Okay, so I’m 100% that weirdo that literally lives on sci-fi movies. My favorite genre? Alien invasion and monster movies! 😍
Seriously, I want to go make some popcorn just writing about it!
One of my all time favorite movies is Tremors II: Aftershocks. It’s about underground monsters that come up through the soil or floor to getcha.
In fact, I can practically smell the cheesiness oozing out from the DVD player whenever I watch this movie (yes I have a DVD player).
One of my favorite characters is Burt Gummer, a notoriously paranoid doomsday prepper. He can be relied upon to show up in an emergency with way more tools, gadgets, weapons, and food than anyone could possibly every need.
Life goals right there, folks. I want to be him when I grow up.
All joking aside, I really do want to embody Burt Gummer’s amazingly accurate paranoia when thinking about prepping for my own emergencies in life. Especially since both of my sweet kiddos live with life-threatening food allergies.
Whether it’s a tornado warning, wild fire evacuation, hurricanes, flooding, or hungry underground monster worms – I want to be prepared to keep my children safe in the event of an unforeseen emergency or natural disaster.
STEP 1: Pack the Typical Stuff
There are so many awesome resources on the internet for thinking through what we would need to survive a few days in an emergency situation. Here are a few links to check out:
- The Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) discusses a few good ideas for emergency kits. Here is the LINK.
- Ready.gov has a very detailed list of items to pack in a homemade emergency kit HERE.
- Amazon also sells pre-made kits! Check out THIS LINK for a few options.
In short, these were the “typical” items that our family considered a necessity to have on hand:
- MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) – My husband was in the military, so these were a must have for him. We cannot do these now that our kiddo’s have food allergies with the cross-contact concerns.
- bottled waters
- toilet paper (My husband would be so thrilled if we bought a portable toilet too. 🤣)
- sleeping bags and extra blankets
- matches/flashlight/extra batteries
- first aide kit
- Swiss army knife
- can opener
- extra set of clothes (shirt/pants/undergarments/socks)
- extra phone chargers
- prescription medications or any needed over the counter meds
- a gas powered generator (We have not yet purchased this item, but it is in the works!)
Without a doubt, we still think these things are important to pack in our emergency kit! However, we have to now think through the food allergy component much more carefully.
For instance, we replace the MREs with allergen safe nonperishables and other important allergen must-haves.
Furthermore, all drinks, snacks, and food of any kind in our kit also has to be checked for food allergen cross-contact concerns. We do that by contacting the companies directly.
To read more about cross-contact, check out our blog post, “What In The World is Food Cross-Contact?”
STEP 2: Pack the Food Allergy Stuff
Whether we are going to be stuck sheltering at home or temporarily evacuating, we are going to need our children’s epinephrine. Unquestionably, the epipens are the most important item we need.
But what else do we need to manage food allergies if we find ourselves stuck somewhere?
After a lot of thought, this is what we came up with:
- epipens (one set of 2 for each child)
- emergency care plan and symptoms of anaphylaxis
- medical lotions (if applicable)
- safe bottled water (yes, we even have to call companies about bottled water)
- water purifier kit
- safe hand soap (many soaps have food allergens)
- disposable plates/utensils/cups/gloves
- safe wipes
- baby supplies (one of our kids is still very young)
A Few More Thoughts on Food Safety
Importantly, one strict rule we have as a food allergy family is that we do not try new foods or new brands when we travel. This is just another safety measure we have in place to protect our children as best we can from reactions.
Likewise, the same applies to the foods we store in our emergency kit. An emergency evacuation or dangerous weather conditions is not the time to be trying new foods.
Hence, the foods we pack in our kit should all be things that our family has eaten before without issue.
Another fun tool we like to pack is our Suds2go water bottle with a built in soap dispenser. Our food allergy family can pack our own safe soap on the go. Check them out HERE.
This is not an affiliate link. We just really LOVE this product!
Ideas for Allergy Safe Nonperishables
Yearly, we update the emergency kit with new nonperishable foods that are safe for our family.
Our goal is to have enough food for our children for at least 48 hours in case of an emergency.
- dried fruit bars (We use That’s It bars)
- applesauce squeeze pouches
- dried cereal
- jerky (Check out Country Prime Meats and Chomps – their FAQ pages detail allergen information)
- a type of butter spread –> depending on your food allergens, a few options might be:
- sunflower butter
- almond butter
- peanut butter
- WOW butter
- food bars (Check out Enjoy Life and Nature’s Bakery)
- canned vegetables
- canned fruit
- powdered milk
- carton milk (the ones that don’t need refrigeration)
- baby food if you have a little one
- chocolate chips for treats (We use the Enjoy Life brand or No Whey Chocolate)
Furthermore, it might be good to have dried soup meals available. We have not personally tried this company, but many food allergy families use the products from Wild Zora. They sell a lot of nonperishable snacks and meals.
Remember, every food allergy family’s needs are different. Foods that work for someone else might not work for your family. And that’s okay!
SAFETY NOTE: Please contact these companies yourself to inquire about information on manufacturing procedures, ingredients, and shared lines for your family’s specific food allergen needs.
STEP 3: Pack Necessary Medical Info
Next, we make sure that we have my children’s medical needs clearly outlined inside of a medical folder or binder. Here is what we include:
- list of our doctors and their contact information
- safe food brands list
- directions for food allergy care
- medical action plan
- anaphylaxis symptoms poster
- allergy bracelets
- our living will
As a rule, we include this information to make sure that our children will have their needs met incase my husband and I are debilitated for any reason.
Additionally, you could store this information on a portable hard drive as well.
Step 4: Storing the Kit
Finally, after we accumulate everything we need, we have to decide how to store it.
My family chooses to store our things in a large plastic container with a lid. We use the heavy duty ones that can be purchased at Costco or Home Depot.
Conversely, we know some families store theirs in large canvas backpacks or even in oversized plastic laundry baskets that can be carried easily.
After everything is packed up nicely, we store our tub in the garage, up on an easy to reach shelf. It keeps it off the floor incase of flooding and is easy to grab on the go.
NOTE: We DO NOT keep our epipens in this tub. The epipens are always stored in our to-go bag that hangs by our front door. In the event of an emergency, we would grab our to-go bag as well as our emergency kit.
For more information on our to-go bag, check out THIS blog post.
We Hope This Was Helpful
You will sometimes experience unpredictable weather or unplanned situations no matter where you live.
Creating an emergency kit that is also safe for your child with food allergies is not only smart, but very likely to save you from panicking in those unforeseen emergencies.
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and that we gave you a few ideas to consider. Above all, we hope you found it helpful for your sweet food allergy family.