Emergency Planning With Infants and Children

With fire season upon us, we wanted to bring attention to the importance of emergency planning with infants and children. Infants and children are especially vulnerable during emergencies.

This time of year can bring significant anxiety and fear. Planning for emergencies can be difficult, especially when you are busy with work, school, taking care of your loved ones, and life in general! We hope the resources discussed below will help you and the families you work with feel prepared for an emergency or evacuation. Remember that we have many resources on our MCAH webpage as well- check it out!

Scroll to the bottom of the newsletter for information on celebrating Latinx Breastfeeding Week (Sept 5-11), upcoming educational opportunities, and community resources!

Feeding Infants and Children During Emergencies

We all play a roll in helping families be able to safely feed their children during an emergency.

Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control has a special checklist for emergency planning for families with infants and young children? It has checklists that help prepare families with children who are breast/chestfeeding, formula feeding, and those eating solids. Their website is here. They also have handouts you can download in English and in Spanish.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has this handout on infant feeding during Disasters and Emergencies. Breast/chest feeding can still happen successfully even under stress- providing families with a quiet space to feed can be a big help. The US Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response has a helpful infographic you can print and post in your office here.

The United States Breastfeeding Coalition has a comprehensive list of resources for supporting infant feeding during emergencies here.

How we respond to emergencies can have important impacts on infant feeding and nutrition. UNICEF has developed this short video that demonstrates how community providers and partners can work to support breast/chestfeeding families during and emergency, provide supportive environments, and avoid actions that can interfere, such as handing out formula without first assessing a family's feeding needs. The CDC has guidance here on how to ensure shelters are family friendly, which is another way we can support infant and child feeding during an emergency.

Another helpful resource is an emergency kit planning pocket guide in English and in Spanish- this was developed by the Sonoma County Office of Emergency Management.

Emergency planning and response when you have a infant or child with special health care, physical and emotional needs can be more complicated. The organization Safe Kids Worldwide has a series of videos that review steps that families can take to practice and prepare for a fire evacuation. The American Academy of Pediatrics has guidance here for providers to discuss emergency planning with families with children and youth with special healthcare needs.

Local Information and Staying Up-To-Date


Sonoma County's socoemergency.org website has information on how to prepare for an emergency, updates on any current emergencies, and resources to help recover after an emergency has occurred.

Encourage the families you work with to sign up for local emergency alerts (like Nixle and SocoAlert) here, and sign up for Civic Ready (alerts for the City of Santa Rosa) here.


Lactancia Latina/ LatinX Breastfeeding Week!

Join us in celebrating Lactancia Latina/LatinX Breastfeeding Week the week of September 5-11!

Join breastfeedinglatinas.org in the launch of Latina/x Breastfeeding Week with an online event celebration with story sharing and honoring the resiliency of the Latino community. September 5th at 10am PDT. Click below to register:



Unete a breastfeedinglatinas.org mientras lanzan la Semana de Lactancia Latina compartiendo historias y honrando la resiliencia de la comunidad latina. El 5 de Septiembre a las 10am PDT. Haz clic aqui para registrarte:


Click on the image below to register for a Community Building Event with Robbie Gonzalez -Dow, programs manager for the California Breastfeeding Coalition!

Upcoming Educational Offerings

Join us for a free online training on Perinatal Syphilis and Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention in Sonoma County!

This presentation by members of the County's Disease Control team will review current screening and treatment guidelines, what we are seeing locally with regards to these infections, and how to collaborate with our Disease Control team when you encounter a perinatal patient with a suspected or confirmed case. CEUs will be provided.

Wed. September 27th, 12:00-1:30pm, Virtual via Microsoft Teams

(this training will be geared towards hospital staff)

Thurs. October 5th, 12:00-1:30pm, Virtual via Microsoft Teams 

(this training will be geared towards clinic and home visiting staff)

To register, click here

Community Resources

Introducing: Instructions Not Included!

Crying? Lack of sleep? No time for a shower? No time for your partner? How do parents manage all the duties of life and baby?

Did your baby not come with an instruction manual?

Don’t worry, ALL parents have questions, we have answers.

The Early Learning Institute’s Instructions Not Included (INI) program provides up to 5, FREE home visits - or virtual visits if you prefer, with a father-friendly format. Our experienced staff will help answer your questions around infant development, adjusting to life as parents, infant safety, and social emotional well-being. Need resources or referrals, we can assist with that as well.

Dad, this is your program too! We want partners to be involved in the visits. We even have one visit just for dads. This is your opportunity to ask another man questions one-on-one about all things baby or father related.

INI aims to help parents increase their understanding of child development and behavior and reduce family stress associated with parenting. INI will also provide information regarding the challenges associated with Perinatal Mood Disorder and the resources available to help those who are struggling.

INI is available to any parent with a child 2-months or younger, living in Sonoma County, and not involved with another home visiting program. Children 6-month of age or younger will be considered as space allows.

To sign up, please go to our website at www.earlylearninginstitute.com or call us at 707-591-0170.

Lactation and Community Resource Support with Sonoma County Home Visiting Public Health Nurses

Please encourage your families to join us every Thursday, 10:30 am in downtown Santa Rosa for infant feeding support, community, as well as the opportunity to speak with a public health nurse and learn about community resources.

Anime a sus familias a unirse a nosotros todos los jueves a las 10:30 en el centro de Santa Rosa para recibir apoyo comunitario en materia de alimentación infantil, así como la oportunidad de hablar con una enfermera de salud pública y conocer los recursos comunitarios.

Photo Credits:

Photo of Toddler Standing by Juan Encalada on Unsplash

Photo of Family of Three by Richard Sagredo on Unsplash

Have a lovely month!

Sonoma County MCAH
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