Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Night the Lights Went Out in Chicago

Whew, this was some Father's Day this year in our new house. The area we moved into was hit with severe thunderstorms and high winds, knocking down trees and cutting the power for about 12 hours on Dad's day of rest.

Luckily, no one in our neighborhood was injured or had damage to their homes. But we had a lot of lost food and of course, no way to keep anything cold.

While our emergency was relatively short-lived, if you look around the country, extreme weather has been making life difficult for many this summer.

When you've got food allergies in your family, power outtages and emergency situations like flooding require a bit more preparation. Here's a few tips for keeping on top of food allergies in an emergency:

1. Make sure you have a good stock of "safe," non-perishable food items that can be eaten by the entire family. Soy milk (if you can have it) doesn't require refrigeration and bottled water is always good to have on hand in case you can't use your tap water for any reason. I like to have cereal, crackers, pretzels and slow-spoiling fruits like apples and bananas on hand in case of a blackout. I also like those non-refrigerated cheese crackers in my pantry (not safe for dairy-allergic folks, I know).

2. Make sure all your prescriptions are up-to-date and well-stocked. Check to make sure that you have several epinephrine auto-injectors, a bottle of Benadryl brand anihistamine and whatever asthma or seasonal allergies your child needs well before a crisis hits. In the event of extreme bad weather, you may not be able to renew these prescriptions in a timely manner, so get them now. Keep them in a plastic resealable bag so they don't get wet.

3. Keep a nice supply of Clorox wipes and antibacterial hand wipes. If the worst happens and you have to leave your home for any reason, you'll be able to remove allergenic residue from surfaces or body parts.

What are some of your stay-safe tips for emergencies? Remember, moms of allergic kids are usually more prepared in general, so we can handle ourselves in most situations. In any case, I'm going to hope that Chi-town stays dry and clear, at least for a little while. It's time for summer fun to begin!


Libby said...

You're right about parents of food allergic kids being prepared. We usually have enough safe food in The Backpack with the epi-pens to live off of for several days!

Since you asked for emergency tips, I did a post on hurricane prep with food allergies a few weeks ago:


Hopefully you'll have a nice light hurricane season in Chicago! :o)

Allergic Girl® said...

great ideas ladies!

we don't get much extreme weather here in new york city but the blackout a few years back reminded me to have an emergency it handy at all times.

Unknown said...

Here is a handy food to have around for the nut-allergic and peanut-allergic folks in these situations: Annie's Naturals Bernie-o's. Like super-safe spaghettios. We're taking some on our summer trip this year too.

Jenny said...

Thanks for the tips and comments, ladies. I know we're more prepared than most, but it's always nice to learn new tricks!