Disaster Safety for Expecting and New Parents

Disaster Safety for Expecting and New Parents

Illustration of pregnant woman with various preparation iconsDisasters, such as wildfireshurricanes, and floods, can be unpredictable and devastating. Learn general tips to get prepared before a disaster and what to do in case of a disaster to help keep you and your family safe and healthy.

Get Prepared for an Emergency or Disaster

Disasters can be scary and stressful, especially if you’re expecting or have a baby. You can take the following steps now to help you prepare for an emergency and better cope if an emergency happens.

  • Talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider about where you will get prenatal care or deliver your baby if your doctor’s office or hospital is closed.
  • If you are close to your due date, learn the signs of labor and talk to your healthcare provider about what to do in case of an emergency.
  • Be informed—check with your local emergency management agency to find out how to get emergency alerts (such as text alerts).
  • Make a family communication plan[111 KB] for how you and your family will contact one another and what steps you will take in different types of situations.
  • Prepare an emergency kit that includes a 3-day supply of food and water, health supplies including medications, baby care and safety supplies, electronics, and important documents, such as emergency telephone numbers.
  • Plan ahead to help your baby sleep safely if you have to evacuate your home. Your baby is safest sleeping on his or her back in his or her own sleep area (e.g., a portable crib or bassinet) that does not have pillows, blankets, or toys.

Illustration of doctor talking to pregnant woman about an emergency kitOnce you are out of immediate danger, continue your prenatal care even if it is not with your primary doctor.

What to Do During and Just After Disaster

Expectant Parents

Pregnant women have special medical needs. If you’re pregnant or think you may be pregnant, you and your partner can take the following steps to help you stay safe and healthy in the event of a disaster.

  • If you have any signs of labor, call your healthcare provider or 911, or go to the hospital immediately if it is safe to leave.
  • If you have to evacuate your home, be prepared to leave quickly and have your emergency kit ready to go.
  • If staying at a shelter or in temporary housing, tell the staff as soon as possible that you are pregnant and if you have any health problems.
  • If you have your prenatal vitamins or prescription medicines with you, continue taking[…]

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