
  • Preparing our children for emergencies — Preparing for emergencies means preparing your children, and Robbie at Going Green Mama shares ways on how to empower kids when it comes to emergencies.
  • Emergency Preparedness in Sub-Saharan Africa — After living in Sub-Saharan Africa for 7 years, emergency preparedness is not just a concept any more to Laura from Authentic Parenting
  • Five Ideas to Keep Babies and Toddlers Safe from Choking — Do you have a baby or toddler who likes to put everything (and I mean *everything*) in her mouth? Dionna at Code Name: Mama does, and today she’s sharing a story and some tips on how to keep your little ones safe from choking.