Duracell wants to know… do you have a summer disaster preparedness kit? Is it full of only safety items? Or does it also include items to keep your kids entertained? A great disaster preparedness kit needs to have both. Even in the midst of storms kids will be more comfortable and happy if provided with fun, familiar things.

Keep Kids Busy and Calm During a Natural Disaster Watch with Duracell

Ironically as I sit here finishing this post, severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings for our areas are scrolling across the bottom of the TV right now. I am keeping a close watch on things to see if we need to make a move towards the basement. It is raining pretty hard!

We live in the Suburbs of Chicago.  For the most part Midwest weather is mild. Sure, we get our share of snow. And honestly? I don’t mind the snow! I don’t like driving in it. However, if I am safely at home I can take it. It is beautiful. There is nothing like looking out the window before any cars or snow plows have touched the snow and basking in the beauty! Ahhh… But, we know that this past winter in Chicago was a doozy!!! There were a couple of really bad storms including a blizzard affectionately named Snowmaggedon that literally shut down the city and closed schools around the area. But that is something that Chicago is used to.

But what happens when we are facing things that we are not used to like other natural disasters? It does not happen very often here in the Chicago area, but it does happen. In fact, over the past few years we have had a tornado touch down very near our home! In June of 2008 a tornado touched down in Richton Park, IL.

Richton Park, IL - 2008 tornado

The video below shows you what it looked like from afar. This video was recorded by someone blocks from my home and shows a shocking view of the menace at work.

Thankfully my family was not home at the time of the above tornado. However, once it was over and the coast was clear I headed home to check on my house. Luckily things were ok by me. The only issue was that power was out in my area. When I got home I saw my neighbors packing up and leaving, so I did the same! I headed off to my mom’s house where my kids were. I did see some of the devastation along the way. But it seems like the area got lucky. Most of the storm had gone through empty fields. The damage to surrounding homes was not as bad as it could have been. We were all lucky.

And just last year the kids and I spent about an hour in the basement while the threat of tornados loomed outside. The sky darkened, the wind picked up, and the rain was like a sheet of water. The weather sirens in our area were going off, so the kids and I headed downstairs! Our basement is unfinished and is basically a storage room for many forgotten things.  I believe my kids think of it as a kind of junkyard playground. HA! However on the way down I grabbed my laptop, smartphone, a tablet, the home phone, and a few other things to keep us busy.

I realized at that time that I did not really have a disaster plan prepared. A disaster plan lets your family know what to do during the threat of a natural disaster, where to meet, and what to grab. And having a disaster kit ready ensures that you will have food, drink, essential safety items, and some fun items to keep kids busy!

Keep Kids Busy and Calm During a Natural Disaster Watch with Duracell

I set off to Walmart to shop for items to add to our kit. The first thing I thought about was Duracell batteries. It is a good idea to keep several packs of batteries available to power flashlights and other gadgets. I chose Duracell Coppertop batteries because they are made with Duralock Power Preserve™ Technology. This means they are guaranteed for up to 10 years in storage! That is perfect for a disaster kit because you can put them in there and not have to worry about them not working for a long, long time.

Keep Kids Busy and Calm During a Natural Disaster Watch with Duracell


I most commonly use AA for my flashlights and AAA batteries other items in my home that I need to #PrepWithPower. But you can add C, D, and 9Volt to your kit so that you are ready to power whatever you need.

Keep Kids Busy and Calm During a Natural Disaster Watch with Duracell

I also asked my kids to choose a couple of games and some of their favorite snacks. We ended up with a variety of goodies with a decent shelf life including fruit snacks, Cheese Nips, M&Ms, Sardines, Kipper Snacks, beef jerky, and more. Ok, I threw some of my favorites in there as well. 🙂

Keep Kids Busy and Calm During a Natural Disaster Watch with Duracell

The idea is to have a at least a bag prepared that you can grab in case of emergency.

Keep Kids Busy and Calm During a Natural Disaster Watch with Duracell

However, if you have a basement or storm shelter I recommend packing a storm container and leaving it in the area where your family takes cover. I chose this approach, but I still created an “on the go” bag. I started to gather everything on my dining room table.  I made sure that there are plenty of essential items plus plenty of items to keep my kids busy!

We picked up some Dominoes


My kit includes the following (I may have gone overboard!)

Items to keep the kids happy:

  • Coloring books
  • Crayons
  • Notebooks
  • Sharpened Pencils
  • Their favorite books
  • Walkie Talkies
  • Paddle Ball Toys
  • Dominoes (they want to learn!)
  • The Kabaam Game
  • Monopoly (their favorite game)
  • Flashlights (These are very useful, plus kids love to play with them!)
  • Light up toys (for when I need to get the flashlights away from them!)

The boys picked up some notebooks for drawing.

The Essential Things

  • A case of water
  • Toilet Paper
  • Baby Wipes
  • Clorox Wipes
  • A First Aid Kit
  • Toothbrushes and Toothpaste (no one wants to be trapped together with bad breath. LOL!)
  • A portable speaker
  • A portable cell phone charger
  • Prepaid cell phone
  • Scissors

I was sure to grab a first aid kit

… and more

Keep Kids Busy and Calm During a Natural Disaster Watch with Duracell

That is a lot, and it may get narrowed down a bit. 🙂

Your kit should also included copies of important papers that you would not want to lose during a disaster. These include social security cards, birth certificates, driver’s license, home titles, car titles, health insurance cards, life insurance, homeowner’s insurance credit card and bank account information, and other papers for items that would be hard to track down if lost. I would also put in copy of a few favorite family photos that make you smile!

Whew! Yes, that is a lot of stuff. But I would rather have too much than not enough. You just never know what you might need. And with 4 kids my sanity depends on keeping them happy and entertained!

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by #CollectiveBias. All opinions are my own.