You’re going to love these hurricane evacuation packing ideas for kids if you’re one who typically travels out of state for upcoming hurricane threats. These ideas will help parents stay sane and kids entertained and happy.
Facing a potentially devastating storm in Florida is stressful. Historically, though, no where I’ve lived in Jacksonville has been hit with major, devastating hurricanes. They’ve petered out by the time they’ve reached us, though we’ll usually get strong tropical storm winds, rain, and some flooding.
Generally, though, Jacksonville residents have become complacent to the hurricane threats. I’m one of them.
Last year, however, Hurricane Irma concerned my husband enough to request that I take the kids and flee the state.
Guys, I almost went into panic mode thinking about a hurricane evacuation with children, and on my own, no less. But, I complied with my husband’s request. I packed up the kids and booked it as early as I could in an attempt to beat the hurricane evacuation traffic.
P.S. This is bonus content to my 5-part Emergency Preparedness for Families Series. Be sure to check out each post:
Hurricane Evacuation Packing Ideas for Kids
It’s one thing to throw some clothes in the car and leave if you’re on your own. But evacuating with children takes a trip to a whole new level. Aside from the basics like clothes, these are things you shouldn’t forget about when evacuating with your kids.
Food and Snacks
Kids and long trips = snack machines! I don’t know why, but traveling makes kids perpetually hungry. Load up on snacks for those in-between meal times and make them simple enough to open a bag or box and help themselves. Healthy eating on the road isn’t made easy unless you have the time to cut fruits and vegetables before you leave.
Pack a loaf of sandwich bread, peanut butter, and jelly. Knowing you can make a quick sandwich at a rest stop or on the side of the road will help with any anxiety if you get stuck in an area without places to stop and eat. Or, heaven forbid, you run out of gas and can’t get off the highway.
Don’t forget water! If you weren’t lucky enough to stock up on bottled water before stores ran out, fill water bottles from home!
Keep cold water and any cold foods in a large insulated bag.
Ditch the screen time rules and load up on DVDs or videos. If your car doesn’t have a built-in DVD player, get an inexpensive portable DVD player like this:
Travel games, tablets, books, and activity books are perfect ways to keep kids busy on long trips.
For me, the youngest couldn’t really play in the car, so the DVDs playing kept him entertained enough to keep him from screaming the entire trip.
I did, however, pack the following for the oldest in what I designated a travel activity bag:
Kindle Fire Kids Tablet
And don’t forget about charging on the go with a charging brick and charging cables. I like to use this portable charger.
A note about books
We still read books to the kids every night, and the oldest has to read to herself in order to add to her book log for school. But, carrying as many books as the kids require while on travel gives up more space than I’m willing to accommodate for. Though I may pack a few books, I prefer to use ebooks.
My favorite way to bring a library of books is by using Epic! Books. And the best part is that many of the books include quizzes at the end, so your child can work on their reading comprehension as well! (P.S. Epic! Books really IS that Epic!)
Creature Comforts from Home
A blanket and/or a small stuffed animal was essential, especially for the toddler. But, give the older kids an option of bringing a small toy that reminds them of home.
Sleeping in strange places can be less stressful if your kids are able to bring something that carries the familiar smells and feelings of home.
For toddlers or babies, don’t forget the pack and play for them to sleep wherever you are staying, or when you need to set them down for a safe place to play.
Safety During a Hurricane Evacuation with Children
Safety is my top priority when it comes to evacuating with my children, after all, it’s the reason we evacuated in the first place.
For starters, be sure to pack a really nice first aid kit! You’re going to be stopping and staying at unfamiliar places and your kids are likely going to go wild when they finally get to stretch their legs. Cuts and bumps are likely, so be prepared.
Now, one thing I learned on our evacuation trip was that other evacuees are in panic mode. With fear and anxiety ruling these people’s emotions, general niceties, and compassion are out the window. I heard of a few skirmishes over gas and water. Generally, people were losing their minds during the evacuation process.
Guys, I don’t leave it to chance and hope that someone doesn’t lose their ability to rationalize and act like a decent human being without being prepared. Like a good mother bear, I made sure I was responsibly carrying. There isn’t a way in the world I was going to let someone try to steal my recently gassed-up van with my kids in it, nor are they going to be able to help themselves to my supplies or cash.
If you’re a concealed carrying parent, make sure you bring your concealed carry license, weapon, and accessories. Additionally, check the local laws to ensure you abide by their concealed carry rules.
Did you like these hurricane evacuation packing ideas for kids?
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