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How a Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy Got Me Prepared

Editors note: Please welcome our newest contributor, Kristin Hogan, the Strategic Communications Planner at the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (DEM). A strong believer that we are more prepared they we think, Kristin advocates it is not a looming disaster that inspires us to prepare, but rather the peace of mind that comes from having taking a few simple steps in advance of an emergency to take care of our loved ones.

My job at San Francisco’s DEM (Department of Emergency Management) is to develop outreach strategies to promote individual and household emergency preparedness. So, I think it is a fair statement for me to say I have centered my professional life on public preparedness and resilience. But what about my personal life? I’m gonna come clean here: as a mid-thirties urban singleton, I had some extra cans of food spread throughout my tiny San Francisco-kitchen cabinets (thanks to my love of Costco), but I probably stored more bottles of wine than water. Suffice to say, my personal preparedness was at best, sloppy. I’m pink in the cheeks to admit this given my profession, but my prior shallow preparedness is all in the past. What changed for me? Motherhood.

My baby was born last April and my life has changed in many ways, including preparedness. What really kicked my preparedness rear in gear was a pesky allergy that less than two percent of breastfed babies develop to cow’s milk and soy protein. For those of you who have no experience with this allergy, take it from me, it is not fun (imagine colic—times 10!). Thankfully he is all better due to a special hypoallergenic formula with protein broken down into tiny, tiny pieces. So small, the body doesn’t recognize the protein as an allergen. The downside of this formula (other than the price) is that the formula is not available in every store, which is what we initially experienced when my husband had to go to several stores before finally finding it at Babies R Us.

This situation got me thinking—and I mean really thinking—what if there’s an earthquake and we don’t have enough formula on hand to feed our baby? And at that moment I swore (ala Scarlett O’Hara in her “As God as my witness, I’ll never be hungry again” monologue) we would never have less than a two week supply of formula. And with that, I truly adopted preparedness into my everyday life. Now not only do we have extra formula on hand, we have the water we would need mix the powder formula should we run out of the ready to feed formula. That extra water now means my husband and I also have water to drink, cook and clean with should the unthinkable happen. The truth is we were more prepared than I realized (again, thanks in part to Costco). And it is a really good feeling knowing we’ll be set should we be without everyday resources for a while.

So, I ask you: what’s your personal preparedness incentive? I encourage you to share that incentive with those in your life. It may trigger some of your loved ones into becoming more prepared as well.  I’d love to hear how your family is (or wants to start) getting prepared, just leave a comment below!

Article originally posted on SF DEM blog.

12 Responses to “How a Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy Got Me Prepared”

  1. Kristy

    Great blog, thank you for making me think about it. I am definitely making my list now.

    Reply
  2. giveawayhound

    We are totally unprepared. I guess we have some work cut out for us.

    Reply
  3. Cindi

    I used to be prepared…In our pantry, we had a large duffel bag filled with: emergency
    lights, radio, medicines, first aid, the flag to hang out, and then lots of cans of food
    and jugs of water. I think we even had military type food bags! Taking care of my
    family is and was my first priority. My husband thinks I over react, but our pantry is
    still rather full of a lot. I enjoyed your article!
    Thanks, Cindi

    Reply
  4. Jane Razon

    Great article! I'm surprised at much stuff I already have. I really am more prepared than I thought!!

    Reply
  5. Ann

    Thanks for the reminder. I went on a big earthquake preparedness kick about 3 months ago, but I've really dropped it, and I have a bunch more to gather. I will move it back to the top of the list!

    Reply
  6. Shirley

    We don't have an incentive, but rather a fear of seeing what happened for example in Japan.
    I do have earthquake water and I check them every time we change the clock to see that they are not expired. But I also think that we can only do so much because we might not even be home when the quake happens.

    Reply
  7. Jean Lynd

    Living in hurricane country (on the Gulf Coast), we keep an emergency preparedness supply, including not only food, but medical supplies, bottles of bleach, and even water filtration supplies. Gotta be prepared when you have 4 kiddos!

    Reply
  8. Cindy Merrill

    I follow politics closely- all indications are, either it will be Rino -Romney or Obama in the Oval Office the next four years: That alone is enough reason to prepare for disasters/emergencies! My husband's company has made an Irish connection and we're seriously thinking of relocating & dual citizenship. If the US. Government collapses ( and it will), we'll be out of harm's way.

    Reply
  9. Shannon

    My little family lives in DC. Being such a high profile terror target area, we have plans on where to meet outside of the city, and have gone so far as to have emergency clothes and shoes, etc. and two different locations. That way if we have to evacuate we know where to go and that we have a clean pair of clothes waiting for us.

    Reply
  10. Valerie Mabrey

    I have a kit for emergencies. It would not take long to have a very unhappy baby in a bad situation. Thanks for the article maybe I will increase my kit.

    Reply
  11. Wendy

    What a great reminder for all of us to be prepared…I can honestly say, sometimes I take for granted the things I think I'll be able to do on a daily basis.

    Reply

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