Te tiaki pēpi me ngā kōhungahunga i te wā ohotata

Caring for babies and young children in an emergency

Babies and young children need special care and attention in an emergency. Find out what you can do to look after them.


Babies are more at risk of becoming dehydrated or getting an infection, so they need special care and attention in an emergency.

In an emergency, roads and shops may be closed for three days or more, so you need to have supplies to get your baby through. This list of emergency supplies will be enough for a minimum of three days. It will help you look after your baby when you do not have water or power. If you can, you should prepare supplies for a week or more.

  • Disposable nappies.
  • Baby wipes.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Rubbish bags for dirty nappies.
  • Any medicines or creams your baby needs.
  • Disposable gloves.
  • Spare clothes
  • A blanket or special toy.

Make sure you also have these supplies for your baby in your grab bag, in case you need to leave home in a hurry.

If your baby often stays with whānau/family or carers, think about having some emergency supplies for your baby at their place as well as at home.

Advice about feeding your baby safely during an emergency is available on the Ministry of Health website.

Young children

You can involve young children in planning for an emergency by giving them small tasks to do. For example, check the date on your stored water or test the torch is working.

Talk to them in an honest, but not scary, way about what might happen in an emergency, what you can do to keep safe, and what your plan is if you can’t get home. Ask at their daycare, kindergarten, kura or school to find out what they teach children to do, and how to reinforce these messages at home.

Practice emergency activities like “drop, cover, hold”, or “get down, get low, get out”. The more involved they are, the less scared they will be when an emergency does happen.

Make sure you have supplies for young children in a grab bag in case you have to leave home in a hurry. The grab bag should have warm clothing, water and snack food, and a favourite toy or game to keep them occupied.