Hurricane Preparedness: Pregnant Women and Families

While we can’t say which way the wind will blow the hurricane, we want to ensure that pregnant women and their families are taking the necessary precautions in case things take a turn for the worse. It is vital to have a plan for disasters such as hurricanes to avoid added stress on a family, especially during pregnancy.

These tips should come in handy in creating a family communications plan so mom, dad and any other family members involved know what to do as a team before, during and after a hurricane or in an evacuation.

To begin with, everybody needs to have a Disaster Supplies Kit and secure any missing items if possible and make sure their cars are filled with gas, etc. But if you are pregnant or have an infant, it is important to plan accordingly.

Disaster Safety for Expecting and New Parents

Disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes, and floods, can be unpredictable and devastating. Learn general tips to get prepared before a disaster and what to do in case of a disaster to help keep you and your family safe and healthy.

Visit the CDC for Disaster Planning for Parents here:

For pregnant moms, March of Dimes has a recommended packing list found here. Make sure to pack enough bottled water to keep hydrated and do not lift large or heavy objects – have a friend or family member help you. If you are close to your due date, talk to your health care provider about what to do in case of emergency.

For moms with infants, March of Dimes has many helpful tips for families facing emergency situations:

• Keep a list of numbers that are important including your health care provider, case manager and hospital and keep a copy of you and your baby’s medical records and your baby’s immunization records.
• Babies have an increased need during emergency situations for comfort provided by breastfeeding and it can also provide stress relief for mom. It is the best recommendation during hurricanes as you do not need refrigeration or clean bottles.

If you are concerned about the health of you or your baby, contact your health care provider or emergency room immediately.

After the hurricane blows over, there are still many precautions to take. Do not bring any babies or children into a home that has been evacuated from until it has been checked for gas leaks, electrical system damage and sewage and water line damage.

Watches and Warnings
The National Weather Service issues a hurricane watch when the threat of hurricane conditions falls within 24-36 hours, and when conditions are expected in 24 hours or less a hurricane warning is issued. It is important to follow the advice of government officials and local law enforcement, so please listen when told to evacuate under their direction for the safety of you, your baby and your whole family.


The Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) is the nation’s only hotline dedicated to providing year-round disaster crisis counseling. This toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 (call or text 1-800-985-5990) to residents in the U.S. and its territories who are experiencing emotional distress or other mental health concerns related to natural or human-caused disasters.

Callers and texters are connected with trained and caring professionals from a network of crisis centers across the country. Helpline staff provide supportive counseling, including information on common stress reactions and healthy coping, as well as referrals to local disaster-related resources for follow-up care and support.

Visit for additional information and resources in disaster behavioral health.

Healthy Start Coalition of Brevard Received a Grant from Community Foundation of Brevard

The Healthy Start Coalition of Brevard is grateful to the Community Foundation for Brevard and the Barbara Wells Family Foundation for a $5,300 grant that was used to purchase new Evenflo Sensor Safe Car Seats for Healthy Start Families that were facing financial hardships and were in need of an age-appropriate car seat for their baby.

The car seats provided to the families were equipped with Sensor Safe Technology that alerts the driver when the buckle is undone while the car is in transport, and it alerts the driver that baby is still on board the vehicle when the car is shut off to reduce the risk of leaving the child in the car and dangers of heat stroke.

Community Foundation for Brevard serves as a leader, catalyst and trusted resource for philanthropic individuals and organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain Brevard’s quality of life. For more information on the Foundation, visit their website Community Foundation for Brevard (

Thank you again for this opportunity to provide safer options for our moms and babies in Brevard.

Healthy Start’s 2023 Workshop Maternal and Infant Health

The Healthy Start Coalition of Brevard County hosted a successful two-part series workshop on April 28, 2023 and May 5, 2023. The Healthy Start’s 2023 Workshop – Maternal and Infant Health was held at the Bill Posey Conference Center located at the Florida Department of Health in Viera, Florida. 

We explored the circumstances that are associated with maternal and infant health as it relates to poverty and neonatal abstinence syndrome and how it impacts birth outcome.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Poverty Simulation
    Denise Gillich, Brevard Schools Parent and Family Engagement Content Specialist, Brevard Public Schools
  • Updates in NAS – What’s SDOH Got To Do With It?
    Dr. Kathleen Rooney-Otero, MD, Pediatrician, Nemours Children’s Hospital
  • Infant Feeding Considerations Related to NAS
    Laene Keith, MA, CCC/SLP, IBCLC, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Lactation Link
    Meghan Christie, RN, BSN, IBCLC, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Rockledge Regional Medical Center
  • Working With Perinatal Women with Substance Use Disorder and Their Families
    Dixie Morgese, BA, CAP, ICADC


Thank you to our sponsors for this 2 part series workshop. Without you this workshop was not possible. Intercoastal Insurance, Inc., Molina Healthcare, and Nemours Children’s Health.


Thank you to your funder, The Florida Department of Health.

Community Baby Shower – May 6, 2023

Healthy Start Coalition of Brevard collaborated with Discover Life Church in Melbourne, Florida and hosted a Community Baby Shower on Saturday, May 6th, 2023, from 10am to 1pm.

This free Community Baby Shower was for unwed, expecting mothers. They were showered with gifts, games, giveaways, light refreshments, and support from our local community! 

Moms and those that attended were also provided with the following educational topics during the event:

  • Speaker from Brevard Cares: Sleep safety for parent and child
  • Speaker from Titusville Fire Department: Car Seat Safety
  • Speaker from WIC: Breastfeeding and Pump Education
  • Speaker from Renewed Counseling: Mental Health
  • Speaker from Essential Pregnancy Center: Her Story as a Single Mom

Healthy Start is grateful to the sponsors that helped make this event possible. Thank you to Essential Pregnancy Center and Sunshine Health for your generous sponsorships and attending the event, your sponsorships helped purchase needed baby items for the moms that attended this Community Baby Shower.

Thank you to the vendors that attended from our community and the donated gifts for the moms for this event. Among the vendors were representatives from Brevard Cares, Healthy Start Coalition of Brevard, 211 – Help Me Grow, Brevard County Health Department – WIC, Renewed Counseling, Titusville Fire Department – Car Seat Safety, and Early Learning Coalition. We are grateful for the support of our community agencies.

Thank you to Discover Life Church in Melbourne for planning, hosting, and seeing a need for our community. Thank you for all that you do.

Healthy Babies Start With Healthy Moms